“I am a housewife who saw that I could improve my family income through my creativity, and therefore I opened my own sewing and tailoring business,” she said. “Then I wanted to expand my business by employing local housewives because these women are the ones with less adequate income. In other words, I wanted to help these women by creating job opportunities.”
Though job opportunities for women are often hard to come by in rural Indonesia, the PT. Lontar Papyrus paper mill in Tebing Tinggi was ready to help Tusharyati.
“After several business planning meetings, PT. Lontar Papyrus offered a partnership opportunity for us by providing a soft business loan,” Tusharyati said. “We used the money to establish a company name Karya Kencana which has now been running for about five years.”
Standing outside the main road to the paper mill-near the Karya Kencana storefront where employees were busy assembling uniforms for mill workers and students in the Tebing Tinggi area-Putra Hadi, corporate social responsibility project manager at Lontar Papyrus, said his company is proud of the small business’ continued success.
“Our goal is to raise the community up to become economically stable, and that’s why we help develop local business groups like this sewing company,” he said. “These people already have sewing skills and need the opportunity to develop those skills. So we try to improve their conditions by providing ongoing support, and in turn, we hope they will gain a sense of business independence.”
Mission accomplished, according to Karya Kencana employee Juniati.
“I was an ordinary housewife who looked after my children each day before I come to work here,” she said. “I joined this group to learn about sewing. Praise to God, after joining this company, I can now sew my own clothes and repair my family’s torn clothes without paying someone else to do the job for me.
Juniati said she is especially grateful to have the opportunity to sew school uniforms for elementary students in Tebing Tinggi, and “also, praise to God, I now have additional income for my kids.”