Profit Sharing from Women’s Economic Groups Help Fulfil Family Needs During Ramadan and Eid Al-Fitri

PST KUEP Simpati Kencana

Household needs are increased as Eid approaches. The distribution of profits from the Women’s Economic Enterprise Group (KUEP) serves as additional income for its members, especially in Sri Mulyo and Bumi Kencana Villages, Musi Banyuasin District (MUBA), South Sumatra. The profit sharing took place during the Annual Cycle Closing (PST) on March 7 and 10, 2023, which also served as an opportunity to comprehensively review the development, success, challenges, and future plans of the groups in the upcoming cycle.

KUEP in Sri Mulyo and Bumi Kencana Villages are part of the Women’s Empowerment Program in the Oil Palm Community conducted by the Yayasan CARE Peduli (YCP). In total, 13 villages in MUBA District have been supported by YCP since 2022.

Sulastri, the Chairwoman of KUEP Unggul Mulyo in Sri Mulyo Village, emphasized that the principle of accountability is fundamental in managing their business group. Through accountability reports, the KUEP management outlines the business process over one cycle or 12 months to group members. “During the Annual Cycle Closing (PST), the KUEP management will be held accountable for the entire management of KUEP, reporting business activities, profits and losses, as well as distributing business profits according to the rules of the group. We will also review KUEP policies, including evaluating the management’s performance,” she said.

KUEP Unggul Mulyo started its operation on March 2023, conducted two types of businesses: savings and loan activities, and the production of woven crafts from oil palm trees. Sulastri mentioned, over the course of 12 months, the savings and loan activities of KUEP Unggul Mulyo have expanded, with the number of members increasing to 40 individuals and managing member loan funds reaching Rp. 81,250,000. “Alhamdulillah, after 6 months, our group had sufficient capital to add new members. Although we are a women’s business group, male members are allowed to join as long as they meet the criteria and have agreed by all members,” she explained. Sulastri also conveyed that their woven crafts business from oil palm continues to thrive. It was agreed that 20% of the total sales revenue would go into KUEP’s treasury. As of February 2024, the sales revenue from woven crafts amounted to Rp. 4,181,000.

“Considering the progress of our savings and loan activities and the woven rattan business, during this Annual Cycle Closing (PST), we will distribute Rp. 924,400 to each group members as profit sharing. We will also distribute savings of group members according to the agreed KUEP regulations. This distribution will be used by the members for their family needs during Ramadan and Eid,” Sulastri continued.

Similar to that, KUEP Simpati Kencana in Bumi Kencana Village also operates savings and loan activities, as well as woven crafts businesses. Puji Wiyatim, the Chairwoman of KUEP Simpati Kencana, mentioned that their group also engages in another business, which is the cultivation of oyster mushrooms. As of February 2024, KUEP Simpati Kencana has 30 members and manages member loan funds amounting to Rp. 55,800,000. Meanwhile, revenue from the woven rattan business reached Rp. 2,050,000, and revenue from the oyster mushroom cultivation received an investment of Rp. 5,000,000. “All members are active, but some do not have savings and have not accessed loans. This is something we need to review. We are also optimistic about our woven crafts business, which we believe can further improve,” said Puji.

Puji further explained that their group’s oyster mushroom cultivation business has begun to yield harvests. “Alhamdulillah, we have started harvesting every day for the past 3 days. However, we cannot report this yet as it is still too early,” she said.

Puji stated that during the Annual Cycle Closing (PST), their business group will return all savings to KUEP members to fulfil family needs during Ramadan and Eid. “The group will repurchase group shares after Eid. So, the return of savings is calculated from the remaining instalment payments by members during PST. Approximately a total of Rp. 21,000,000 in savings will be distributed to group members,” Puji explained.

The Annual Cycle Closing (PST) at KUEP Unggul Mulyo and KUEP Simpati Kencana went smoothly. Sulastri and Puji mentioned several matters were also discussed, such as the implementation of new regulations regarding late payment fines, regulations for adding new members, savings price limits, service charges, calculation comparisons between savings and loans for members, as well as loan durations.

“The PST discussion went smoothly and covered important matters. We were delighted to have guests such as representatives from YCP, the Cooperative and SME Agency of MUBA District, the Sub-district Head of Tungkal Jaya, and other invitees in attendance. During the PST, we agreed on a shift in KUEP management. I hope our business group continues to thrive,” said Sulastri.

In line with Sulastri, Puji expressed that the members of their group felt greatly supported by the distribution of savings from the business group before Ramadan and Eid. “Our group members are profoundly thankful for the current distribution of savings and are experiencing first-hand the advantages of being part of our business group. Alhamdulillah, our business group is also recognized for its transparency in calculating and distributing savings to members,” she expressed.

Rasyid Rasiki, the Project Manager & Livelihood Technical Lead at YCP, emphasized that the implementation of the PST was highly transparent, allowing them to observe how KUEP operates and supports the economic well-being of its members and families. KUEP members also gained an understanding of participation, transparency, and accountability principles in managing the business group.

“Government representatives were present at the PST and provided positive feedback. The Cooperative Agency showed great enthusiasm in witnessing KUEP’s growth and adherence to cooperative principles. They expressed their commitment to support the elevation of KUEP’s status. Additionally, support from the village government was pledged to enhance KUEP’s business endeavours. We at YCP in MUBA District are optimistic that KUEP will continue to flourish,” he stated.

Rasyid further added that the PST will also be conducted in other villages where KUEP operates. The initiation of new cycles for each KUEP will commence after Eid al-Fitr.

Writer: Swiny Adestika, Photo Source: Nuraisyah Pohan

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