FILE PHOTO: People at a street market in the Tanah Abang district in Jakarta, Indonesia, on March 5, 2017. Shutterstock

Halal Industry

Indonesia starts program to accelerate growth of halal small businesses

JAKARTA – Indonesia’s National Committee for Islamic Economy and Finance (KNEKS) has launched a national program to accelerate the growth of micro, small and medium-sized halal businesses.

The development of MSMEs is one of KNEKS’s four focus areas for Islamic economic development, Putu Rahwidhiyasa, the national agency’s director of Sharia business and entrepreneurship told Salaam Gateway.

The national committee is currently collaborating with 13 institutions on the Halal Industry MSME Acceleration Synergy Program: national halal agency BPJPH, University of Indonesia, Institute of Agriculture Bogor, Institute of Technology Bandung, University of Padjadjaran, University of Tazkia, software developer Zahir International, logistics aggregator Shipper, exporters marketplace Aspenku, e-commerce platform Blibli, halal marketplace Pasyar, equity crowdfunder Bizhare Syariah, and PT Bank Syariah Indonesia Tbk.

The program will run 28 initiatives including halal literacy training for MSMEs, cooperation in Islamic digital banking services, training for halal product-process accompaniment, and facilitation of export transactions.

“We are seeking more institutions to join this collaboration going forward,” said Putu. 

The idea is to “hyper-scale” the first pilot project, the Halal Industry MSME Center.

“For now, we will start with training MSMEs in eight basic modules, namely Islamic business ethics and principles, Sharia wealth management, Islamic marketing, Sharia MSME finance management, MSME goes digital, Sharia talent management, halal operational and production management as well as enhancing entrepreneur quality,” Putu said.

The national program will drive the initiative to strengthen halal industry MSMEs in Indonesia and make sure the synergy between institutions runs more efficiently and effectively.

Prior to the start of the new national program, government agencies and private sector companies ran their own separate initiatives for MSMEs in the halal industry. 

“With this integrated approach, we can see the gap, or progress, of our program with better visibility and from a more holistic view,” said Putu. 

KNEKS has set five key strategies in developing Sharia entrepreneurship: capacity-building, partnership, incubation and financing, marketplace, and digital empowering. 

These strategies will require other stakeholders to speed up their implementation at the national scale.  

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