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Women Social Entrepreneurs:



Women Social Entrepreneurs:


15 Women Social Entrepreneurs: Inspiring Indonesia @ 2016 Published by: Oxfam in Indonesia Jl. Taman Margasatwa No. 26A Ragunan, Jakarta 12550 T.: +62 21 7811-827 F.: +62 21 7813-321 Oxfam: Dini Widiastuti Heny Soelistyowati Writers: Nasrullah and the team for Oxfam in Indonesia Graphic designer: Arief Darmawan for Oxfam in Indonesia Map: Tival Godoras for Oxfam in Indonesia


Projects implemented by Oxfam in Indonesia and its partners are joint initiative Oxfam in Indonesia with the Ministry of Social Affairs Republic of Indonesia. Disclaimer: Opinions and views expressed in this book do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Ministry of Social Affairs Republic of Indonesia.

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from responsible resources 100% Cert on FSC-C012827 Š 1996 Forest Stewardship Council

Printed on Earth One 100% recycled paper. Manufactured from FSC 100% recycled pulp, supporting responsible use of forest resources.

Contents Foreword




Business Development Scheme


1. Fania Food: Dominating the Indonesian Market from the Family Kitchen 2. Taking care of the Mangroves, Nurturing life 3. Super Sri Sadono Rice: Proud to be a Rice Farmer 4. nDalem Chocolate: A Token of the Heart from Jogja 5. Du’Anyam: Weaving Women’s Lives 6. Mina Food: Keep on Trying and Don’t Give Up 7. Pelangi Nusantara: Soaring High with Recycled Fabrics 8. The Organic Food Hero from Pitusunggu 9. Sangkuriang Taro Layer Cake: Transforming Taro into a World Class Snack 10. Chocolate Cacao: Glorifying Cacao Farmers 11. Arafa Tea: An Upstream to Downstream Endeavour to Promote Indonesian Tea 12. Komodo Water: Running a Business while Empowering the Community 13. AV Care: Recycling Trash, Improving the Community’s Economy 14. Luwak Lanang Coffee: The Bitter Taste that Turned into a Sweet Fruit 15. Rumah Sampah Tapi Indah: Empowering the Deaf with Garbage



14 28 40 54 68 80 94 106 120 132 146 162 176 186

Foreword Entrepreneurs play a big role in the national economy. Not only do they create jobs and increase the community’s overall income, entrepreneurs are also often regarded as mobilizers for progress in the community, as well as innovators who are able to transform a potential into something of economic value. Exactly how many entrepreneurs, especially women, are there in Indonesia, and where are they? This is not an easy question to answer. But what is clear is that Indonesia needs more entrepreneurs. The National Labor Force Survey (Sakernas 2014) indicates that only 4.9% women of working age employ part-time and full-time employees, while for men the number is 15.5.%. This indicates that there is a great need to promote more women entrepreneurs. Women generally face more obstacles in starting and running a business than men. Nonetheless, there are many who have overcome these challenges and become an inspiration for other women entrepreneurs. So where are these women entrepreneurs? What are the profiles and characteristics of successful women entrepreneurs? This book contains the stories of 15 women of different backgrounds, who have lived their lives with full dedication. These women understand that the options for employment is not only limited to working behind a desk, but also by becoming an entrepreneur. This type of work can be done while also maintaining the domestic work—although domestic work is not only the task of women. Not only do they contribute to the household income, they also contribute to reducing poverty and the social agenda. The main takeaway and examples from each of the stories is how the women entrepreneurs started their business, conducted research and analysis, as well how they chose their respective sectors and target

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Inspiring Indonesia

audiences. Additionally, we are also able to see how they became social entrepreneurs by including their local communities, developed a business plan and took into account the gender aspect as one of the most important elements of a social enterprise. From their stories, we learn about the financial systems they use to run their enterprises; such as how they obtained the capital, the business scheme they utilized, and the pros and cons of those schemes. Moreover, we are able to understand the types of environments that were advantageous to the growth of their businesses, including how they were supported by their families, parents and surrounding environments. Originally, we wanted to feature women working in the agriculture, plantation and fisheries sectors, which is really special given that these sectors are typically dominated by men. However, as the process unfolded, we found many other fascinating stories from our partners in the media, humanitarian organizations and business media. So, we decided we could be a little flexible in the criteria of business we used to determine who to feature in the book. As a result, the book presents quite a wide scope and a much richer picture of women entrepreneurs in Indonesia. We would like to thank everyone who had been involved in creating this book. Special thanks goes to the British Council for their support in collecting the profiles of so many inspiring young entrepreneurs. Oxfam in Indonesia, which is part of the global movement for change and realising a future free of poverty, hopes that this book will inspire and motivate Indonesian youth to start their own businesses and improve the welfare of their families and communities. Jakarta, June 2016 Dini Widiastuti Economic Justice Program Director


