Labuan Bajo, March 2023– Mastercard, YCAB Foundation, Bank Rakyat Indonesia (BRI), Grab and PT Hotel Indonesia Natour (HIN) have joined hands to empower the local micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) communities in Labuan Bajo, East Nusa Tenggara, by providing a training program. The training program, which took place in November and December 2022, aimed to reduce communication barriers and boost entrepreneurship skills among local communities.
The World Bank found that more than 98 percent of closed firms in Indonesia in March 2021 are from the creative and tourism sector. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought unprecedented challenges to MSMEs and the tourism sector. Such programs will therefore create opportunities for local communities to rebuild their economy and reestablish their businesses. According to the Ministry of Investment/BKPM, MSMEs contribute over 61.07 percent to Indonesia’s total gross domestic product (GDP) and employ around 97 percent of Indonesia’s domestic workforce. The training program will help the MSMEs to thrive and contribute positively to Indonesia’s economic growth.
Sandiaga Uno, Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy of Indonesia showed his support, “I wish success for the Power Up The MSMEs program, which was designed to help improve the quality of local MSMEs in tourist destinations. Thank you for the excellent collaboration from YCAB Foundation, Mastercard, BRI, Grab Indonesia, Bank Indonesia, and PT HIN in supporting the growth of MSMEs in one of the Super Priority Destination, namely Labuan Bajo, to increase employment opportunities as well as support the development of local MSMEs.”
The training program focused on teaching English language and Product Branding capabilities, benefiting 100 MSMEs in Labuan Bajo by helping them improve their business outcomes. Through hybrid intervention (offline and online), the program has empowered participants to communicate verbally in English while further enabling them to pivot their business online. The program is also part of Mastercard, YCAB Foundation, BRI, Grab and HIN’s commitment to supporting the government’s efforts in developing Labuan Bajo as a super priority destination for tourism and promoting it as a leading tourist destination in Indonesia.
“This program is expected to increase program participants’ business capacity while supporting the local tourism sector, and with the newly added English Language training, this program has reported a satisfaction rate of 98 percent. YCAB Foundation believes that the power of education and training can empower the tourism sector in Indonesia. To our partners who have actively supported this program, we thank you for your participation and partnership,” said Veronica Colondam, Founder and CEO of YCAB Foundation.
This partnership, according to BRI Consumer Business Director Handayani, is a way to help promote tourism in Indonesia. With a variety of features and programs to promote the way of life of those who wish to experience the wonder of vacationing in Indonesia, BRI offers the BRI Wonderful Indonesia Credit Card. Customers can choose from 5 different BRI Wonderful Indonesia Credit Card designs, and can benefit from features such as the automatic Traveloka Points conversion, double points for purchases made at businesses in the travel and hotel categories, and a welcome bonus of 250,000 Traveloka Points for their first transaction.
Furthermore, Handayani added, “The Labuan Bajo MSME training program cannot be carried out without the support of BRI Wonderful Indonesia Credit Card and Mastercard users, where from each IDR 1,000,000 donation they made, Mastercard is able to donate IDR 100,000 to support training activities throughout the program period from October 1 to November 15 2022”
Neneng Goenadi, Country Managing Director, Grab Indonesia said, “At Grab, we believe that small cities are the future of Indonesia, including Labuan Bajo and other Super Priority Destination cities, especially with the development of digital technology. The hope is that by equipping local MSMEs in Labuan Bajo with entrepreneurial skills, they can benefit from the digital economy era. The hope is that through this program, MSME players will not only be able to develop their businesses but also be able to access a wider market, and have an overall impact on regional economic growth.”
Meanwhile, Christine Hutabarat, President Director of PT Hotel Indonesia Natour, said, “In line with the momentum of recovery and redevelopment of the tourism industry after the Covid-19 pandemic, PT Hotel Indonesia Natour (HIN) has a commitment and moral responsibility to support the revival of the tourism industry through strategies to increase accessibility, amenities and attractions. HIN believes that through collaborative activities carried out with YCAB Foundation, BRI, Mastercard, and Grab, which aims to improve the communication and marketing capabilities of MSMEs in Labuan Bajo, that will sustainably support the development of quality, creativity, and marketing reach for products and crafts typical of Labuan MSMEs Bajo, as one of the super priority tourist destinations.”
Navin Jain, President Director, PT Mastercard Indonesia, said, “The government has been preparing Labuan Bajo as a new tourist destination in Indonesia. In addition to optimizing tourist attractions in the city, the regional tourism office has also continued to strengthen institutional and community capacities. Mastercard is delighted to work with YCAB Foundation, BRI, Grab and HIN to support the government’s effort by equipping local MSMEs in Labuan Bajo with the necessary skills to provide the best experiences to foreign tourists and thereby grow their businesses. This initiative also reinforces Mastercard’s commitment to advancing inclusive economic growth by supporting underserved MSMEs and helping them unlock the potential of Indonesia’s digital economy.”
The training program for MSMEs in Labuan Bajo is also part of Mastercard’s global commitment to bring a total of one billion people and 50 million MSMEs into the digital economy by 2025. In Indonesia, through the Mastercard Academy 2.0 program, a flagship program by the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth, Mastercard has helped over 77,000 MSMEs transform digitally since its launch in 2019, helping them survive and grow during and after the pandemic. With this achievement, Mastercard will continue this momentum by reaching out to more Indonesian MSMEs in the coming years.