Jakarta (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) met with women running micro businesses in Batu Bara District during his working visit to North Sumatra on Wednesday, according to his office.

During the meeting, Jokowi gave motivation to the women, who are beneficiaries of the Prosperous Family's Economy (Mekaar) Funding Program, and urged them to maintain discipline, spirit, and tenacity.

"Once I arrived here, I observed a high level of enthusiasm demonstrated by the ladies here. Enthusiasm is the main capital, right? No less important is hard work and discipline," he told them.

The president, who once ran a furniture business, recalled how he had founded his enterprise in Solo, Central Java, back in 1988. He noted that he managed to grow his business and open branches in Jakarta and its surroundings three years after starting his business.

"How was that possible? It was because I worked from dawn until midnight, while others were only working from morning until afternoon. That is what I call tenacity—working from dawn until midnight," he pointed out.

Jokowi emphasized the need for business owners to be disciplined in order to solidify their entrepreneurial characters.

"For instance, if you have committed to paying installments on Monday, then you have to do it. If you are determined to gather money to pay installments by Saturday, then you have to make it happen. That is discipline. It is important for small businesses to maintain discipline," he emphasized.

On the occasion, Jokowi also lauded the beneficiaries of the Mekaar Program in North Sumatra for their punctuality in paying their loans, noting that the rate of bad credit among the beneficiaries had only reached 0.5 percent of the total of Rp17.7 trillion (around US$1.1 billion) loaned to 1.1 million people.

"I am delighted to learn that the rate of bad credit among the beneficiaries of the Mekaar Program here remains low at 0.5 percent. This means that ladies here have been very disciplined and punctual in paying loans," he remarked.

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Translator: Andi F, Tegar Nurfitra
Editor: Anton Santoso
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