16 Aug 2023

My Journey on Becoming An Entrepreneur with JAKI

by:Amira Sofa

Editor:Ramdan Malik Batubara, Aditya Gagat Hanggara

16 Aug 2023

"The winner of this year’s best culinary MSME category goes to.."

Just before the next sentence was spoken by the host, the room I was in buzzed with activity. But now, a sudden hush has fallen over the atmosphere. Time appears to have slowed down, and everyone, including myself (who also happens to be a nominee in this competition), is filled with eager anticipation for the announcement of the winner's name.

“...Dapoer Prima!” shouted the host, loudly.

I found myself taken aback. It took approximately five seconds for me to register that the entire room had fixed its gaze upon me. Once again, the host on the stage announced, "Would the representatives of UKM Dapoer Prima kindly come forward to the stage."

With a faint smile directed at the audience, I paced toward the stage. As I reached it, the awards organizer representative handed me the award. 

The Beginning

Just a few hours have passed since the award event organized by JakPreneur concluded. Back home now, I'm engaged in preparing meals for tomorrow. Yet, my thoughts remain fixated on the triumph of my business, reminiscent of its humble beginnings.

The aspiration to be an entrepreneur has been with me since childhood. What began as a mere dream sprouted from observing family members prosper in their ventures. As I matured, my motivation to become an entrepreneur deepened – driven by the desire to generate employment opportunities for others.

Nonetheless, embarking on a business journey proved more intricate than my initial notions. I lacked prior experience, formal business education, and any established groundwork. Furthermore, pinpointing the ideal business to initiate posed a challenge. It was only after a friend savored my cooking and praised its deliciousness that I found direction. Inspired by this, I resolved to launch a food-based enterprise.

The Journey on Becoming An Entrepreneur with JAKI

At the start, I was all about selling online. Cooking was a matter of dishing out whatever folks ordered. Customers were scarce, mostly friends and family. But luckily, even if there weren't many, there were orders rolling in every day.

Then came a thought: I can't keep at this pace forever. Don't get me wrong, I was content with the orders, the praise from customers, and the earnings. Yet, something didn't quite match the big dreams I had. That's when I decided to take things up a notch.

Picture this: minimal experience, not much cash, and a tiny network to rely on. It wasn't exactly smooth sailing. But then, in 2022, along came the JAKI app. That's when things began to shift.

JAKI Made the Dream Came True

I have heard that JAKI, the DKI Jakarta Provincial Government's super-app, has been providing public services for Jakarta residents and tourists alike for a long time. However, I was quite surprised when I found several services specially designed for entrepreneurs and people who want to start a business in Jakarta like me. In 2022, these services were combined into a feature called JakPreneur.

JakPreneur is a shortcut feature of the JakPreneur or Jakarta Entrepreneur program. Meanwhile, the JakPreneur program is a platform for creating, facilitating, and collaborating on the development of Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) through an entrepreneurial ecosystem under the DKI Jakarta Provincial Office of Industry, Trade, Cooperatives, Small and Medium Enterprises. Through the JakPreneur feature in JAKI, I can connect to JakPreneur services, such as seeing business training schedules, a list of entrepreneurial assistance, a list of business licenses, and business capital, checking info on JakPreneur activities, and buying various MSME products.

I took the plunge and signed up as a JakPreneur member without a second thought. From that point on, I followed their agenda step by step. I began by immersing myself in the online training they offered. The JakPreneur platform hosted an array of instructional videos tailored for MSMEs in the culinary realm. Delving into each video, I found myself piecing together new ideas for my business. The exciting part? The fresh menu concepts I concocted garnered a positive nod from my taste testers. That boost of confidence nudged me to broaden my culinary horizons, beyond just fulfilling orders.

With newfound conviction in my venture, I took the leap and applied for an MSME license via JAKI, the JakPreneur portal. The license was now mine, but reality struck—relying solely on small-scale marketing wouldn't cut it for a thriving business. The broad landscape of business demanded more. The old tactics of spreading the word through WhatsApp and casual conversations had lost their charm. That's when I jumped into JakPreneur's business assistance program.

