Financial Access and Socio-Economic Development in Indonesia


Globally, 1.4 billion people are considered to be “financially excluded,” meaning they cannot safely access appropriate and affordable financial services. Muslim communities have particularly high levels of financial exclusion – for example, Muslim-majority countries have 24% lower participation rates in active borrowing from banks, and 29% lower rates of bank account ownership compared to other countries.

In Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim majority country, the vast majority of financial enterprises are classified as small to medium enterprises and lack access to capital in the same way as larger corporations. President Joko Widodo has actively sought to promote Islamic finance-based development initiatives, through both grassroots support of Islamic microfinance as well as top-down policy support.

Dr Tanvir Uddin is founder & CEO of Wholesum, an impact-focused investment platform that enables investors to support socio-economic development through a global portfolio of small and medium-sized enterprise and microfinance financing. He joins SSEAC Stories to discuss financial access and socio-economic development in Indonesia.

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Natali Pearson

Dr Natali Pearson is Curriculum Coordinator at the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre, a university-wide multidisciplinary center at the University of Sydney, Australia. Her research focuses on the protection, management and interpretation of underwater cultural heritage in Southeast Asia.

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