The global economy has been suffering from an unprecedented shock since early last year. With typically tight margins, micro, small and medium businesses have been severely impacted and are most vulnerable to the economic downturn. Together with Youth Business International (YBI) and funded by Google.org, YCAB Foundation has provided support to small business owners, specifically those that are women-owned, through the Rapid Response Recovery Program.
Ida Ayu, a small business owner who sells Sembako (Staple food) and perfumes, is no stranger to the economic downturn as she experienced a great decrease in Sembako sales and was forced to close one of her income streams. With the help of her children, Ida Ayu continued by solely focusing on selling perfumes. Prior to the pandemic, her perfume sales were in great demand, especially for the large bottles. Unfortunately, Ida Ayu was forced to lower her selling price because of the weakened purchasing power. Her perfume products are now priced at a range of IDR 20k to IDR 25k for small bottles and IDR 150k for large bottles.
Ida Ayu mainly does business with people within her social circle but often uses WhatsApp and Facebook to market her products to old friends. Upon participating in the Rapid Response Recovery Program, Ida now hopes to expand her business by leveraging online marketplace such as Shopee and Lazada.
“The training was very useful. There was a lot of things that I did not know prior to the training. I am now very interested to sell my products online. I have asked many questions and just need to practice it later, ”said Ida Ayu.
Through the program, Ida Ayu gained new knowledge and learned the opportunity online market brings. In her mentoring session, she further consulted on how to enter the online marketplace and though she ran short on time to create product labels, she was able to apply the knowledge she gained on managing finances by recording her capital, income, and expenses. Now, aside from being busy in her planning to expand online, Ida Ayu is also preparing a new business plan to sell refilled drinking water which will start after Eid Al-Fitr 2021.