The economic effect of the COVID-19 virus can certainly be seen in all countries, including Indonesia. Unemployment continues to rise while business owners struggle to keep their business afloat. New skills and abilities are certainly needed to carry out plans to survive during these tough times.
To support her family, Sepitowati owns two businesses; a food stall and a tailoring service. In 2020, the decline of her income, which was unprecedented, finally happened due to a change in buyer behavior as many of her usual customers found themselves unemployed. Her tailoring business that mainly receive orders for school uniforms also took a hit with school activities reduced to remote learning.
In light of this, Sepitowati’s journey to economic recovery began when she took part in the Women Resiliency program, an initiative brought together by YCAB and HSBC to provide women micro-entrepreneurs trainings on financial literacy and sewing. With a new set of skill and a newly obtained sewing machine, Sepitowati managed to increase her productivity and was able to start a new business of selling sewn mask, resulting in her to receive orders worth 4 million rupiahs for a project.
“I’m glad that it was helpful. The training itself was easy to understand and the material was very informative. To all mothers, I would like to say, keep being enthusiastic about your business and don’t forget to take care of your health,” said Sepitowati.
Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) such as Sepitowati’s holds an important role in supporting economic recovery from the pandemic. MSMEs can be at the forefront of achieving the economic pillars of the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) by creating jobs, creating decent working conditions, business innovation, adapting, and mitigating negative economic, social, and environmental impacts on business operations for inclusive and sustainable economic growth. By equipping Sepitowati with new skills, she will be able to not only support her family but also bring impact by setting a good example to her peers; building resiliency to get through challenging times.