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MSMEs, Our "Economical Solutions"

The global economic crisis that has just hit has not been affected and has a significant impact on the national economic barn. The domino effect of the crisis can still be felt up to this day. It is proven, many national large companies are paralyzed, and led to the increasing number of unemployed, because the company's decision to lay off employees, inevitable. Layoffs are the toughest decision but still have to be taken.

According to researchers from the Center for Economic Research (P2E) LIPI, Latif Adam, the unemployment rate in Indonesia is estimated to increase by 9 percent in 2009 from last year, about 8.5 percent. According to him, the increase in the number of unemployment is more due to decreased absorption of labor in the industry due to the blow crisis. In Yogyakarta alone, based on the Central Bureau of Statistics Publication, the unemployment rate in August 2009 reached 121,000 people. Rises around 13,500 people over the same period in 2008 (Kompas, 29 December 2009).

In addition, it can be seen from the government's unpopular policies to provide bail-out funds to companies that are in prison. In fact, the case of Century bank that became a prolonged polemic lately, is also the most bare evidence of some children's problems caused by the global economic crisis.

In the midst of the national economic deficit condition, there is a quite interesting phenomenon, namely Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) it becomes the cornerstone of the Indonesian economy. Data derived from the Ministry of Cooperatives and Small and Medium Enterprises show a steady increase in the last 10 years. By the end of 2008 alone, the number of small and medium enterprises in Indonesia reached 51, 26 million units, up by 39.5 per cent since 1998. In fact, some small and medium entrepreneurs have been able to penetrate European export markets (Tempo, 21-27 December 2009: p. 23).

This shows, small-medium enterprises were relatively more stable in the face of the onslaught of the crisis. This is certainly not without reason. Small-medium enterprises have a number of potentials that make it immune in the face of crisis. The potentials are, first, small-medium enterprises are generally elastic, flexible, adaptive. Second, because they have no bargaining power with policymakers, small-to-medium business actors usually move with their own capital, creativity, and innovation (Tempo, 21-27 December 2009: p. 23). This then became the line of distinction with the big companies that were in a time of crisis almost collapsed. If in large companies funds are injected from banks, then when banks in times of crisis experience liquidity constraints, companies come shaky.

Looking at the potentials, it is no wonder that many people then expect MSMEs can also be used as the "last stronghold" of Indonesia's economic rescue in the Asian-China Free Trade Area (AC-FTA) project, which recently complained about by the Indonesian side.
This expectation is not excessive, given the achievements that have been achieved by SMEs as has been alluded to above. In this year UMKM becomes the "sacred solution" to save our economy. UMKM as one form of business has made the spirit of self-reliance and creative in him. It is in line with Soekarno'sMarhaenism teaching which emphasizes the same spirit. Creativity and courage work and strive to be the most expensive investment in an increasingly competitive business world. In line with Daniel H. Pink's prediction that the future of the world belongs only to those who maximize their creative right-brain function (Pink, 2007).

Asa Create the Ruler

From the facts above, it is proper and proper for the government to give more attention in encouraging small-medium enterprises as a strategy and efforts to improve the national economy that is targeted to reach 6.3 percent.

Efforts to be made by the government not only stop at making policies related to SMEs that enable ease of access of small-medium business actors on banking problems. More than that, the government should also campaign for the importance of self-reliance, entrepreneurial attitude for the nation's children. This is what is meant by economic development which has broad dimension as a nation character building which is based on human capital superiority (Sampurno, 2007: 14). This economic development strategy has provided evidence of success that can be seen from the sprawling economy of Singapore and South Korea. Whereas in about 1960, Singapore, South Korea and Indonesia had relatively similar per capita income.

Campaigns and education in fostering an entrepreneurial attitude as the spirit of MSMEs are so important. Because of the independence of the nation, as one of the national character can be achieved with this program. In fact, several years ago AnisBaswedan predicted that the ruling elite, or a group of prominent Indonesian social groups in the future, which would determine the course of the nation's journey, was in the hands of entrepreneurs (Kompas, 31 October 2006). Anis analysis above, at least contains the notion that entrepreneurship is becoming a trend of its own in the present. That means, the government's efforts to seriously campaign for the importance of entrepreneurship actually find momentum.

But so far, the government has only stopped on normative targets and without concrete and adequate action. Whereas in the national dialogue meeting, National Summit 2009, the recommendation that the government pay attention to MSMEs so brightly lit.

More ironically, this regional level democracy event (PILKADA) this year, actually even decorated by the lack of issues related to SMEs that carried the candidates. Unlike other issues that stick to the surface and become a political commodity. A bad gesture of the government's commitment to beri'tikad improve our economy.

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Other Constraints UMKM

Our disappointment over a number of indications of government's seriousness in paying attention to MSMEs is actually quite remedial, as the private sector moves faster in paying attention to MSMEs. Later, rampant non-governmental institutions contributed to the spread of entrepreneurial viruses. This can be seen from the start of the establishment of private universities that concern on entrepreneurship and the many seminars with related themes held. Call it for example Ciputra University Group. Of course, it is a positive endeavor that we should appreciate.

But the problem is, all the efforts undertaken to cultivate the entrepreneurial attitude above is still an exclusive face. In fact, emerging trends of entrepreneurship education itself so a business that has a chance of "wet". It is proven with so expensive contribution of fund for seminar. In big cities, seminars on entrepreneurship can take hundreds of thousands of rupiah. Or, at the Ciputra Group University, anyone who wants to study in it must provide about 30 millions. Of course this turns from the initial spirit to build a mentality and national human character that is self-sufficient through entrepreneurship. Because it only perpetuates the philosophy of "the rich, who have the opportunity and have a great opportunity to become rich again". So the government's commitment to pay attention to the existence of UMKM again only stopped as a boast.

MSMEs, the "sacred solution" of our neglected economic rescue. Sometimes the clarity in the modern world and the (modern) 

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