Young entrepreneurs from East Nusa Tenggara won Business Competition

Three participants of the Trainings of Entrepreneurship (ToE) 1 and 2 had won the Business Competition that was held by Riwani Globe, the Small-Medium Enterprises and Co-operatives Empowerment Consulting Agency (LKP UKMK), and ILO at the end of 2021. The series of trainings and competition were a part of the Employment and Livelihood project, jointly managed by four United Nations (UN) agencies in Indonesia. This project is funded by the UN COVID-19 Response and Recovery Multi-Partner Trust Fund (UN MPTF). 

ILO entrepreneurship specialist, Budi Maryono, explained that the joint project had enabled ILO to hold trainings for vulnerable groups that had been affected by COVID-19 pandemic, especially in the eastern part of Indonesia. “We hope that through these trainings, vulnerable groups, such as women, people with disabilities, and people living with HIV/AIDS have an opportunity to increase their income from their current businesses or future ones,” he said. 

The winners of the Business Competition have shown their resilience amid COVID-19 pandemic. These are their stories of survival during challenging situations, equipped by the knowledge they gained from the series of trainings provided by LKP UKMK and ILO.


Ivone Mariani Bire – Winner of Business Development Category

The owner of I Craft Kupang, 26 years old Ivone Mariane Bire, started her business since she was still in her first year of middle school. At that time, Ivone began selling hand-crafted items, such as flowers made from flannel, to get additional pocket money. Ivone, who is originally from Sabu, East Nusa Tenggara, continued her business as she studied in the university with a scholarship from the Karya Salemba Empat Foundation (Yayasan KSE).

Ivone admitted that her journey in establishing her business was not smooth. Many people doubted that she would do well and advised her to get a salaried office job. She said that it was difficult to get financial support because her business was not seen as profitable. 

“I felt challenged and wanted to prove that these assumptions are wrong. I wanted to show young Indonesians, especially in Kupang, that I and my business would be successful and could help a lot of people,” said Ivone. 

The opportunity to develop her business arrived unexpectedly. Ivone was invited to participate in the ToE 1 held by LPK UKMK and ILO on 17-19 June 2021. At first, she was not sure that she wanted to participate in the training. At that time, she was in the middle of fulfilling a large order for her products.

“I decided to participate in the training because I thought this opportunity would not come twice. It turned out that the training gave me the knowledge I needed, such as how to develop a business mindset, create and explain business ideas, online marketing, cost calculation, and create a simple business plan,” said Ivone.

She said that the knowledge that she earned from the 3-days training enforced her belief that her small business could help her fulfilling her dreams. Ivone was also thankful as the mentoring program that was included in the training had assisted her in implementing her newly acquired knowledge.

Several months after the first training, she was chosen to participate in the ToE 2 that was held by Riwani Globe. In three days, Ivone learned about small businesses, advanced marketing, financial accounting, business licensing, online marketing, and HIV sensitization. 

“I just learned that financial accounting and online marketing are crucial things in running small businesses but are often forgotten,” she said. Additionally, the trainers mentoring Ivone assisted her to obtain an official business permit that further encouraged Ivone to build her business.


Soleman Wolla Mawo –Winner in Social Business Category

The chairperson of Gollu Rade business group, Soleman Wolla Mawo, was interested in producing tea from moringa leaves after he discovered their health properties, among them is the additional nutrients to help preventing stunting in children. He convinced the farmers in Southwest Sumba district, East Nusa Tenggara, to start a business together as an effort to increase their income.

Before Gollu Rade started their moringa tea production, most of the community members have consumed the leaves both fresh and cooked. Soleman said that he had hoped that he could share the benefits of the plant to a wider market by processing it into tea.

After participating in ToE1, Soleman immediately applied the new knowledge that he gained in Gollu Rade. “The knowledge I gained from the first training, such as marketing and cost calculation, are very valuable for our business. Our group evaluated and reviewed our business strategy and plans based on this knowledge,” said Soleman.

The information about online marketing and business permit gained from the ToE2 was equally important, according to Soleman. The mentoring during these two trainings, despite online, also helped Soleman and Gollu Rade business group to review their business. 

Soleman explained that entrepreneurship skills gained from the trainings have helped the Gollu Rade group in increasing its income. The eleven farmers who are members of the group obtained new knowledge and experience, and saw an increase in income that helped them to pay for their children’s tuition and to fulfil the family’s nutritional needs from processed moringa leaves.

“The most important thing is that we can show that moringa leaves and their derivative products have socially benefited the villagers and the communities around the village,” he said.


Rajo Hendrico –Winner in Business Innovation category

Hard work, confidence and responsibility are a number of things that serve as the keys to success, according to Rajo Hendrico, the owner of Uncu Make-Up Artist in Kupang. East Nusa Tenggara. The support from family and business partners is equally valuable to him as someone who is living with a disability in running his make-up artist service that he started on 14 April 2019.

Rajo participated in the series of trainings held by LKP UKMK and Riwani Globe with an aim to continue developing his business. He explained that business ideation, marketing and cost calculation are the important lessons that he learned from the trainings. 

“I recently learned the difference between cost calculation for products- and service-based businesses. This is very useful for my business planning,” he said. 

Rajo added that business analysis, various marketing methods, social media usage and financial accounting lessons from ToE2 had also helped him in operating his business. In addition, the mentoring program has encouraged him to continue his business and to be more determined in life. He said that he will use the cash prize from being the first winner of the Business Innovation category in the competition as capital to buy rental clothes and beauty equipment to support his make-up business. 

“I realized that this is just the beginning and there is still a long road ahead of me. I will continue to find the opportunities to grow and develop the business,” he said.