Start Your Business Training Workshop for Transgender Persons in Indonesia

The objective of the workshop is to promote the rights of transgender people in Indonesia, especially to reach transgender people in starting the business.


Ministry of Health estimated 613,435 people living with HIV (PLHIV) in Indonesia in 2015 with the HIV epidemic in Indonesia concentrated among key affected population (Inject Drug Users, Female sex Workers, MSM). The island of Java, which includes the capital Jakarta, is the highest concentration of HIV cases in Indonesia. Of the 34 provinces spread across the vast territories of Indonesia, two provinces represent more than a quarter (28%) of the national total of people living with HIV – DKI Jakarta and Papua. While the national HIV prevalence rate was estimated at 0.3 % among people aged 15-49 years of age while, HIV prevalence among transgender in Indonesia estimated 24.6%. (Ministry of Health, 2017).

Transgender encounter unique biological, social, cultural, legal and economic issues, which put them marginalised legally and economically. The last decades, Indonesia has targeted transgender and other key affected population with intensive HIV prevention, however, the problem in transgender is more complex than other key affected population. Stigma and discrimination limit their access to get access to education and confine their job options scale to finally selling sex, trapped at debt cycle with limited choices to find alternative works. Moreover, low bargaining position among transgender in practising safe sex influence them into vulnerable group on HIV transmission.

ILO study on stigma and discrimination under the PRIDE project shows only 10% of transgender persons work in the formal economy (majority as hairdresser) but most probably in an informal job, 40% as sex workers and the rest of the group, 50%, work as street performers. Many TGs aspire to be entrepreneurs partly because of limited opportunities in formal employment. Some TG persons groups already have economic activities (as a cooperative) but they face problems in management and sustainability of the business.

ILO has conducted a first training of 23 transgender persons on financial literacy in 2017. After one year, a focus-group discussion of the trainees to monitor and self – evaluate the results of financial literacy training found that the training had been successful in changing the TGs mind-set to value the importance of financial planning. It also shows significant changes among transgender persons such as improved ability to manage their finance (setting the goals, setting priorities, regular saving, recording daily expenses and cash flow, and achieving their short-term goals). These results also showed that some TGs used those basic financial literacy elements to start a business.

The aspiration of being entrepreneur remains the main alternative solution to earn income that is more regular. However, they assessed that they need additional skills to strengthen their vision as entrepreneurs, select the appropriate business type, overcome potential failures and establish a supportive environment to start a business. This would help them ensure their businesses are sustainable; therefore, they would enjoy the benefits of a more stable and better life, and be less vulnerable to HIV.

To continue promoting the rights of transgender persons in Indonesia through skills development, and to reach TGs who wish to start a business, the ILO will organize a 5 day training based on the proven “Start your business” methodology. After the training, the business coaching will be provided 2 times during this year to monitor the progress on implementing the business. The continuation of business coaching will be identified further based on the progress.

Overall Objective

  • To promote the rights of transgender people in Indonesia, especially to reach transgender people in starting the business.

Expected output:

  • Trained 25 transgender people on start your business training using existing tools developed by ILO