Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) Sinar Mas continues to collaborate in supporting economic growth among communities, especially through the support for practitioners in the field of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in Indonesia. One of the MSMEs that was trained by APP Sinar Mas through PT Indah Kiat Pulp & Paper (IKPP) Serang Mill is Tegalmaja (Tema) Bamboo Collection, which creates various bamboo craftworks.
Tema Bambu Collection is one of the diverse MSMEs that had participated in the Tjipta UMKM Fair 2.0 which was organized by the Eka Tjipta Foundation at Sinar Mas Land Plaza Thamrin on July 28-29, 2022 in commemoration of Eka Tjipta Widjaja’s 100th anniversary.
Get to Know Tema Bamboo Collection
Tema Bamboo Collection is a MSME that originated from Tegalmaja Village, Kragilan District, Regency, Serang, Banten. This MSME is focused on promoting women empowerment and the development of local wisdom, both economically and ecologically, through bamboo weaving craftworks.
Tema Bamboo Collection begins with empowering women from employees who have been laid off due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Rini Purwati, Head of the Craftsmen Group, explained the story of the establishment of the MSME with the Bamboo Collection Tema which was driven by the initiative from the Tegalmaja villagers. Starting from 10 housewives, Tema Bambu Collection continues to make craft creations and has now been running for 1.5 years.
Challenges in the Bamboo Weaving Industry
The art of woven bamboo has become a heritage for the people of Tegalmaja Village. However, there are several challenges that must be faced by woven bamboo craftspeople, starting from reduced interest in woven bamboo crafts, limited raw materials, to market competition.
As time goes on, interest in woven bamboo crafts began to decrease and instead shifts to other materials, such as plastic and stainless. The limitations of raw materials for manufacturing woven bamboo handicrafts also adds to the difficulties to make woven productions sustainable.
Collaborations and Training Sessions
Seeing the challenges faced by MSMEs in woven bamboo crafts, PT IKPP Serang Mill took the initiative to collaborate in CSR activities with the aim of empowering the community and reviving the potential of local wisdom. In collaboration with the Village-Owned Enterprises (Bumdes), PT IKPP Serang Mill's CSR activities carried out the planting of 1,000 bamboo tree seedlings, which are the raw materials for woven craftworks. In addition, this collaboration also opens up conservation opportunities by reusing PT IKPP Serang Mill's rope wastes for Tema Bamboo Collection’s woven crafts.
To support interest in woven bamboo crafts and the competitiveness of Tema Bambu Collection, PT IKPP Serang Mill also provides various trainings for the craftspeople. The various initiatives carried out include bringing in trainers from the Bambu Nusantara Foundation as well as online marketing training from the Head Office at APP Sinar Mas. The product sales training that has been running since 2020 also includes selling in e-commerce, such as the Lazada, Blibli, and others.
Under the guidance of PT IKPP Serang Mill's CSR program, Tema Bambu Collection can be a part of unique and high-quality Indonesian woven handicrafts souvenirs. Aiming not only to increase their ability to compete in the local market, but also to develop their craftwork to be accepted in foreign markets.
Positive Impact for MSMEs and Society
Starting from the spirit of empowerment that maintains local wisdom, Tema Bamboo Collection can now contribute to the prosperity of the community while preserving the environment. So far, Tema Bamboo Collection has been invited to exhibitions from varied levels, such as Regency, Provincial, to National. The presence of the Tema Bamboo Collection in the Tjipta UMKM Fair 2.0 Exhibition also increases their recognition, where the event was also attended by notable public figures, such as Yuni Shara and Veronica Tan.
Chairman of the Eka Tjipta Foundation Hong Tjhin explained that MSMEs are an important pillar in post-pandemic recovery. The synergy between MSME actors with the government and the private sector is expected to not only aid in economic recovery, but also upscale. In addition to woven bamboo creations from the Tema Bambu Collection, APP Sinar Mas also presents a variety of products assisted by the Desa Makmur Peduli Api (DMPA) program, as well as those assisted by the Mills’ CSR program from various regions. At the end of the event, Hong Tjhin added about the importance of support from all class in society. According to him, when Eka Tjipta Widjaja chose entrepreneurship as his way of life, he started with the scale of an MSME, and now it has become Sinar Mas.