A young entrepreneur rises above the COVID-19 pandemic

Through the ILO’s enterpreneurship training programmes, a young entrepreneur in South Sulawesi is able to rebuild his business. The programmes are part of the UN joint programme focusing on employment and livelihoods.

The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are felt by everyone in Indonesia. Not only in terms of health, but also business and inc me. Many businesses experienced a decline in sales, a few even had to close their businesses. The same thing was experienced by Kandora Hijab.

Kandora is a hijab store founded by Aswin Trisakti Syam, 24 years old. Seeing the potential market for hijabs among female students, Aswin, a young man born in Bulukumba, South Sulawesi, approached one of his friends to build the business together in early 2020. They initially became a reseller of a well-known hijab fashion product before starting to produce their own products under the brand: Kandora hijab.

The name of Kandora is taken from the family’s name of Aswin’s business partner to show exclusivity and uniqueness. To attract the interest of today’s students, Kandora comes with a contemporary and environmentally friendly packaging, premium quality product, but still at an affordable price.

I also develop an innovative strategy called a “marketing wing”, engaging teenagers to promote Kandora web store through their social media accounts."

Aswin Trisakti Syam

When their sales started to rise, the pandemic COVID-19 hit, causing a drastic decline of sales. came. Campuses and schools, as their main customers, have been closed since March 2020 and, as a result, their production of up to 500 pieces per month has sharply decreased. “Our customers stop purchasing the products as they cannot go anywhere due to restriction of travelling and campuses’ activities,” he said.

Aswin and his partners refused to give up. They reduced the prices and sold the products at a well-known beach in South Sulawesi, Losari Beach. “We could get our capital back, even though we were tired and did not get any profit,” Aswin said.

Together with the ILO, we see the need to assist affected business actors."

Rahmatya Nuhung, Chairperson of Makassarpreneur

Aswin continued to try finding new ways to keep his business running when he learned about the entrepreneurship training programmes conducted by the ILO in collaboration with Riwani Globe and MakassarPreneur. These training programmes were part of the joint United Nation (UN) programme: the Employment and Livelihood project. Funded by COVID-19 Response and Recovery Multi-Partner Trust Fund (UN MPTF), the project is jointly implemented by four UN agencies including ILO.

Rahmatya Nuhung, Chairperson of Makassarpreneur, explained that the goal of this programme was to provide solutions for business actors in addressing the impact of the pandemic to businesses that has been running for almost two years. “Together with the ILO, we see the need to assist affected business actors,” she said.
During the training, Aswin learned about business management, business ideas and plans, entrepreneurial skills and market access. The training also opened his insight, making him realize that entrepreneurship does not only about selling goods but requires strategies to make the business developed and sustainable, particularly in today’s digital era.
Aswin now applies digital marketing to increase his sales, utilizing online promotions. He also collects positive reviews and testimonials from buyers to attract customers. He also develops an innovative strategy called a “marketing wing”, engaging teenagers to promote Kandora web store through their social media accounts. With these various new marketing methods, Kandora’s sales continue to climb.
Source: ILO Website