The Importance of MSMEs Entrepreneurial Spirit for Country’s Welfare

Oleh Adi Permana

Editor Vera Citra Utami

BANDUNG, -- Institut Teknologi Bandung Career Center in collaboration with ITB Alumni Office held a Saturday Lesson webinar with the theme “The Urgency of Entrepreneurship and SMEs for Nation Development” (28/08/21).

In the context of the ITB class of 2021 new students reception, this event presents Ir. Siti Azizah, MBA as a speaker in the hope that she could give student and alumni insights of potential entrepreneurial skills for future careers.

As Deputy for Entrepreneurship of the Ministry of Cooperatives and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), Ir. Siti explained that the current condition of business activists is dominated by Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) as much as 64.2 million. Their contribution to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is very large.

"This two-year pandemic has had a tremendous impact on SMEs," Ir. Siti emphasized. In the December 2020 Bappenas survey, some of the biggest non-financial problems due to the COVID-19 pandemic are decreasing orders or demand, difficulty in obtaining raw materials, increased prices, and the hurdle of distributing business products.

On the other hand, the worrying financial issues including labor salaries, fixed expenses, and bill payment. Despite having a lot of difficulties, around 84.8 percent of MSMEs will begin to operate normally again in 2021.

Improving the poor MSMEs condition, an entrepreneurship development program that can cut off numbers of open unemployment and poverty is needed. Furthermore, this program must also be able to encourage economic growth through raising awareness and quality of business for the general public, prospective entrepreneurs, novice entrepreneurs, and established entrepreneurs. This could be realized through the begetting of young entrepreneurs and ecosystems that are sustainable, innovative, productive, and be able to create employment.

The entrepreneurial ecosystem design consists of three stages: pre-incubation, incubation, and policy incentives. The target of pre-incubation is to identify the characteristics and mapping of potential entrepreneurs. The incubation stage is carried out through partner institutions. The design will facilitate the incubation process through the preparation of business models and soft skills training. This process also provides support such as preparation and visualization for entrepreneurs. For the design to work, policy incentives such as financing schemes and affirmations are important for prospective entrepreneurs.

One of the success factors for SMEs is digitalization. However, not all MSMEs in Indonesia are connected to the digital world. “The millennials we know are all digital and high-tech. So, we hope that MSME actors are connected to digitalization at this time,” Ir. Siti added.

She also explained that various digitalization approaches in business aspects can be assisted by mentors from universities to retail networks. The design is complemented by improvements and data management for analysis and decision-making in the sustainability of MSMEs. Through this approach model, new economic value creation can be achieved.

The development of technology-based entrepreneurship is a must for universities. With the combination of science and technology knowledge as well as sales and entrepreneurial competencies, the mindset of researchers, entrepreneurs, and businesses can be built through the student community and internships. "I hope that ITB will become an entrepreneurial university that could create more technopreneurship for young entrepreneurs to contribute to the national economy," she advised the students.

Reporter: Ruth Nathania (Teknik Lingkungan, 2019)
Translator: Aghisna Syifa Rahmani (Biologi, 2020)

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