From the Writer I remember how oppressive the heat was that afternoon. My watch indicated it was 1:00 pm. Both of my wrists were shaking as I drove my moped through a deserted, rocky, incline on Solor Island, East Nusa Tenggara. My final destination was Tanah Werang Village, in Solor Timur Sub-District, East Flores District. It took me an hour to travel on the ferry boat from Larantuka District to Menanga Dock, and then another 45 minute drive to the village. Throughout the trip, I had only one thought, “Why would anyone want to travel this far every day?” It was not long before my question was answered. I met with Hannah and one of her workers from the Du’Anyam team—a small business that makes woven crafts from palm leaves—who were engrossed in their weaving activities alongside a group of other women weavers. Du’Anyam buys the crafts made by the women groups and sells them in Java and Bali. In addition to the business, Du’Anyam also hosts a number of activities for maternal and child health in the villages in which they work. On a different island, Sabrina, owner of Aneka Coklat Kakoa company, is talking with the cacao farmers on the quality of the beans they picked. They were sitting on the porch of a villager of Pesisir Barat District, located about 180 kilometers from the capital of Lampung province. All of this happened during an extremely hot afternoon. While I took pictures, again I thought, ‘Why would anyone want to leave their comfortable life abroad “just” to work like this?’ I found this snippet during an interview for this book that is in your hands, “15 Women Social Entrepreneurs: Inspiring Indonesia”. For about four months, I travelled to Serdang Begadai District in North Sumatra all the way to West Flores District in East Nusa Tenggara, to conduct interviews with women entrepreneurs in various fields. I was not alone, as I had three other writers visiting these inspirational women in Bogor City, Bandung, South Tangerang, Pangkep, Malang and Surabaya.

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We wanted to interview women working in the agriculture, plantation and fisheries sectors, given that these are fields that are generally dominated by men. However, along the way, through our contacts in the journalism, humanitarian organisations and business media, we discovered that not many women were working in these fields. So, we decided we would be flexible on the criteria of business we used to determine the interviewees. All of the women we met were very excited about sharing their journeys and struggles to build a business that was relatively new. Furthermore, nearly all of the interviewees were shy about sharing how much their businesses made. Nonetheless, it was their right to not want to answer. This book is not a manual or a how-to book for those wanting to be social entrepreneurs. Rather, it is a testament that being an entrepreneur is not just about making money. Being an entrepreneur is also about creating an opportunity for the business owner to help their surrounding environment. The women in this book also prove that it is not always necessary to start out with a big capital fund. Dini Bangun Wijayanti and Rizka Wahyu Romadhona both proved this point. A strong determination and hard work are the keys to success. Many thanks to Oxfam for starting this book. Oxfam has facilitated and created a bridge for the stories of these women entrepreneurs to become inspirations for other women and men in Indonesia. Regards, Nasrullah Writer Team


1 KSU Muara Baimbai 2 Kokoa Chocolate

Location 15 Women Social Entrepreneurs

3 Rumah Sampah Tapi Indah 4 Sangkuriang Taro Layer Cake 5 Arafa Tea viii

Inspiring Indonesia

6 Fania Food

11 Pelangi Nusantara

7 Cokelat nDalem

12 AV Care

8 Mina Food

13 Pita Aksi Farmers

9 Super Sri Sadono Rice

14 Komodo Water

10 Luwak Lanang Coffee

15 Du’Anyam ix

Business Development Hotel

Supermarket GOVERNMENT
















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Disclaimer: This scheme is created based on interview with the interviewed profiles.







Research & Development




Fania Food: Dominating the Indonesian Market from the Family Kitchen

Hani is in her production

house in Kota Gede,


them ially in the kitchen, Hani is still working with and control the quality of Fania Food.

Photos: Rosita Carolina Yasin for Oxfam in Indonesia.

Even though she has 13 employees espec

Business Profile Company Name:

Fania Food

Field of Business: Dry and frozen product from seafood ______________

Established since:



Type of Product:

Price range: IDR11,000.00 - IDR17,000.00 ________________________

• 18 types of frozen products such as fish nugget, fish and calamari meatballs, boneless presto and fish sausage.

