Jakarta – Promoting Empowerment of Civil Society through Entrepreneurship (PRECISE) Project is a program that was initiated to strengthen the capacity of Publish What You Pay (PWYP) Indonesia Coalition Members in creating and managing business units to support the independence of future organizational funding. The program has been running since August 2022 and began with the assessment process to select organizations that would participate in program activities, capacity building that is carried out through entrepreneurship training, submission of entrepreneurial proposals, provision of revolving capital, and regular mentoring (coaching) to program participants.

PRECISE Project Batch I is a collaboration between PWYP Indonesia and Human Initiative and supported by the Ford Foundation and the Directorate General of Regional Development (DG Bangda) of the Ministry of Home Affairs, has entered the final stage of the program. Therefore, it is necessary to evaluate and reflect through “Learning Session” activities. The activity held on February 23, 2023, focused on reflection, learning, and evaluation from participants during the PRECISE Project series. The stories and experiences of at least 10 new business units, both success stories, struggles, and challenges that have been undertaken, are vibrant and valuable for mutual learning. As well as being knowledge and encouragement for other Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in developing their organizational business units for their independence.

On this occasion, PRECISE Project participants in the goods category shared their reflections after running their businesses for the past 6 months. AKAR Bengkulu, for example, had stopped producing coffee sold to Bengkulu residents who make coffee for breakfast. With the presence of the PRECISE program, the AKAR team has regained its entrepreneurial spirit and has made a profit from sales. LEPMIL Southeast Sulawesi conveyed the new lessons learned from the PRECISE Program, both in the mindset of running a business that not only produces something but also through becoming a reseller. They concluded that starting a business requires courage and optimism to succeed.

PADI from East Kalimantan welcomes the continuation of running their business unit with optimism and enthusiasm. This is because PADI sees the activity as a need and goal of their organization to empower the community as well as being able to sustain the organization financially. Meanwhile, SOMASI West Nusa Tenggara expressed their appreciation for their increased knowledge in business and saw PRECISE as an opportunity to start and run a business unit to sustain the organization’s operations. On the other hand, the Jakarta-based Indonesia Parliamentary Center (IPC) suggested that the PRECISE program could map business ideas in regions and cities because the rhythm has differences and cannot be generalized.

Followed by a reflection on sharing sessions in the service category, Aryanto Nugroho, PWYP Indonesia’s national coordinator, conveyed the importance of having a forward-looking view in developing service category business units. For example, in providing training services, business owners must think about planning steps for future training services sustainably, including the importance of collaboration with various parties.

PWYP Indonesia coalition member from LPAD Riau said that business success must have entrepreneurial instincts and use these instincts to the fullest. He added that members of the PWYP Indonesia coalition could be involved in the marketing process or other forms of collaboration.

Meliana, Deputy Director of PWYP Indonesia, sees innovation and market demand as learning points that can be taken in a business both in the service and product categories. Without market needs, a business may not be able to preserve itself. If we want to adjust our capacity, innovation is needed so that the products/services we offer can meet market demand. He added that in starting a business, the courage to start, focus, and commitment to supporting the organization financially are things that are underlined for PRECISE Project participants.

The last session was closed by strengthening the spirit of entrepreneurship by Coach Anita Briana. In this session, Anita revealed that several success patterns could be learned from the series of activities in this Precise program, including commitment, perseverance and craft, and optimism. She emphasized that commitment from the PIC of the business holder can carry out is vital to maintain. If not consistently carried on, CSOs will have difficulties developing their organization’s business units. In addition, commitment must also go with perseverance and craft in offering products/services that are the mainstay of the business unit. But there is no instant success, and everything is in process, will feel the ups and downs. However, the most important thing is to have optimism that the business will continue to run. Because what others see is only the result of the product while we know the process. Therefore, don’t let the operation of our struggle be in vain if we give up easily.

Author: Ersya S. Nailuvar
Reviewer: Aryanto Nugroho