Minister of Social Affairs Introduces PENA Program on OECD International Economic Forum
TIMESINDONESIA, JAKARTA – Minister of Social Affairs Tri Rismaharini revealed that the empowerment program is the government's effort to overcome poverty. One of the efforts of the Ministry of Social Affairs in social empowerment is to develop National Economic Hero Program (PENA).
In the High-Level Roundtable forum "Startup Asia: Chasing the Innovation Frontier – The Case of Indonesia" organized by OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) Development Center and the EU online, in Jakarta, Wednesday (05/04), The Minister of Social Affairs gave an example of PENA idea, a duplicate from Economic Program (PE) Surabaya in 2010 which succeeded in reducing the poverty rate in Surabaya City when she was Mayor.
"This approach (economic empowerment) was duplicated and modified for a national program called PENA," said the Minister.
PENA program provides training and mentoring to build the capacity of beneficiaries to create sustainable entrepreneurship or startup.
"When I started, poverty in Surabaya reached 14%. This step was taken as a milestone. Reaching only 86 women from suburban areas in Surabaya, we started Economic Hero (PE) Surabaya in 2010," she said.
During that ten-year journey, she said, participants grew from 86 to 12,382 in 2020. Some of the group went on to master skills and reached new heights as millionaires and billionaires. The poverty rate dropped dramatically to 5%.
Similar to PE, PENA Program was then duplicated and modified by the Ministry of Social Affairs during her leadership era. PENA, an entrepreneurship program targets the poor and vulnerable groups, naming beneficiaries of social assistance programs (Family Hope Program and Basic Food Program) by providing training and assistance to grow sustainable businesses. The difference between PE and PENA programs is in PENA program with capital assistance adjusted to the business plan or business of the beneficiary.
"Last year, we started with 5,209 families and have been planning to expand further to 7,500 families this year," said Minister Risma.
PENA beneficiaries are selected through a series of selection processes with certain criteria such as the productive age group and having a startup business. The business idea plan is then submitted until it is processed for selection. If accepted, the recipient will get the full benefits of PENA in the form of capital and business consulting.
"All PENA beneficiaries are given access to weekly sessions with mentors who assist them in product development, digital marketing, and financial management," said Risma.
Not only that, Ministry of Social Affairs also encourages inclusive economic empowerment by targeting PENA program for persons with disabilities.
"If persons with disabilities, homeless, beggars and other street people groups can do it, anyone can do it too. I believe that everyone can live a better life future, and get out of poverty," she said.
Since 2016, Indonesia has supported startup development through several programs, namely incubation support and mentoring to grow innovations with the aim of inclusive and sustainable development.
At this moment, the Director of OECD Development Center Ragnheiður Elín Árnadóttir said, OECD places Indonesia as a top priority on the development agenda.
"We realized after seeing the (Indonesian government's) innovation explanation on forming entrepreneurship is the key to increasing economic growth," she said.
Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy, Sandiaga Uno, who was also present at the forum, said that the role of Indonesian Government, Ministry of Social Affairs, Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy, and Ministry of Communications and Informatics in developing startups which do not only generate economics impacts but also provides additional social and environmental benefits. "The government is very concerned about startup programs such as inviting, training, promoting, domestically and abroad," said Sandiaga.
Meanwhile, the European Union Ambassador to Indonesia and Brunei Darussalam Vincent Piket said that examples of startup conditions in Indonesia showed rapid growth. At the same time, the government has opened opportunities to increase the income of poor people by providing access to technology and various services.
"A good growth agenda in Indonesia to help accelerate economic growth, Mr. Sandiaga Uno said in his remarks, and thanks to Minister of Social Affairs Tri Rismaharini for continuing to support entrepreneurship for vulnerable groups and persons with disabilities. This can certainly be used as an example for other countries in making micro business units, new startups for the poor communities to become empowered and independent," he said.
Annalisa Primi, Head of Development and Economic Transformation at the OECD Development Center, also expressed her highest appreciation for what Social Affairs Minister Risma has done so far.
"Thank you, Minister Risma, for the real efforts to form micro-inclusive entrepreneurship to help the poor become prosperous. Good practices that other stakeholders can emulate," she concluded.
Also attending the event, Ministry of Communications and Informatics, representatives of both national and international organizations/institutions, and representatives of other Indonesian startups.
OECD is an international organization with 38 member countries based in Paris, France, whose mission is to form policies that promote equality, opportunity, and prosperity for all. OECD partners with several countries, one of which is Indonesia. The Roundtable session discussed the economic transformation in Asia, especially the picture of startups in Asia. (*)
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|Editor||: Ferry Agusta Satrio|
|Publisher||: Ahmad Rizki Mubarok|
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