Let’s push Micro-enterprise!

BY: Wheny Hari Muljati

Jakarta – Bambang Ismawan. The figure is not just identical with the TRUBUS agriculture magazine. His work since the last decades has proven to have an impact on the fate of millions of the grassroots people. Now, although he was already stepping on his 71 years, this humble man still works actively. He does continue to call all parties to be involved in micro enterprise development.

“Actually, the structure of the Indonesian economy, the largest business comes from the micro business sector. Amounted to 98.9%, or approximately 50,700,000 business, “said Bambang Ismawan to SH in a beautiful office Wisma Hijau, at Cimanggis, Depok, last weekend. The rest, which is a combination of small business, medium and large businesses, including conglomerate, the numbers  is only  1%.

“So, actually mikro-enterprise  currently in need most of attention, because they are generally in poor condition,” said Bambang concerned. Therefore, according to Bambang, the attention to micro-enterprise  is very important now, because this type of business has the potential to expand rapidly.

Refer to Mat Syukur quote (2002), Bambang said that the business income obtained micro-finance services will increase per month on average 87.34%, while if it is not empowered, this effort by contrast, will lead to greater poverty and can be a burden the whole nation .

According to Bambang, not surprising that the problem of poverty in Indonesia still not over, eventhough many non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have attempted to empowerment. The reason, is because all this aid to the less precise business goals.”Help has been generally intended for small and medium businesses, whereas the number and their role is insignificant compared to the micro business,” said Bambang.

Largest NGO

Base on this reality, the man who had reaped many awards for their work helping poor people, is more excited now invite various parties to work together to encourage self-reliance among marginalized. The goal, is the poor people  can escape from poverty and able to live independently.

Award-winning Social Entrepreneurship of the Year from Ernest & Young (2006) and Sang Pemula Award from Newseum Foundation (2008) was his own initiative began practice in community self-reliance in Indonesia 40 years ago, through sustainable empowerment organizations: Yayasan Bina Swadaya. Foundation which was formed May 24, 1967 under the name Yayasan Sosial Tani Membangun was originally intended to answer the needs of farmers in the countryside for education, information, and access to goods and services.

In the context of increased mentoring abilities, the foundation also do a variety of training. Bina Swadaya was regarded as the largest NGO in Indonesia, which had trained 10,000 community leaders, developing more than 12,000 community based organization with 3.5 million members, and 650,000 launched the microfinance institutions with 13.5 million members. In addition, Bina Swadaya can also implement the social forestry program and an integrated irrigation for several regions in Indonesia.

Bina Swadaya said to be the largest NGOs in Southeast Asia, now has 17 companies, with 1500 employees. His business in printing house, publishing, agro tourism, agriculture and franchise stores. Various business units have been able to get about 95 percent of the operational organization. In addition, TRUBUS, agricultural magazine which is one of the foundation product, total printed magazine are progressively increased, reaching 70,000 copies per month. It is also known as the magazine’s first and famost agriculture in Indonesia.


According to the assessment of various parties, the success of  Bina Swadaya is because sincerity, consistency, and loyalty Bambang assist to grass roots people.


Former of ITB, Prof. Gede Rake a leadership review at Bina Swadaya said, “There are important elements that Bina Swadaya so successful leadership, namely compassion , knowledge , and the network, where all activate by integrity. “According Gede Rake, compassion or solidarity become the basis of Bina Swadaya moving so it can make and distribute assistance to the public knowledge with sincerity. Meanwhile, the sustainability of leadership integrity is determined. With integrity, Bina Swadaya continue to believe that cooperation in social networking with outside parties can continue up to date.


Guru Bangsa  (Teacher of Nation)

Eka Budianta, author of “Menuju Indonesia Swadaya”  Book, Bina Swadaya Reflections  Eka Budianta said, the figure is considered appropriate Bambang nation guru. This is in line with the opinion of an NGO activist, Fadjar Nusaswara. According to him, Bambang eligible to become a guru because of his vision of the nation’s independence is very clear. “What I remember most was the philosophy of Mr. Bambang about fallen trees,” said Fadjar. Wisma Hijau in a fallen tree which had been left alive. Miraculously, the tree roots were pulled out of the stem so as to keep alive. “So the little people in Indonesia.

According to Mr Bambang, when people were given a life of love, they too will live, because the All-Life will give her life for love of neighbor, “said Fadjar.


Bambang hoped he could now be involved in improving community empowerment movement is more massive “The movement can no longer just a project or program, but should involve all stakeholders (multi stakeholder) that synergize each other so that people can achieve self-sufficiency. Although the New Order era and before it was criticized and challenges, Bambang hoped, cooperation with various parties and the government that had been created, can be better.

“In my opinion, should be formed Ministry of Micro-enterprise sector in order to get attention properly” Bambang said to the SH at the end of the conversation