The program led me to a team of seasoned mentors who guided me firsthand. They sketched out marketing strategies, spun creative ideas, and even delved into financial report wizardry. Step by step, they steered me to the point where I could unveil my offerings through captivating social media content. The real touch? Leveraging customer testimonials to rope in more patrons and seamlessly managing my financial reports, all with the magic of digital tools.

In less than a year, Dapoer Prima, which I pioneered, developed rapidly. Now, I already have three employees and also sell food offline. I opened a small stall near my house and several times participated in bazaars and culinary festivals managed by JakPreneur. I still join JakPreneur until now. Also occasionally check information on JakPreneur activities from JAKI to see what activities Dapoer Prima can participate in. One of them is the JakPreneur Awards that I just won.

"Ma'am, any other ingredients I need to buy?"

My employee's voice broke my reverie. I was so lulled by the memories of starting a business before, I forgot to prepare ingredients for tomorrow. I rushed up from my seat and prepared a shopping list for my employees.

JAKI 3.0 Helps Out Entrepreneurs

As usual, I can only relax after finishing preparing for tomorrow's sales. Remembering my past story when I started my business, I opened the JAKI application. I was a little surprised when JAKI's homepage greeted me. As it turned out, after a week of not accessing it, the JAKI application had a new look. Dominated by white and a bit of blue, the current JAKI application looks fresher and more pleasing to the eye.

I didn't see the JakPreneur feature I was looking for. However, I saw that there was a search bar that previously wasn't in JAKI's old look. I typed "JakPreneur" there and all I found was a recommendation service. Check JakPreneur Activity Info. Then, I returned to Home to look for other JakPreneur services.

I scrolled down the JAKI homepage. Suddenly, I caught a new section on the JAKI homepage, Made for You. The section contains five personas: students, office workers, job seekers, entrepreneurs, and household managers. This is it, I thought as I discovered the entrepreneurial persona. I tapped the persona. Immediately, the JAKI application displays recommendations for features and services that can support entrepreneurs in Jakarta. There is a Permits and Licensing feature to help with licensing in Jakarta, in addition to JakPreneur services such as View the Business Training Schedules and Find Out About SMEs Activities.

Still curious about other services from the JakPreneur program that I haven't found yet, I took another look at the latest version of the JAKI application. A few moments later, then I found these services in the services category of Career and Business. Indeed, the service seems hidden. However, once you know where it is, it's easy to find. To do this, in the feature list section on the JAKI homepage, click More. Then, select the Category bar, and click the Career and Business category. Permits and Licensing Features for managing permits in Jakarta; Career in Jakarta feature to find vacancies, training, and scholarships; Start Your Business in Jakarta feature; as well as a shortcut service to Jakarta’s One-stop Service site will appear.

The Start Your Business in Jakarta feature is a JakPreneur feature in the old version of the JAKI application. I just realized this, because the Start Your Business in Jakarta feature includes services similar to the previous JakPreneur feature, such as viewing the business training schedules, joining the business mentoring program, registering business permits, seeking business funding, checking info on JakPreneur activities, and buying various MSME products.

I've got to say, JAKI's latest advancements have genuinely left an impression on me. The changes I've come across are quite remarkable—ranging from a more visually pleasing interface to better service categorization and the cherry on top, personalized services. It's the personalization part that strikes a chord; it's not just about making life easier for entrepreneurs like me, but it's like a nod that says, “Hey, we see you, and we've got your back.”

I'm just one among the many small business owners who've found a lifeline in JAKI's Business feature here in Jakarta. Thanks to JAKI, even someone like me, without a hint of business background, managed to chase down my dream of becoming an entrepreneur. Ever had a similar dream itching at you? If you have, dive into the Entrepreneur persona’s services within JAKI. I'm eagerly waiting for another inspirational story from you!

 

Disclaimer: The name of the MSME in this article is fictitious to describe the empowerment of UMKM in Jakarta through JAKI.
 

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