Tuesday, 21 September 2021 | 00:04 WIB

Citi Indonesia Assists Creative Young Entrepreneurs amid Pandemic

Citi Indonesia Assists Creative Young Entrepreneurs amid Pandemic (special)

JAKARTA, NETRALNEWS.COM - The collaboration of Citi Indonesia, which is supported by the Citi Foundation, and UNESCO, which has entered Phase 3, will end on November 2020. The program, known as Kita Muda Kreatif, targets 400 young entrepreneurs in the World Heritage Site areas of Lake Toba, Borobudur, Prambanan, Klaten, Yogyakarta, Kotuatua in Jakarta, Denpasar, as well as Tabanan in Bali.

"The Kita Muda Kreatif program is designed to support the business capacity development of young entrepreneurs in various aspects, from entrepreneurship, financial literacy, to brand support. We encourage young people to collaborate with each other, and we hope they will get to know their culture more and set them as inspiration," said Shahbaz Khan, Director and Representative of UNESCO Office, in Jakarta, on Thursday (11/26/2020).

Although the number of tourists visiting world heritage sites continues to increase, local people living in and in the vicinity of cultural heritage sites rarely receive socio-economic benefits from the large number of visitors.

To address this gap, UNESCO Jakarta and the Citi Foundation have engaged 400 young entrepreneurs at six popular sites across Indonesia since 2017 to raise awareness about the preservation of cultural heritage, as well as improve the lives and livelihoods of the people living around these cultural heritage sites.

The Creative Youth at Indonesian Heritage Sites program always tries to align itself with the government's efforts to improve the lives of young people and support them to become independent entrepreneurs. In addition to synergizing with government activities, the Kita Muda Kreatif program has also succeeded in mobilizing partners from the private sector to assist young entrepreneurs.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, this program continued to provide support to young entrepreneurs, and held more than 90 online trainings through WhatsApp, Zoom, and YouTube, between March and November 2020.

In addition, an internal survey conducted on November 2020 showed that this program has supported the creation of more than 200 local young entrepreneur brands that are inspired by local culture. In addition, almost 25 percent of them have experienced an increase in income, and 30 percent of these young entrepreneurs have succeeded in developing new products.

"The series of training sessions delivered so far have been very useful. The training classes provided additional knowledge and energy for me to develop new business amid the Covid-19 crisis," said Cemplon Sebastian, a young guide from Borobudur who is also developing a new herbal drink brand in response to the pandemic.

Puni A. Anjungsari, Country Corporate Affairs Head at Citi Indonesia, said that it is an honor for Citi Indonesia to support the Kita Muda Kreatif program. "The approach taken has proven to be effective in arousing the spirit of the younger generation in creating and innovating even during a pandemic like today. This program puts forward the needs and potentials of each region, and is in line with the government's priorities in empowering the local economy of tourism."

Citi is committed to increasing the opportunities for youths around the world. Through Pathways to Progress, Citi is committed to helping more than 6,000 young people and providing 60,000 skills training opportunities by 2023, with a total investment of IDR500 billion in Asia Pacific.

In 2021, this project will continue to encourage the empowerment of young entrepreneurs, and will expand its activities to Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara, to support more than fifty young weavers to improve their standard of living and income while continuing to preserve their traditional weaving.