To this day, our partnership with Farabi for the project empowering Bojonegoro women in Indonesia remains strong, and together we continue to provide business opportunities and skills for the women so they can make a difference for themselves. Last time the project was discussed here on this blog, Dedy explained the difference between the goals set in the beginning and the goals set for the second phase. Now we are moving toward the third phase of the project, in which Farabi and Kopernik will facilitate about 20 women in setting up and sustaining their own business cooperative wherefrom they will continue to sell Kopernik technologies; their initial inventory will be supplied by using the funds collected from technology sales in the second phase. We hope that our assistance now will help their cooperative take off well into the future, for which they already have plans to diversify the cooperative’s products and services from savings gained through technology sales (someone already suggested to do catering).
To keep the women’s momentum going, we initiated the unofficial beginning of the third phase with a one-day training focused on building business motivation. Farabi invited Ibu Eryul Mufidah, the head of Indonesia’s Network of Women Entrepreneurs (IWAPI) from central Bojonegoro, as the keynote speaker of the training event. She did a great job debunking misleading myths about what it takes to become an entrepreneur and inspired the women to start changing their attitudes for success. She also imparted some valuable lessons to the 18 women tech agents who attended about planning and starting a business. The lesson included a group exercise on how to do a SWOT analysis and how to promote products as a team. We hope from this session and Farabi’s guidance in the next several months, the women will be prepared to become independent in their business undertakings and be connected with others in Indonesia’s Network of Women Entrepreneurs.
Ibu Eryul Mufidah inspiring women technology agents in Bojonegoro
The second half of the training focused on introducing the women to computer technology and emails. Although many of the women’s children are familiar with Internet through school or the plenty of Internet kiosks that are sprouting up in villages, some of the technology agents had yet to touch a computer keyboard and mouse for themselves. The Farabi team brought four laptops on which groups of 4-5 women each were able to use. We went over how to set up an email account as well as how to send and receive emails, and encouraged the women to take turns typing and moving the mouse so they can become comfortable using the computer. Needless to say, this session resulted in many bursts of laughter from the women. By the end of the session, they all succeeded in sending co-founder Ewa an email and reading her reply. We finished the lesson by encouraging them to go to the Internet kiosks (with a son or daughter if they still need more support) periodically for short periods of time to open their emails. They can also visit Farabi’s office to use the Internet there.
They say learning how to send and receive emails is difficult, but they are very familiar with mobile phone technology!
One day is a short time for training, but fortunately the Farabi team will be available for the next several months to facilitate the women in any areas of support they need for the creation of their business cooperative. These are exciting times for everyone involved, so tune back in to our blog in the coming months to find out what’s happening with these women! For more photos from the training, please view our Facebook photo album.