Show Your Love for Batik by Investing
Did you wear your batik yesterday? October 2 is marked as National Batik Day, a day when Indonesians celebrate and show our love for the traditional textile. Indonesian batik is known for its intricate designs and diverse patterns and colors; it made the list of UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2009.
One of Indonesia’s most-prized traditional cloth, batik has a lot of work put into its production. In recent years, it has become more popular among Indonesians, old and young alike. The Indonesian Textile Association (API) said last month that the batik market in the country grew a robust 15 percent. But traditional batik manufacturers are still facing many challenges daily. Many of the raw materials used in batik making are still imported from other countries, and their prices can be volatile.
Potentials and Hurdles
The batik industry plays a great role in the country’s economy. The Industry Ministry said last week that most players in the industry belong to small and medium-sized industries (SMIs). They are part of the government-funded 101 SMI centers, mostly located in Central Java, West Java, East Java and Yogyakarta. Just like other small business owners in the country, producers of the traditional textile are experiencing difficulties in their line of work, particularly in financing.
To start and grow their business, they need capital and funding, but these are not always readily accessible. These SMIs, key players in the industry, still need much support from the government as well as the private sector. Investors who can provide small business loans can help lift this industry’s productivity.
Read also: Financing Women is Wiser than Financing Men
Support Indonesia’s Batik Artisans
You too can take a part in the efforts to support the batik artisans in many regions in Indonesia by investing in small business loans that will help them fund the growth of their business. This is made possible through the Mekar.id peer-to-peer lending platform.
Mekar, an up-and-coming FinTech company founded in 2010 by the Putera Sampoerna Foundation, matches borrowers and lenders (investors) via the web. Mekar partners with savings and loan cooperatives, which operate both in rural and urban areas. This is how Mekar reaches out to small business owners in small villages in many regions throughout Indonesia, including batik artisans. While most borrowers on other platforms may be located in big cities, many of Mekar’s borrowers come from areas in the country where access to traditional bank services is very limited.
As an emerging company, innovation is at the heart of Mekar and recently it opened its door for companies and other institutions to join its growing list of investors. Companies and firms can now invest in a bulk of small business loans, hundreds of them at a time, and support the growth of a lot more Indonesian small and medium-sized enterprises with their investment. This is, undeniably, a very convenient, yet effective way to help empower our batik artisans.
While wearing batik every October 2 shows your love for Indonesia’s heritage, you and your company can do a lot more. Want to do your part in supporting Indonesia’s batik producers? Visit Mekar’s website to learn more about peer-to-peer lending and investing in small business loans.