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Web-only Exclusives
November 30, 2000

From Our Correspondent: Hirohito and the War
A conversation with biographer Herbert Bix

From Our Correspondent: A Rough Road Ahead
Bad news for the Philippines - and some others

From Our Correspondent: Making Enemies
Indonesia needs friends. So why is it picking fights?

Asiaweek Time Asia Now Asiaweek story

OUT OF THE ASHES

A Jakarta entrepreneur ignites new ventures


Entrepreneurs Making money in the Crisis

Tourism Ananda Wing On Travel keeps flying in Hong Kong

Outplacement Helping Japan's workers cope with redundancy

Hospitals Life for Asia Bio Systems in Thailand

Food The Citron Cafe in Kuala Lumpur markets online

Loans They're tough to get these days - but not impossible

Internet Good times for a Singapore netizen

Hall of Fame A gallery of survivors who made it and prospered

SHINTA WIDJAJA KAMDANI COMES from a big background, but she believes small is where the future lies. "In this kind of time," says the Indonesian businesswoman, "this is where the key is - small business." Shinta, 31, is the daughter of Johnny Widjaja, who with his brothers runs the giant Tigaraksa conglomerate, which is involved in distribution, manufacturing and property. She is also one of the founders of the Indonesian chapter of the Young Entrepreneur Organization and executive chairman of the Indonesian Entrepreneur Development Foundation.

Out of the ashes left by the May riots that pushed president Suharto from power, the foundation, known by its Indonesian acronym YPWI, is working to rebuild Jakarta from its small businesses up. YPWI has about 40 projects under its wing, some of them under the "Small Business Rescue Program" in which people whose stalls or stores were destroyed in the riots are given loans, business advice and supervision to get them going again. Other businesses that weren't leveled but are still struggling due to the Crisis are being helped with soft loans and training.

YPWI grew out of a question Shinta and some friends asked themselves as they looked at their country: "What can we do as entrepreneurs?" While international donations of food and medicine are meeting some immediate needs, they will not last forever. But helping small businesses get back on their feet, they decided, will create self-sustaining jobs. As if that task were not enough, Shinta works in a variety of capacities within the Tigaraksa group and is launching her own businesses as well. While the times are tough, she sees the opportunities as limitless, and only wishes that there were more than 24 hours in a day. "This is our time," the businesswoman says of her generation. "Time to make a mark. What mark do you want to make?"

- By Jose Manuel Tesoro/Jakarta


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