Cherie with local ExxonMobil staff
With Sheikh Abdullah Chairman QTel and CEO of Indosat and woman entrepreneurs
With women from Indosat
The support of companies like Nokia, Indosat, ExxonMobil and Qtel and the participation of local partners such as Mercy Corps was a wonderful display of enthusiasm for the new mobile service.
Cherie visited Jakarta earlier this month to launch a new mobile service for women entrepreneurs with the Foundation's partners QTel, Indosat, Nokia, ExxonMobil and Mercy Corps. The service, called Usaha Wanita ("Business Women" in Bahasa Indonesian), is a subscription-based mobile app that provides business development, financial literacy and entrepreneurship training through tailored messages sent to a subscribers phone. Available on Nokia mobiles to anyone who is on the Indosat network free of charge for the first year, messages are provided 4-5 times a week that are specifically tailored to the needs of women entrepreneurs in Indonesia and address the numerous challenges they face to business growth.
The service was launched with about 100 senior guests, government ministers, telecommunications experts, representatives of the diplomatic community and Indonesian NGOs. Led by Qtel Chairman HE Sheikh Abdullah Al-Thani, the launch was held in the in the middle of a very busy shopping centre, Thamrin City, which is home to over 3,000 small and medium enterprises, many of which are owned by women. Cherie then toured some of the many stalls and businesses, meeting women entrepreneurs who may, should they choose, subscribe to the Usaha Wanita service and gain valuable skills and knowledge that could help them improve their businesses and generate higher revenues.
Later in the afternoon, ExxonMobil, who had funded the project through the Foundation's Mobile Technology Programme, hosted a tea. The Minister for SMEs and the Minister for Oil and Gas gave speeches which underlined the need to encourage women entrepreneurs in as many different ways as possible and also praised the accessibility of the service. Cherie was also able to have discussions with Mercy Corps Indonesia, the Foundation's local partner who will be providing hands-on training and financial literacy support to 2,000 women in four areas of Indonesia in conjunction with supporting the broader roll-out of the Usaha Wanita service.
That evening, Indosat hosted an evening celebration of the launch in their offices which had been transformed into a ballroom with local batik fabrics and traditional Indonesian decorations. An award ceremony for young entrepreneurs was followed by a show where designs for Indonesian women were shown by four local Indonesian designers and accompanied by traditional dances and Indonesian music. The following morning Indosat invited 50 high-achieving female staff members to meet with Cherie and hear her story. The women also had opportunities to ask questions about her life, career, work with women entrepreneurs and work life balance. In turn, Cherie asked about the diversity of the company and spoke about the importance of supporting woman in the workforce and the great work that Indosat is doing to ensure its female staff have equal opportunities to succeed within the company.
Cherie also had a short meeting with Professor Mila Moeloek, Millenium Development Goals Chief for Indonesia.
It was a very successful trip that focused on Cherie's important work with women entrepreneurs in Indonesia. The support of companies like Nokia, Indosat, ExxonMobil and Qtel and the participation of local partners such as Mercy Corps was a wonderful display of enthusiasm for the new mobile service.