IO, Surabaya – The COVID-19 pandemic is not a reason to stop innovating. This is what Ahmat Yulianto, a student of the Department of Statistics, Institut Teknologi Sepuluh Nopember (ITS) Surabaya, has demonstrated. Ahmad poured his ideas that brought him into third place in the Economic National Essay Competition (ENECO) held by the Student Executive Board (BEM), Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Al-Qur’an Science (Unsiq) in Wonosobo, Central Java, early September.
With the theme of the “Role of Students in Post-Pandemic Economic Development Reconstruction”, Ahmat presented an essay entitled Gerdunas (National MSME Digitalization Movement) program to overcome the economic problems of the community amid the pandemic. According to him, policies during the pandemic have exerted a very wide impact on Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs). “We can observe that since the pandemic, the incomes of MSMEs have decreased,” said the young man from Wonogiri in a release received by the Independent Observer, Tuesday (9/8/2020).
Based on his research, Ahmat explained that MSMEs are an economic sector that can absorb the most workers compared to other sectors. It’s just that, many MSME actors are not familiar with digital marketing. “If they understand digital marketing, their income will increase much more.”
The Gerdunas program is one solution for the decline in the income of MSME actors. In this program, cooperation from various parties is needed, such as students, the Ministry of Manpower, the Ministry of Cooperatives and Small and Medium Enterprises, and MSMEs as the main target.
The Ministry of Manpower and the Ministry of Cooperatives and Small and Medium Enterprises cooperate in terms of preparation and socialization of the program to the community, either directly or indirectly. The two ministries also coordinate well with each other, prepare a place, record MSME participants who will take part in the training, and oversee the running of this Gerdunas program.
The role of students as representatives of the university is to conduct socialization in the area around the campus as trainers. “Students who have been trained beforehand are the main elements of this training. It could also be included in the campus KKN (Social Work) program,” he said.
The program is divided into three levels of training: the beginner, capable, and proficient levels. The beginner level is aimed at MSME actors who are not familiar with the basics of computers, while the capable level is aimed at MSME actors who are computer literate, but are not familiar with digital marketing. “The proficiency level is a continuation for those who have undergone the capable level,” he said.
At the beginner level, MSME actors will be introduced to various basic computer software, as well as social media that can be used. Training on website creation, google ads, copywriting, buyer personality, and content marketing will be taught at the capable level, while at the proficient level they will be taught about Search Engine Marketing (SEM), Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Pay Per Click (PPC), and so on.
Ahmat has designed a special website for this program. On this website, there are three menus: the donation menu, the guidance area nomination menu, and the guided area menu. “Through this website, people can donate to this program, recommend new guidance areas, and see areas that have been guided,” he said.
With this innovation, which was considered by the jury to be of great use and is considered realistic, Ahmat managed to win third place, beating out 152 other students in the ENECO competition. He hopes that this achievement can be an inspiration, add insight into the world of scholarship, in both essays and written works. (est)