A number of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) have succeeded in expanding their market and gain new customers after participating in the Business Incubation program supported by Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) Sinar Mas together with the Sjahrir Doctoral Foundation and the Womenpreneur Community.
Tatik, the owner of a snack food business fostered by PT Indah Kiat Pulp & Paper Tbk (IKPP) Perawang Riau Province, said that she successfully double her sales revenue after participating in the incubation training.
"I really thankful for the blessings of Ramadan this time, our orders up to 300 kilograms for various types of chips," said Tatik at the MSMEs Business Incubation Webinar.
She said that initially she only ran a home micro business in 2021, and almost closed down due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, after participating in the business incubation program for two months and getting assistance from mentors, her business has grown rapidly.
Moreover, since she received a reward for being selected as one of the five best MSMEs for the program, she used it as an additional capital for her business.
Tatik has innovate her products, not only cassava, shrimp and potato sticks, which have entered the Pekan Baru souvenir shop, she also makes "mating sticks” (literal translation) - a combination of mustard greens and cheese.
Likewise, Lailatul, an MSME player from Mojokerto fostered by PT Kertas Tjiwi Kimia Tbk was also able to expand the market to become one of the preferred souvenirs from the local area through cassava chips products.
“At first I didn't know how to run a business, let alone developing the strategy. However, since joining the incubation program, the business has finally grown and now I have my own distributor,” said Lailatul.
Her product is now branded as "Isokaya" which offers a unique form of potato-flavored cassava chips.
She added, many government officials from Sidoarjo also ordered the products for souvenirs.
One of the mentors from this program, Lily from PT IKPP Tangerang, said that there were few challenges in supporting MSMEs to advance their business.
However, through the assistance and incubation program, MSME players can be confident in entering the national market.
"We oversee at least 20 MSMEs, starting from teaching how to make financial reports, setting targets, products branding to finding the market," said Lily.
Meanwhile, Kartini Sjahrir, Chairperson of the Syarir Doctoral Foundation (YDS) said the women empowerment program for the MSMEs business is one of the examples of women's emancipation inheriting the true spirit by RA Kartini.
"Emancipation is how to open the opportunity and possibility for women to take part in all fields, in this case is MSMEs," Kartini said.
Through MSMEs, it is undeniable that women play a role in family economic resilience, especially during this Covid-19 pandemic. For this reason, the MSME players who are the mothers of the family should be appreciated.
Irma Sustika, Womenpreneur Community Coordinator, added that the program, which has been running since October 2021, was attended by 40 MSME players spread across a number of provinces.
The MSMEs players fostered by APP Sinar Mas are engaged in culinary, handicraft and service businesses.
They are supported continuously from October-December 2021 to expand market access, targeting national to global markets. Then, they were given assistance to digitize the business so that they are ready to enter the e-commerce business.
Currently, a number of products have entered the e-commerce business through the Karyaperempuan.id channel.
"We fully support and open the opportunity for MSMEs players who have local superior products to enter the Dutch market," Kartini added.
"Through the collaboration between the community, YDS & APP Sinar Mas, we hope it will empower local communities to improve the community welfare, environmental sustainability and also participate in protecting our earth from climate change," concluded APP Sinar Mas Chief Sustainability Officer, Elim Sritaba.