It is undeniable that UMKM (Small and Medium Enterprise/Usaha Mikro Kecil & Menengah) becomes the driving force of a nation’s economic. According to Indonesia Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs, Hatta Rajasa, today’s UMKM players in Indonesia reached 51,4 million business units, or 99,91 % of the total business players in Indonesia (http://www.bataviase.co.id/node/575278). This means UMKM really turns into the backbone of the nation’s economy. If UMKM does not receive serious attention, either from government or other respective parties, it will be fatal for Indonesian economic condition.
Crucial problems faced by UMKM players remain at about the fundamentals of business management. Among these are SDM (Human Resources /Sumber Daya Manusia), Marketing, and capital. These are the problems, which become the basic instrument for the development of UMKM in Indonesia.
These problems are much related with various things in business. SDM becomes a major factor in this context, because SDM becomes a source of major driving force in any field. Therefore the factors of education and skills of SDM become logical consequences for total support. Especially now, entering the global business era, no more distance between one business player with another. Business to Business also grows closer due to the technology. Even with Facebook, market penetration becomes extremely broad, almost limitless. Thus competition becomes very competitive. This is the reason behind the importance of good quality Human Resources.
Entering cyber era, export-oriented SME’s will face harder competition, including handicraft and furniture, the challenges are harder, due to external factors (economic condition & world’s political situation) and global competitions are greatly affecting them. Of course, still fresh in our memory about Global financial crisis faced by The United States several years ago. That incident resulted in export world experiencing a quite significant degradation. Many UMKM players hope that their business could face a better progress.
“My hope, the resurrection of export products, especially furniture & handicraft, in facing market competition could become better than previous years.” said Deddy (Palm Craft Jogja), a Handicraft export player from Yogyakarta, in his short message with IFFINA journalist team. Furthermore he hoped that IFFINA 2011 moment could restore the lost market in several European Countries due to global crisis, back to normal. In addition, it is also a challenge for creative industry colleagues to be more creative to catch market opportunities in this moment and to benefit all of us.
The same thing also expressed by Timboel Rahardjo, a Yogyakarta handicraft export player, in an online chatting, “This year we are still facing a significant decline, hopefully IFFINA 2011 can change the condition into a better one.” he hoped.
Marketing is also a major factor of UMKM empowerment, because this field has become the major driving force for business continuity. Without good marketing, business will face stagnation that lead to a decline in business.
While the factors that are not less importance for UMKM is financing/capital. This field covers financial system for UMKM, access to credit, and knowledge upgrading about UMKM credit system. However this element becomes very important for UMKM empowerment. As we know, there are many UMKM players that are poor in capital and also poor in assets, therefore with a system that supports and favors small and medium enterprise, it will mean a lot for their development.
Now, the very first thing that needs to get support is mindset and awareness of many parties about the importance of UMKM role in Indonesia’s economic growth. Therefore with this awareness, will create concerns for the community – well known as – the resilient entrepreneur. *** [Uung- IFFINA 2011 Journalist team — translated by Engelina Yosephine Puteri Wonoprabowo]