How can people in poorer, remote regions of Indonesia sustainably be empowered to live a financially better life? How can we strengthen the economic condition of an entire village community, do so permanently and individually help people in need? These are the questions our board members asked themselves. Together with the Indonesian partner organisation Gema Alam, we wanted to give our micro-borrowers the opportunity to develop their business skills and develop new ideas in mutual exchange.
“The microloans are a big help to our people,” confirms Juaini, Gema Alam’s project coordinator, “but people are not used to planning long-term or keeping accurate records of their earnings or expenses. They run their business as they feel like and only do what appears necessary to them. They don’t have any priorities for their daily routine. This also prevents them from determining if and how their business is developing. ”
This is exactly what a two-day seminar is tackling, which we have been able to finance thanks to numerous donors. 23 small business owners, mostly women, took part in this “business management training.”
“In simulations, participants learned to showcase and promote their products,” Juaini explains. “Other seminar parts were: The importance of good customer relationships, financial management, creating a business plan and the social responsibility of the cooperatives in the respective village community.”
For Tobias Schüßler, director of GMI, this seminar is exactly the right way to achieve the goals set for sustainable development assistance: “Project participants not only receive loans, but at the same time learn to learn vital skills to improve their businesses and address social problems in their villages. This will strengthen the village community as a whole in the long term. “