Indonesia - 20 March, 2023
After the success of the first round of the Climate-Friendly and Community-based Business Competition (KURRI) along with "Business Meeting Day and Farmer Field Meeting" in 2022, this year Tropenbos Indonesia is again organizing a "Business Gathering Day" as the peak of the 2nd round of KURRI activities which took place at the District Hall on Wednesday, 15 March 2023. This event received full support from the District Agency of Community Empowerment and Village Administration as a form of commitment to support the development of climate-friendly micro-enterprises. Present at the opening ceremony was the Regent's Expert Staff for Economic Affairs and Development of Ketapang Regency, Junaidi Firawan.
The 2nd round of KURRI activities have been underway since June 2022 under the umbrella of the MoMo4C (Mobilizing More for Climate) Programme. "KURRI selected climate-friendly micro businesses that contribute positively to climate change adaptation efforts," said Edi Purwanto, Director of Tropenbos Indonesia. Businesses that were selected during the KURRI pre-selection and selection process received assistance for business development, starting from increasing capacity in preparing business plan, improving product quality, financial management (simple bookkeeping), and expanding marketing network, to increasing social and environmental benefits from the existing business.
According to Triana, MoMo4C Tropenbos Indonesia Program Coordinator, this year's KURRI is again emphasizing on participants' understanding of climate change, impacts, and mitigation and adaptation efforts, as well as strengthening capacity through training in preparing business plan. "After the competition, we will intensively assist the KURRI finalists to develop their businesses," she said.
This year's KURRI participants came from 8 villages from 4 sub-districts in Ketapang Regency with 8 types of businesses from 14 business actors who passed the pre-selection stage in July 2022. After being assessed by a team of judges, 7 business actors were finally selected as finalists, who then received assistance for business development for approximately 5 months (September 2022 – January 2023). They come from 7 villages (4 sub-districts) with 5 types of businesses: horticulture products, woven crafts, processed foods (banana stem chips and herbal medicine), and organic fertilizer. Among the winners, the idea of making use of banana stems, which have been thrown away as waste, and preserving herbal herbs inherited from family tradition, which were originally consumed only by members of the family, was able to captivate the judges.
The selection evaluation focuses on the participants' business development potential, the extent to which production, marketing, human resource capacity and financing potential can develop if they are selected as KURRI finalists and/or winners. In addition, the focus of the evaluation is also on business sustainability from an economic, social and environmental perspectives, in addition to the presence or absence of local innovation and the relevance of the participant's business to climate-friendly criteria. Some of the criteria seen in business continuity are the provision of jobs, elements of education for local communities and involvement of women and youth, as well as sustainability of raw materials by implementing sustainable management.
In addition to product exhibition from business actors/finalists and KURRI winners of both last year and this year, the event was also enlivened by business matching among the attendees, and interactive talk shows with speakers from UPPB (Rubber Collective Processing and Marketing Unit), Super Nova, and BRI. The various questions asked by the participants were mostly related to efforts to develop micro-enterprises through collaboration and strengthening of marketing and financial network. On this occasion, several representatives from Dekranasda, market place, companies, and government agencies also expressed their willingness to support micro-entrepreneurs, either by accepting the products or by providing capital if they meet the requirements. BRI, for example, has a financing product in the form of small business loan that can be accessed by micro-entrepreneurs who have been running their business for at least 6 months. There is also Super Nova, which is ready to assist and strengthen micro-enterprises at district level, and then link them with markets and sources of financing when they have been ready.
Donatus Rantan, district expert staff in the field of community and gender strengthening, in his closing speech said, “It's not a matter of looking for champions, but learning together on how to run business. For example, through bookkeeping training, micro-entrepreneurs can record their business better." He stressed the need for cooperation between parties, both among business actors themselves, with the district government, with other NGOs, as well as with the private sector. He also said, “Although the government cannot always be physically present in the field, effective communication shows that there is still strong support from the local government for this activity." In addition, he advised, involving the millennial group is also a way that can be taken by micro entrepreneurs to market their products effectively.**