According to BPS (2013), there are 55.8 million small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Indonesia. However, nowadays SMEs are still difficult to develop with lack of funding as the main reason. Most of SMEs funding comes from financial institutions. Therefore, to grow faster, SMEs need to have bigger access to financial institutions.

One of the financial institutions that can be accessed by SMEs is saving and loan cooperatives (S&L cooperatives). In 2013, there are 180 thousands S&L cooperatives in Indonesia based on the data from Ministry of Cooperatives and SMEs. The existence of S&L cooperatives can potentially improve the accessibility of SMEs to financial institutions because S&L cooperatives provides easiness to obtain loan compared to other financial institutions by giving easier loan requirement, faster loan disbursement, affordability of S&L cooperative services, and availability of non-loan services.

S&L cooperatives are part of Micro Finance Institutions (MFIs) that have critical roles in providing financial products/services to SMEs and households, by operating in areas where banking services are limited or not available. Based on this fact, the Government of Indonesia (through the Ministry of Cooperatives and SMEs and Bappenas) have been designing policies and work programs to strengthening and empowering the S&L cooperatives. In order for these Government’s institutions be able to evaluate and design policies and work programs, the Ministry and Bappenas are in need to conduct a study to assess the development progress, challenges and opportunities to further strengthening and empowering of the S&L cooperatives.

Based on the importance of S&L cooperatives for SMEs development, DEFINIT were appointed by the survey was intended World Bank to hold a survey on strengthening and empowerment S&L cooperatives in 2014. To complete the previous survey which is held by World Bank on S&L cooperatives from supply side (cooperative’s perspective). The main objective of this survey is to gather information and data (through the demand side survey) to complement supply side data that have been collected.

This survey was conducted in seven provinces, i.e. North Sumatera, DKI Jakarta, West Java, Central Java, East Java, East Nusa Tenggara, and South Sulawesi. Respondents of this survey consist of members or prospective members/partners/customers from 54 selected S&L cooperatives in 13 kabupaten/kota. There were 14 respondents that were chosen from each cooperative. Therefore, the total respondents for this survey were 756 respondents. The results of this survey will provide recommendations for the Ministry of Cooperatives and SMEs and Bappenas to prepare policies and strategies for empowering S&L cooperatives and enable giving better financial services to SMEs and to society.