There was something in the air. A sense of community. An awareness that change, true change, is possible if it comes from within.
There was hope. And in a world so full of uncertainty and gloom, this was on the edge of inspiring.
It was happening at the Sense Hotel in Seminyak, pun unintended but in hindsight, somehow appropriate, at an event organised and hosted by Seven Stones Indonesia and OK OCE, a social movement created by Sandiago Uno and Indra Uno, which assists micro, small and medium-sized businesses (MSMEs), and the entrepreneurs that drive them, with insights, the support of community networks and mentorship. It’s like the Indonesian Gotong Royong culture on steroids.
Since its inception in 2016, OK OCE has created almost 300,000 jobs in DKI Jakarta and a little over 500,000 nationwide and is active in almost 200 communities across the country. This latest event was focused on Bali’s culinary, crafts and service sectors to share and explore business strategies needed to survive in the pandemic, which has forced more than 11 million MSMEs to close with the potential for more to follow.
Win-Win Feels Good
Terje H. Nilsen, Co-Founder of Seven Stones Indonesia gave that some perspective. “61 percent of Indonesia’s GDP comes from small and medium-sized enterprises and that translates to 97 percent of the country’s labour force. It would not be an exaggeration to say this is the most important pillar of the country, which is why it’s such an important area to focus on and why the Omnibus Law, more commonly known as Cipta Kerja, can play a pivotal role in helping Indonesia reach its true potential and thrive,” he said.
He went on to explain that “we understand how important it is to the Indonesian economy, and we have to do what we can to enhance it. We encourage other companies, other expats, to understand how significant it is to share knowledge, train and engage. It’s actually a win-win because by doing so we not only help the whole economy, we also help ourselves.”
It Feels Good To Do Good
This is a sentiment held by Indra Uno, one of the founders of OK OCE who believes “the biggest contribution you can give to your country is to free yourself from a negative cycle of unemployment. OK OCE is facilitating this because we know we cannot work alone; community is essential. Our culture of Gotong Royong is based around this and in that culture, we choose to volunteer our time and knowledge for a communal goal. It feels good to do good and that energy grows when mindsets are aligned, further impacting more people in a positive way. This is the choice we make,” he said.
OK OCE is an acronym for One Kecamatan (OK) and One Centre of Entrepreneurship (OCE) with the goal of encouraging the establishment of centres of entrepreneurship in every administrative district in Indonesia. An effective way to realise this goal is for already existing businesses, like Seven Stones Indonesia, to share what they have learned; the good and the bad, to help people adapt to changes, take advantage of opportunities and inspire creativity.
Creativity and a Positive Mindset
The reaction from those attending the recent Seven Stones Indonesia – OK OCE event in Bali was proof of how powerful this initiative can be. Balinese entrepreneurs, creating a range of artisanal products from food snacks and gelato to handbags made from discarded waste had come together with the singular intention of breaking out of a negative employment spiral to create a better life for themselves, their families and local communities.
We shared insights into building a business and making it grow through branding and social media. We stressed the importance of financial reporting and how, if all this was done with a clear and focused intention, there was the opportunity to attract investment and possibly even “Go Public.” Notes were feverishly taken, hands raised, questions asked and creative pennies dropped. We knew we were helping and it felt good!
These are exciting times for those who believe in Indonesia’s future. At Seven Stones Indonesia, we do and we believe in the power of a positive and creative mindset. We believe in helping our clients, partners, and communities create a better world by adapting to change and focussing on what matters most to them. We try to help businesses grow; we encourage investment and are forging relationships with like-minded organisations, such as OK OCE to create more opportunities for more people.
And we encourage you to do the same.
If you’d like to learn more about how you can become involved with the OK OCE initiative get in touch with us at Seven Stones Indonesia through [email protected] or visit the OK OCE website at www.okoce.net.