Semarang, February 20 2020 – The batik industry not only preserves culture but also drives the country’s economy. The Ministry of Industry noted that the export value of batik during the first half of 2019 was estimated at US $ 17.99 million or Rp 253 billion. The main destination countries for batik exports are Japan, the United States of America and Europe. The Ministry of Industry also stated that the batik sector is dominated by small and medium industries which are located in 101 centres throughout Indonesia, with a total of 47 thousand business units and employed up to 200,000 workers.
In order to empower more people to build a sustainable batik business and create jobs, YCAB Foundation (Yayasan Cinta Anak Bangsa) together with PT Bank HSBC Indonesia (HSBC Indonesia) have established Rumah Belajar Batik Semarang (Semarang Batik Learning House or RB Batik Semarang). The main purpose of the program is to reduce the unemployment rate for productive age citizens from economically challenged backgrounds, by providing vocational skills training to enable the participants to become independent, or even create new jobs. More than 150 participants a year will receive batik training, entrepreneurship and online marketing assistance. At the end of the first stage of training, each group will receive venture capital assistance in the form of batik tools and materials worth IDR 5 million to start their business. After three months, a batik design competition between groups will be held to increase creativity and entrepreneurship. Prizes in the form of venture capital assistance worth IDR 10 million will be given to the best business groups.
“We hope that someday RB Batik Semarang graduates can become batik entrepreneurs that are not only independent but also create new jobs. This is the level of independence that YCAB and HSBC Indonesia aims for, to break the poverty cycle in a sustainable manner, ” said Veronica Colondam, Founder and CEO of YCAB Foundation.
In 2015 YCAB also built a Rumah Belajar Batik in Pekalongan, Central Java and successfully cultivated batikpreneurs. In addition, YCAB has also provided batik training for the mentally disabled who are under the care of Samekto Karti Mental Institution in Pemalang, Central Java.
“We support the establishment of RB Batik Semarang to empower and increase the employment rate for underprivileged people who are still in their productive age. This is a reflection of our commitment to building a long-term business. By contributing to the progress of the community, HSBC Indonesia also takes a role in advancing the economy, especially in Semarang, “said Nuni Sutyoko, Head of Corporate Sustainability at PT Bank HSBC Indonesia.
Located in the Tambangan area, RB Batik Semarang was officially opened on February 20th, 2020. The opening ceremony was also attended by government representatives, namely Drs. Mustohar, SH, M. Hum as Head of Semarang City Industry Office and Drs. Bambang Purnomo A.H, MM as the Head of the Economy of the City Regional Secretariat Semarang. This event also announced the winners of a batik design contest for alumni of Rumah Belajar Batik Pekalongan and Samekto Karti Mental Institution in Pemalang, Central Java.