The Power of Gado-Gado: How to Build a Small Business

Microenterprise Development in Indonesia

Wilayesi is a mother of three children from a poor community in Jakarta, Indonesia. For years, her family struggled to survive on her husband's limited income as a driver and her own informal food business of Gado-Gado. Since joining Five Talents, Wilayesi has learned how to save, plan, and grow her business. With access to community savings and loans, she's acquired new business assets and dramatically increased her family's income. Now she's able to employ another friend and support her daughter, the first in the family, to join university. Her husband no longer works late nights away from home and the family is stronger than ever. Learn more in this short interview with Wilayesi:

How has your business changed since you joined the Five Talents program?

"Before I relied only on what my husband earned and a meager earning from selling snacks. [The business] barely covered expenses. . .Now I provide many more. I sell cakes, fried banana, and traditional food like Gado-Gado" (an Indonesian salad of steamed vegetables and hard-boiled eggs, boiled potato, fried tofu and tempeh, and rice wrapped in banana leaf, topped with a special peanut sauce).

Empowering Entrepreneurs in Indonesia

What tool or asset did you purchase that changed your business?

"After adding more products to sell, I realized I needed a fridge to support the food business I am in. I set aside the proceeds as savings and bought a refrigerator. Then later my husband and I decided to buy a second-hand motorbike. . . Now it is easier for me to get around. I use it to buy the ingredients."

How has this tool helped your business?

"With the refrigerator I can save time as I do not have to go back and forth to the market. I can store them all in the fridge and that will last longer. The motorbike makes it easier for us to arrange for the trip. I can arrange the schedule myself at my convenience."

What was the most helpful training you received?

"Training in money management and bookkeeping."

How has that training or new knowledge influenced you?

"I put [the training] into practice. I began to keep the record of cash flow from the Gado-gado food business. I am not the only one who runs Gado-Gado. Someone else joined me [as an employee] and together we do it. That is why we need to know exactly our day-to-day proceeds in detail."

How have the changes you have made affected your family?

"With the additional income we earn, my husband does not have to drive the passengers out of town away from home (He used to do that). Now he has more time to spend with us. . .Now my daughter is studying at campus and [I have] money to cover daily expenses."

Learn more about Five Talents work in Indonesia with GERHATI.