Micro, small and medium entrepreneurs (MSMEs) have to be assisted to make them no longer seasonal entrepreneurs during the month of Ramadan.
Jakarta (Indonesia Window) – Indonesian Muslims are expected not always be seasonal entrepreneurs during the month of Ramadan, Achmad Iqbal, Division Head of the Islamic Business Partnership & Acceleration at the National Committee of Islamic Economy and Finance in Jakarta on Friday (March 17).
“If our people want to break their fast during the month of Ramadan, usually look for shops closest to their houses to buy foods and drinks from sellers, most of whom are micro, small and medium entrepreneurs (MSMEs),” Achmad Iqbal said at the Muslim LifeFair that is taking place on March 17-19, 2023.
According to Achmad, MSME entrepreneurs, some of whom are participants in the ongoing Muslim LifeFair (Exhibition of Business to Consumer Islamic Industry in Indonesia), must be assisted to make them no longer seasonal entrepreneurs.
Achmad explained, in general there are four aspects that pose problems for MSMEs in Indonesia, namely market access, strengthening the quality and quantity of products and continuity of production as well as legality and financing.
However, it is not easy to solve these problems, and therefore there should be cooperation for all parties, he said, adding that the government cannot work alone but should join efforts with large, medium, small and micro businesses as well as tutors, companying agents and universities.
“To help them, we must synergize and collaborate on a number of things. We have to strengthen the synergy on the capacity of MSME entrepreneurs through training and mentoring activities,” he said.
“Then there must be synergy in terms of financing inclusion. We should help MSME entrepreneurs by providing assistance and finding partners for financing cooperation,” he said.
According to Achmad, several Islamic financial institutions have signed a memorandum of understanding with MSMEs on Friday (March 17) on the sidelines of the Muslim LifeFair.
“We also have to synergize in terms of marketing, digitalization, including partnership synergy. And then we now optimize digital services,” he said.
He pointed out that the National Committee of Islamic Economy and Finance together with several ministries and institutions have carried out several initiatives in terms of financing and marketing.
“Currently we are pushing for sharia super funding, in which MSME entrepreneurs have the opportunity to issue shares and sukuks (Islamic bond or “Sharia-compliant” bond). Investors have also started to be interested in small and medium enterprises,” he added.
As of 2022, there are already 91 MSMEs that have issued shares and sukuks with a value of around 185.69 billion rupiahs (1 dollar = 15,374 rupiahs), Achmad noted.
Reporting by Indonesia Window