Supplier: Local fish market __________________

• 5 type of dry products, such as: shredded fish and crispy fish _______________________

Production capacity:

± 200 kgs of fish/day

Gross Revenue:


IDR80 million/month


Marketing: Yogyakarta (supermarket, schools, government’s institution, hospitals) 50 reseller agents across Java and Bali, social media

14 people

Employees: 50 reseller agents outside Yogyakarta

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Inspiring Indonesia

LOCATION: Gedongan Baru II No.14 RT.07 Pelemwulung, Banguntapan, Bantul Provinsi Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta


“Starting an enterprise is not only about money, but also about how to be useful to other people.” Hani


ani Kusdaryanti, 39, started her successful fish-based food product business from a small operation in her kitchen together with her children’s nanny. These days, Fania Food has developed into a fully operational business with its own production house, 13 kitchen workers, 1 administrative employee, and is connected with over 50 agents across Indonesia. On a daily basis, the fish processing operation requires between 100 and

15 Women Social Entrepreneurs

200 kilograms of fish, which could go up to 300 kg during the Ied al-Fitr holiday season. Hani’s business makes a profit to the tune of 180 million Rupiahs per month. These achievements were not accomplished overnight. Hani put her energy, brainpower and heart into it. The proverbial road to her success was led by maintaining food quality, careful analysis of the market and fostering good relationships with her customers and agents.


Inspiring Indonesia

Name: Hani Kusdaryanti Place, Date of Birth: Kudus, 1977 Address: Gedongan Baru II No.14 RT7 Pelemwulung, Banguntapan, Bantul Education: IPPI Yogyakarta Occupation: Owner and Director of Fania Food Field of Business: Dry and frozen products from seafood

The physical road to Fania Food in Kota Gede, Yogyakarta follows a small road, through an alley, where one begins to see delivery mopeds featuring a mounted box with a fish logo—a good sign that we are near—and finds a local mosque. Behind the mosque is an unassuming white building with a large protruding industrial refrigeration unit and a sign that reads: Fania Food. A poster on the store front lists a sample of the processed fish products, such as meatballs, sausages, spring rolls, and bandeng presto, or pressurecooked milkfish.

Food’s office and kitchen,” she said warmly. Immediately thereafter, she led us for a tour around the production house. We had decided it would be better to visit the production house in Kota Gede, as opposed to Hani’s residence in Bantul. That way, we would be able to observe how the fish is processed at the factory.

In the factory, we met a worker who was packing the finished products. We also found that some of the products contained shrimp and chicken meat. “Only a few of our products are made of shrimp and Hani greeted us in a small living chicken. Our main line remains fishroom decorated with various awards based products,” she explained. and certificates. “Welcome to Fania


Although the production house appears to be small from the outside, there is large kitchen in the back. Ten women were seen working in the space, some of them making fish meatballs, some working with the frying vat, and others mixing ingredients in large bowls. Fania Food may claim to be a household industry, but the production house feels like a large factory. Workers wore bright blue uniforms, maskers, and latex gloves. Despite the industrial working atmosphere, the relationship between the

workers remains familiar, as they warmly greet each other in between breaks. Once in a while, the workers would have a conversation over their work. Overlooking the window is a beautiful view of the green rice fields. “When you run a business, you cannot rely solely on instinct or simply hope that it will succeed on its own. You need to pay attention to everything and do everything— not only with your energy and mind, but with all your heart,” said Hani Kusdaryanti, a mother of two.

Starting at Home While Hani grew up in Kudus, a city known for its trade activities, she left it for Yogyakarta to go to college. This is where she met her future husband and eventually settled down. By 2008, they were raising two children and her husband had started to ask her to focus more on raising the children. This caused Hani to consider quitting her job.

Before fully committing to her business, Hani, who was born in Kudus, Central Java, taught at a community college in Yogyakarta. She is the first born and only girl among her three brothers. Teaching seemed to run in the family, as her parents and brother were also teachers. After Hani began her business, her second brother also started a small business of his own. Meanwhile, her youngest brother is still in college.

15 Women Social Entrepreneurs

“At the time, I was not sure I wanted to make that decision quite yet. In addition to needing a steady income, I also felt like I needed


Inspiring Indonesia

an activity to do outside of the house. For me, working or starting a business was not only about the money, but also gaining social status and creating an avenue to help other people,” said Hani, who won the Presidential Cup for the National Food Award in 2014.

her mother make the cakes many times before, she felt like she needed to perfect her technique to create quality, marketable products. As her business grew, she asked her nanny to help her in the kitchen. When more orders started to come in, she began to believe that the milkfish business held some economic potential. Upon her husband’s recommendations, Hani posted a 10-centimeter ad in the local classifieds. “It was kind of like a small marketing test,” she explained.

