Profiles of Community Savings Grantées – Mrs. Marsiyem

February 25, 2008

Erica Karapandi & Akbaroedin Arif

Name: Mrs. Marsiyem (37 years old)
Occupation: Bread seller
Association: RT 08 RW 04

After tasting life in Jakarta as a factory laborer, Mrs. Marsiyem (Association RT 08 Birit Village) returned to her childhood neighborhood looking to fulfill her basic needs in a simpler way. After experiencing many years in the capital city, Mrs. Marsiyem wanted to come home. She decided to become a food seller in Birit Village, and she chose to sell bread.Mrs. Marsiyem has been in business for nearly ten months, although her food stand was already established. With a starting capital of 200.000 rupiah, this mother of two children was already familiar with breads and pastries from many regions of Indonesia. Still, at first she only kept two baskets full of merchandise to sell. Early in the day she buys baskets of unbaked breads from the market, and then spends her morning selling around to warungs (small restaurants) until she reaches the end of her route back at the market. Mrs. Marsiyem’s business is growing very quickly right now, as she is the only traveling bread seller. She can now sell up to 11 baskets full of merchandise a day.

Along with unbaked breads, the market also sells many varieties of Indonesian sweets like bakpia, bika ambon, and gandos. Mrs. Marsiyem can sometimes gross as much as 700.000 rupiah in a day, although she still also works in a repair shop every day to supplement her bread business income.

Mrs. Marsiyem’s family registered as community savings members in the program in RT 08. In addition to registering everyone in her family, Mrs. Marsiyem has also held the chairperson position in the community savings group. The members of Mrs. Marsiyem’s family registered with the group in order to provide a good example for other savings groups. The savings group in RT 08 provides a good model because since the beginning the group has been positive and very helpful in the community. They are able to provide loans of 200.000 rupiah which helps to add capital to businesses like Mrs. Marsiyem’s bread selling business. Mrs. Marsiyem was able to start her business with only 200.000 rupiah and build it up from 2 baskets of bread a day to 11 daily baskets. With a loan of 200.000 rupiah Mrs. Marsiyem can buy another 15 different varieties of bread and sweets to add to her business. The loan also helps to meet financial needs of Mrs. Marsiyem’s family.

Mrs. Marsiyem is enthusiastic about the growth of the community savings group in RT. She helped the group with bookkeeping before she was even a registered member. According to Mrs. Marsiyem, the savings must be carefully managed because if the treasurer is careless it will have a great negative impact on the morale of the group. They must especially take care to avoid treasurers who give special loans to themselves. Mrs. Marsiyem hopes that community savings group RT 08 will continue to grow and endure for a long time.