Starting a new business in the midst of a pandemic

Mariana Devi Ora, or as she is usually called Mama De, never thought she could find a new business that many people are interested in. Previously, Mama De ran a bag business made from the original ikat weaving from East Nusa Tenggara. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, sales turnover decreased drastically.

How did Mama De start her new business? And what kind of business did Mama De do? It all started with a single question on a registration form. Mama De is one of the participants in the Training of Entrepreneurs in Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara. This training was organized by LKP UKMK (Consulting Institute for the Empowerment of Small and Medium Enterprises and Cooperatives), as part of the Employment and Livelihood project funded by UN COVID-19 Response and Recovery Multi-Partner Trust Fund (UN MPTF). This project is jointly implemented by four UN agencies, namely the ILO, UNDP, UNAIDS and UNHCR.

Mama De's new business is in the culinary field, namely Burger, and is named "Burger Mama De".

Mama De has a complete set of bread making equipment and she regularly makes bread for her family. She also thought, "Rather than just to feed the family, why not trying to sell it?" Then came the idea to make a burger with the same stuffing, namely chicken, but with a variety of flavoured buns. There are original, pandan, chocolate and strawberry flavours. Because according to Mama De, burgers with various flavours have never existed in Kupang City, so she became the first person to pioneer this business.

Mama De got a lot of knowledge in Entrepreneurship training. Through this training, groups of young people, rural people are trained online to increase their income, both starting new businesses and those already running. Calculation of unit costs and Marketing are materials that Mama De really likes. According to Mama De, while attending other trainings, she has never received this kind of knowledge, and this is very helpful in running her business.

After attending the training, Mama De continued to apply the knowledge gained during the training, especially about marketing. She does online marketing, by posting each of his products on Facebook and also Whatsapp. Apart from products, Mama De also posts testimonials from customers. This adds to the confidence of people who have never tried a Mama De burger. There was even one of Mama De's customers, when she came from Sumba, she immediately came and looked for Mama De's burger, because it tasted very good and the price was very affordable.

At the end of this meeting, Mama De said, "My hope is that the business that I have started can run well and can develop, so that it can open up job opportunities for the people of East Nusa Tenggara." Even Mama De's customers hope that she can open her business in Sumba. Mama De also hopes that the people of East Nusa Tenggara who do not have a job and are still looking for work can discover what talent is in them and can be developed into a business that generates income. "The point is that we have the determination, we have the motivation and spirit in ourselves, let's try, don't be afraid to fail, if we fail, we try again," said Mama De.