Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) are one of the country’s economic backbone. It is noted that MSMEs have a major contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). According to Deputy for Coordination of the Digital Economy, Employment and MSMEs, Coordinating Ministry for Economic Affairs Mohammad Rudy Salahuddin in a press release Friday, November 11, 2022, the MSMEs contribution to GDP reached 60.51% or IDR 9.580 trillion and has also able to absorb 120.59 million workers.
However, the MSMEs which tend to be organic rely mostly on individuals or family members. This makes the competencies of sales management tend to be weak. The limited number of employees in an MSME unit makes MSME activities only focus on production. While the appearance of product packaging, promotional concepts, or certification arrangements are often neglected.
Even though currently there are convenient marketing platforms, such as e-commerce or business association groups, sales efforts are still considered quite difficult for most MSMEs, even though their products are actually very good. Therefore, MSME actors need to get assistance.
PT Agincourt Resources (PTAR), as the operator of the Martabe Gold Mine, which is committed to developing the local economy in its operational area, understands this. PTAR is the government’s partner in developing the people’s economy by providing assistance and coaching to productive businesses, whether it’s taking care of the home industry permit, procuring production equipment, or training. To date, there are 15 villages and sub-districts in Batangtoru District that have benefited directly from PTAR, where the community is provided with coaching and business assistance so they can be independent.
There are number of local businesses in the area around the mine, including Batangtoru District and Muara Batangtoru District, which receive assistance from PTAR, including
- The ‘Sarop Do Mulana’ Business Group, a furniture business by utilizing pallet wood waste to produce chairs, tables, ashtrays, and others
- Batik Tapsel Business Group and Bator Craft Business Group, are the producers of Tapsel batik and its derivative products
- Women Farmers Group Makmur Jaya and Women Farmers Group Torop Jaya, which produce drinks made from rhizome roots
- Culinary groups spread across 9 villages in the Batangtoru sub-district and Muara Batangtoru sub-district which produce various snacks
- The sewing business group of Batuhula Village and Hutaraja Sub-District
- The Griya Upa Tondi Aekpahu Tanik Group which produces organic rice.
One of the training provided by PTAR is online and offline marketing management training. This training was held in collaboration with Bina Swadaya Konsultan and the local consulting agency BantuDesa. This training is important because the utilization of digital technology in marketing MSME products can help the business to achieve optimal results. It has been empirically proven that implementing digital marketing strategies is more efficient in terms of cost, time and manpower, compared to conventional marketing strategies. Therefore, it is time for MSMEs to upgrade their business by using digital technology so they can deal with business competition.
PTAR also provides aids, such as production equipment, for MSME actors in Batangtoru and Muara Batangtoru Districts. The Sapokat Nauli Collection (SNC) tailor group, for example. This sewing group, consisting of housewives in Batuhula Village, Batangtoru District, received sewing machines that they can use daily.
Earlier this year, PTAR also started their collaboration with the Dharma Bhakti Astra Foundation (YDBA) to run a cooperative mentoring program in Batangtoru District. This mentoring program aims to make cooperatives and their business units run well and the cooperative Human Resources (HR) can function properly. The kick off of this mentoring program was held on January 31, 2023 and targeted three cooperatives with different commodities.
PTAR also took part in several exhibitions to promote and introduce the products produced by its MSME partners, one of which was the Sidempuan Expo. At that time, PTAR’s stand was one of the most visited. Many visitors came to buy or look around and ask questions and learn how to make products produced by PTAR-assisted MSME.
So far, PTAR has maintained its commitment to boosting the local community’s economy through the development of MSMEs by demonstrating their hard work and sense of responsibility.