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Leni’s broom business takes off

By Opportunity International Australia

Leni and her husband Zulfani live in a rural area of South Sumatra, Indonesia. They run a coconut broom business, producing palm-fibre brooms and bamboo curtains and selling them to nearby markets in cities.

Leni has four children – one daughter, who is already married, and three sons - who she provides for with the profits earned from her broom-making business.

Leni at her broom business

It wasn’t easy when they started out. “The difficulty I faced was the capital,” said Leni. Due to a lack of capital, they couldn’t buy a lot of raw materials at a time and supply was challenging at times, making it difficult to make and sell brooms. 

“During Ramadan, it was a bit tough to get the raw material like bamboo.”

When Opportunity’s local partner BAV opened a new branch in her area in East Lubuklinggau in South Sumatra, Leni was able to take out a loan of A$350, and she used the money to buy coconut leaves in bulk to make brooms.  

The brooms Leni makes for profit

“With the money from the loan I can buy one ton of coconut leaves,” Leni said. “The broom business requires substantial capital since we have to buy everything.” 

Leni and her husband now employ three people to help them in their business. They also create brooms at different price with varying grades of materials. The money from the business has helped them to support their children’s education. Leni dreams of reaching new markets and taking out a bigger loan once she’s repaid this loan, to invest more into raw materials and continue growing the business. 

Leni and her family in Sumatra

As the business grows, Leni hopes she can support her children to achieve their dreams. Two of her children are working already and she hopes her youngest son, who is still studying, will excel at his studies and go on to become a police officer.

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