Nurbaiti: Anything to keep her children stay in school

“I used to constantly worry about what my family is going to eat. That’s how hard life was for us.”

Nurbaiti could not hide her gratitude as she reminisced about her life in the past 12 years. The convection factory where she used to work was closed, leaving her with no job but still a lot of bills to pay. She then decided to sell nasi uduk – a tasty Indonesian style steamed rice – the only option viable at that time. She still clearly remembers how she had to borrow money from her relatives – a rather small amount of money, around US$ 10-30 – just to keep her small business going.

“My day started at 2.30 in the morning, preparing and cooking nasi uduk then driving my motorcycle to sell the food and got back home at noon,” said this 49-year-old mother.

One day in 2012, four years after she started her business, YCAB Ventures came to her place offering a working loan. She immediately became interested in the program and applied for a working loan.

“The process was hassle-free, which is great because I really could use the money for my business,” said Nurbaiti.

At that time, all her three children were still in school, so she thought a working loan would enable her to grow her business and therefore allow her to earn more money for her children’s education. She always believes that education is key for the future of her children.

“I always said to my children: ‘All you have to care about is your study’,” said Nurbaiti, adding that she used to go to her children’s school only to ask for school fee instalment as she didn’t have enough money to pay it all at once.

With the working loan, Nurbaiti’s small business gradually grew and diversified. She then opened a food and livestock stall. Hundreds of packs of food sold every day and her profit increased significantly.

In 2015, her business slowed down forcing her to close it. But soon after, Nurbaiti gathered her determination back and re-opened her business. She now hires an assistant to help her run the business.

“As long as I am healthy, I want to continue to grow my business, to have a shop in a more strategic place,” said Nurbaiti. “I have no doubt I will get there someday,” she added.

Now, two of her children have graduated from school. Anika, her second child, obtained YCAB’s scholarship and is currently studying management in a university in Tangerang while working as Relation Officer in YCAB Ventures office.

“One day I will have my own rice shop and ask my mother to manage the business,” said Anika.