Tuesday, 13 April 2021 | 11:56 WIB

The Challenge for Youths to Become Agents of Change during COVID-19 Pandemic

Indonesian celebrity Olivia Zallianty (twitter/oliviazallianty)

JAKARTA, NETRALNEWS.COM - Indonesian Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy Sandiaga Salahuddin Uno wants and encourages the young generations, especially starting entrepreneurs, to become agents of change amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to data from the 2020 population census, about 53% or 90 million Indonesians are dominated by the young generation, which consists of millennials and generation Z. therefore, the Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy considers the young generations to have potential in contributing to the development of tourism and creative economy sector in Indonesia.

"About 1.5 million people have lost their jobs due to COVID-19. I also experienced the same thing due to the 1997 economic crisis. So, I really understand how it feels to lose a job, how the monetary crisis forced me to survive. Therefore, the young generation should be able to make an opportunity during this difficult time. We have to change the younger generation to become agents of change, pioneers, and innovators," said Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy Sandiaga when he gave an opening speech for the Independent Entrepreneur Inspiration online webinar on Thursday (03/04/2021).

The growth of Indonesians tourism and creative economy cannot be separated from the role of the young generation, with the plenty of creativity they have. The young generation are the productive resources. Through their creative ideas, they can open job opportunities that can help the government in reducing unemployment rate in the productive workforce.

The Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy also mentioned three main aspects for the young generation to hold on their business development. The three main aspects are innovation, proactive, and taking a risk.

"First, every entrepreneur should have an innovation aspect where they make something that can add value. There are these things we call observe, imitate, and modify. Those are part of innovation. Second, they should be proactive. Keep moving, do not be lazy. Come out from your comfort zone. We have to start moving because luck will come to people who move. Third, they should take a risk. Do not stay in your comfort zone. So that later on, the entrepreneurs from the younger generation can develop their businesses and open a wider job opportunity," Sandiaga said.

Sandiaga also said that there are four million artisans who are on-boarding to the digital platform through the programs made by the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy.

"However, I have targeted about six million artisans who are on-boarding, which makes a total of ten million or two times bigger than the original target. However, it is not enough. The other challenge is on how we can help the beginner entrepreneurs and the artisans to become Indonesian creative economy people with the transaction value that keeps rising," he said.

One of the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy's efforts in overcoming the entrepreneurship challenge is by establishing the 2021 Independent Entrepreneur Developing program. In its implementation, the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy collaborates with the education world and UMKM community. It is done so that the entrepreneurs can optimally use the information and digital technology, marketing technique, financial management, and business plan.

Therefore, the Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy hopes that all stakeholders will work together to raise Indonesian tourism and creative economy.

"Prevent the mass lay-offs. Do not let people lose their jobs. Instead, open a job opportunity from the businesses made by startups. Let’s revive the tourism and creative economy sectors, plus economy sectors generally. We can overcome the hard time. We can win over COVID-19. Together. Yes, we can do it," said the Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy.

Olivia Zallianty

Indonesian celebrity Olivia Zallianty admits that she really loves local products, especially MSME products from various regions. During the pandemic period, there are lots of Indonesians who lose their jobs. There is a hotel staff who gets laid-off but now he can be creative by making cool jackets.

"I see him start by selling several jackets that can be counted by our fingers, but all of them are so cool and I ended up buying one. When you visit Ubud, do not forget to buy other local products. We hope that their business can go smoothly and keeps improving. Let’s support the local sellers and local products so that the economy wheel can continue. Also, stay healthy," she said.