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As part of APRIL2030 we’re committed to drive inclusive progress in Indonesia’s developing economy through transformative initiatives in livelihoods, education, healthcare and female empowerment.

That’s why APRIL is collaborating with Krealogi - a digital supply chain platform for craft enterprises to digitise order management, product planning, inventory management, and cost tracking - to execute a year-long Micro, Small, Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) training programme called SEMARAK.

In the spirit of MSMEs Day every June 27, let’s take a closer look at the impact of the programme on local communities.

Capacity building through collaboration

The name ‘Krealogi’ is derived from combining the words “creative business” and the suffix -logy, referring to “the knowledge”. Krealogi is part of Du Anyam, Indonesia’s leading social enterprise focusing on crafts. It was founded in 2014 by friends Azalea Ayuningtyas, Yohanna Keraf and Melia Winata to empower women in rural areas and improve their livelihood.

Krealogi came out of Du Anyam’s pain points working with non-digitized SMEs, which often face limitations in production capacity and sales potential. Hence, SEMARAK mainly focuses on improving digital literacy, marketing and supply-chain management, product knowledge, and better understanding to make business more sustainable.

SEMARAK started in January with an assessment by the Krealogi team of the potential of 33 SMEs in crafting, fashion and food in five regencies: Siak, Kampar, Pelalawan, Kuantan Singingi, and Meranti.

Krealogi Senior Project Coordinator, Esti Khoerunnisa, said that the assessment gave her team a better understanding of what challenges need to be addressed in training.

“The first challenge is the gap between the businesses’ capacity and the potential market demand. This is due to owners’ limited knowledge of the standardisation of product quality, partnership procedures, packaging strategies, product delivery, marketing tools and product innovation,” Esti said.

Moreover, since most of the training sessions were conducted online, challenges also came from the participants’ knowledge of online meeting tools.

“They were not used to utilising digital tools like Zoom. That’s why, at the beginning of the training, we gave them intense guidance on how to use those tools,” Esti said.

Krealogi reported that after three months of the training, there is a 91 per cent improvement in the participants' ability to use digital media and applications such as Zoom, Google Forms and Krealogi’s mobile app.

The app speeds up procurement processes that would otherwise have to be done on pen and paper and helps ensure transparency.

From design to marketing

The next step was a selection of two businesses, Dhuha Tailor and Suza Knit, to be developed under close monitoring from Krealogi and APRIL’s community development team.

“The two businesses were selected based on their progress during our online training sessions. Our team then visited the two business owners to engage with them while doing local market research and guiding them on how to pitch to prospective customers. We also provide them with a design consultation, helped them with their product design, and set the standard operational procedure for their labelling and packaging process,” Esti explained.

The two businesses are also developing a new product on the recommendation of Krealogi and the APRIL team, including a market validation process and work on the buyer persona.

Aside from the two selected businesses, most business owners participating in SEMARAK have also implemented knowledge from the training, especially concerning design, promotion and marketing.

APRIL Community Development Head, Hasto Teguh Kuncoro, said that the training had elevated the local MSMEs’ capability to a higher level.

“In the future, these local business owners may not only play a noteworthy role in job creation, poverty alleviation and economic growth but can also be the role models for the community never to stop learning and always be ready to adopt new things,” he added.

What they say

We hear from the business owners about their experience participating in the training:

Engkus Heri, owner of Jae Que Herbal Drink

“Despite unstable internet signal during the online training, I am happy that I followed up with the whole process because I realise that I gained so much useful knowledge to grow my business.”

Febri Dwi, owner of Kenek Cake

“I’ve never even heard of Standard Operational Procedures before. Now, I can make my own.”

Rosita Dewi, owner of Dhuha Tailor.

“I’m so surprised that creating a WhatsApp Business account for my business could help me get more buyers. It is so easy for them to reach me and ask about my product. Digitalisation at its finest.”

Rubi Agustina, owner of Bangkit Sagu Cookies.

“I feel like going back to school and relearning how to calculate the costs of goods sold and create the right accounting for everything. I wouldn’t say it’s easy, but it sure is fun and useful for the future of my business.”

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