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Indonesian Government Collaborates with Bukalapak Startup to Empower Pesantren-Based SMEs

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The Deputy for Business Restructuring at the Ministry of Cooperatives and Small and Medium Enterprises (CSME), the Directorate General of Islamic Education at the Ministry of Religion, and PT Bukalapak.com signed a Memorandum of Understanding recently in Jakarta. It was related to the improvement of Indonesia SMEs.

The MoU is specifically about the Increasing the Capacity of Integrated Digital Entrepreneurship for Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) based on Pesantren (Muslims boarding school). As one of the unicorn startups in Indonesia, Bukalapak, was asked to join the collaboration and helped increase access to product marketing.

“This activity is part of the Community Economic Partnership Program coordinated by the Coordinating Ministry for the Economy as a manifestation of the Economic Equity Policy,” the Deputy for the Coordination of the Creative Economy, Entrepreneurship, and Competitiveness of the CSME, Coordinating Ministry for Economic Affairs, Rudy Salahuddin, said.

According to him, the activity was designed as a synergy and collaboration program between the government and the business world. It was also a follow up to the implementation of the recommendations of the Indonesian Ulema Council Economic Congress in 2017.

The Program Aims to Open the Mindset of Digital Entrepreneurs

“This is also a series of activities from the momentum of the National Santri (Muslims students) Day which was commemorated on October 22nd,” he said. The program, Rudy said, aims to open the mindset of digital entrepreneurship and encourage pesantren community-based MSMEs.

In this case, the program aims to ‘advance’ through utilizing the marketplace, improving product quality, and increasing product marketing access via the marketplace. As part of the program schedules, two days of technical guidance will be held and will be followed by intensive mentoring.

The program targets include religious teachers, teachers, education staff, pesantren business unit managers, alumni, and pesantren communities. This program specifically targeted those who already have businesses and finished products but still need quality and marketing improvements for the growth of their ventures.

“The potential of the digital economy in Indonesia which is growing rapidly is an important opportunity to be utilized so that it can advance the welfare of the wider community including pesantren-based MSMEs,” Rudy said. It was in line with the study conducted by McKinsey in 2018.

Indonesia’s e-commerce market value in 2022 is estimated to reach USD 55-65 billion, a significant increase from 2017 of USD 8 billion. Besides, the results of online individual consumption research per year show an increase in the value of consumption to USD 620 per year in 2022.

Bukalapak Constantly Spread the ‘Virus’ of Entrepreneurship

Meanwhile, Bukalapak which becomes the partner for this program has shown to contribute to encouraging an entrepreneur mindset in the community. Presenting in front of university students in Semarang, Muhammad Fadjrin, Bukalapak’s Co-founder supports students to dream big and become entrepreneurs.

The idea is not limited to dreams. To succeed and win, dreams must be realized. “The important thing is to start a business. So don’t be afraid to start. By starting, we are already one step forward,” he said at EGTC Semarang State University recently.

If it has already begun and the business fails, Fadjrin continued, then we must try again, get back up, and run the business. “Don’t be afraid to start and don’t be afraid to fail,” he ordered. Fadjrin’s statement apparently left an impression on students who attended the EGTC.

Greace is one of the students who claimed to be excited about starting a business after hearing Fadjrin’s inspiring story. “I never thought I could learn directly from the founder of Bukalapak. So far, I have only been able to see him in the media,” Greace concluded.

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