Increasing National Financial Inclusion, Akulaku Actively Provides Education to MSME Players

JAKARTA, 8 October 2020 – In Indonesia’s challenging economic conditions, financial inclusion has three important roles for the economy, namely improving people’s welfare, encouraging the national economic recovery process and supporting people’s economic resilience, especially during a pandemic like the current one.

According to the Central Statistics Agency (BPS), the number of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) has reached 64 million. This figure reaches more than 90% of all businesses operating in Indonesia. During this pandemic, the MSME sector was one of the most affected. This is due, among other things, to large-scale social restrictions and the implementation of working and studying from home policies, and minimizing the frequency of leaving the house.

Even so, MSME players are already starting to recover because they received assistance from the government in the National Economic Recovery (PEN) scheme such as KUR relaxation, interest subsidies, working capital, as well as Productive Presidential Assistance (Banpres) for micro businesses in the form of grants. However, according to a survey conducted by Pricewaterhousecoopers (PwC) in 2019, it was stated that 74 percent of MSMEs in Indonesia did not have access to financing. One of the factors behind this is the lack of understanding of MSMEs regarding financial inclusion.

Corporate Secretary of Akulaku Finance Indonesia, Wildan Kesuma, revealed that education for MSME players is very important to increase financial literacy so that MSME players have access to various financial institutions, products and services according to their needs.

“Financial inclusion can be said to be realized if everyone can access financial services easily. “The expected effect is of course increased economic capacity and reduced poverty and economic inequality,” said Wildan in a webinar attended by sellers from Bukalapak, Thursday (8/10/2020).

In order to achieve Indonesia’s financial inclusion index target of above 90 percent within the next 3 years in accordance with President Joko Widodo’s instructions, Akulaku Finance Indonesia is actively providing education to various levels of society, including MSMEs. The aim is to provide an understanding of business financial management, especially productive financing management that suits the needs of MSMEs.

“Akulaku Finance collaborates with various stakeholders, from the government to the mass media to educate the public through various activities, one of which is through webinars with the MSME community,” he said.

In relation to education related to financial inclusion, Financial Advisor Ghita Argasasmita said in the same webinar session that in building a comprehensive and sustainable business, good financial management is needed to maintain the business from unstable economic conditions like today.

“An important ability for an MSME entrepreneur to have is good financial management skills to bring their business forward and sustainably,” said Ghita.

Several things that MSMEs can do, both when starting a business and when the business is already running, are to reduce operational costs as efficiently as possible and separate personal accounts from business accounts. If the business account is separate, the monthly flow will be clearly visible.

“If we can separate business and personal savings, calculating our monthly business cash will be easier and more precise. “This will also minimize the possibility of experiencing a cash crisis caused by withdrawing cash for personal needs,” said Ghita, who is also the founder of Integrita Financial.

By recording cash flows, balance sheets and detailed business profit and loss reports, MSME entrepreneurs can use financial report data as consideration before deciding to increase business capital through financial financing facilities.

“Another benefit of making financial records, cash balance sheets and profit and loss reports is that we can know well whether our business needs and has the ability to develop the business using internal working capital or requires external financing,” said Ghita.

Responding to needs that may arise from business actors, Wildan added that digital financing products from Akulaku Finance Indonesia can be used according to needs with fairly practical application requirements.

“As a digital-based financing company registered and supervised by the OJK, Akulaku Finance offers several choices of financing products based on needs. For example, business actors can buy business assets, for example buying a coffee maker, using a credit limit with a tenor for which the payment duration can be chosen. “Apart from that, there is also financing using KTA Asetku or Dana Installment products,” said Wildan.