It was this desire to seek an alternative income that drove Hani to start her business in processed fish products. She was inspired by her parents who used to make grilled milkfish cakes or also known as otak-otak, a specialty of her hometown, Kudus. Her mother’s grilled fish cakes and bandeng presto (pressure-cooked milkfish) were always special treats that her family looked forward to. And when she had extras, Hani would bring the cakes to her workplace and give some to her neighbours.

Many people responded to the ad, including those making inquiries and orders. “My orders increased to 5 kilograms a day after I posted the ad, a two-kilogram increase from before,” she said.

As it turns out, her colleagues and neighbours took quite a liking to the fish cakes. Many of them were curious about this fish cake and began to ask her to make more of them, some even for social events. To be able to fulfill the increasingly large orders, Hani had her mother teach her how to make the fish cakes and bandeng presto. Even though she had watched

Hani began to advertise her fish cakes and bandeng presto in various places. Before leaving for work, early in the morning, she and her nanny would go to the market to buy the ingredients for the cakes. And then when she got home from work, she would work on the fish cakes again, focusing on the marketing aspect.


Her business continued to grow with a production rate of up to 30 kilograms per day. However, there were both ups and downs in her business. Sometimes, she would make too many fish cakes that she would have to bring them back home. And since she did not use any preservatives in the cakes, they did not last long. “We would end up eating the fish cakes ourselves,” she said. Hani was discouraged.

Luckily, her husband continued to provide her with moral support, which lifted her spirits. Despite a number of rejections from several shops, Hani finally found a way to expand her business locally, nationally, and even internationally. Her big break came when she participated in a trade expo in Yogyakarta and met a convenience store manager. He asked her to do a presentation and make him an offer to sell her products in his store.

Perseverance to break into the convenience store market Despite being offered a formal invitation, this did not mean that Hani’s products became an instant success. When she delivered her fish cakes at the convenience store for the first time, it was not very well-received. Despite having put her best effort into it, some of the customers said that the packaging wasn’t too attractive and the fish meat looked wrinkled. But she did not give up. She tried again for a second time, but her products were again rejected. The store manager said that there was not any space on the shelves for her fish cakes.

15 Women Social Entrepreneurs

Because of these setbacks, Hani changed her marketing strategy and decided to approach a local, smaller convenience store instead. This time, the store accepted her fish cakes and they sold out immediately. She eventually sold many of her fish cakes there. Armed with proof of the high volume of orders and high demand from the local store, Hani went back to the large convenience store to pitch her products. They took them in and sold her fish cakes. “Evidence speaks louder than words,” she said, hinting at her secret in breaking into the convenience store market.


Inspiring Indonesia

Once again, however, she had to jump through several hoops before she could start selling her fish cakes at the convenience store. She had to get different licenses, including a trademark from the National Agency of Drug and Food Control, halal certification, and the Indonesian National Standard certification. It was a confusing process, as much of the bureaucracy and the cost for these certifications were foreign to her. However, she eventually registered her product at all the appropriate agencies and got all the required certifications. The brand name she used to register her fish cakes was Fania Food, a portmanteau of her two children’s names, Farell and Intania.

As expected, once she was able to get into the convenience stores, her sales rocketed. In 2010, Fania Food was processing up to 200 kg of fish per day. Due to this increased rate in sales, she needed to get more workers. What started with one additional worker—a neighbour— quickly grew into six more workers. In the same year, Hani bought a house for 100 million Rupiahs in Kota Gede, Yogyakarta, which she converted into a production house for Fania Food. Furthermore, Hani also received support from the Department of Industries and the Department of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries in Jogjakarta to participate in several entrepreneurship competitions. She won several awards, including national second runner up in the small and medium enterprises (SME) in processed fish category and the Adibhakti Mina Bahari Award from the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries. These accomplishments helped bolster Fania Food’s notoriety and trust amongst consumers.


Devotion to the business Despite national recognition of her business, sales at the convenience stores and through agents began to slow down. Business was so slow that the production volume was reduced by 30 kilograms per day.

Hani then thought about a workshop she had attended in Bogor that year about making fish-based food products. “At the time, I was feeling overconfident about my products and was not paying much attention to the workshop. I felt that my fishcakes and bandeng presto were doing very well, so I did not feel the need to try new things,” she recounted. “Well, I was wrong. So, I went to look for the recipe book that was given out during the workshop,” she said.

Up until this point, Hani had been managing her business as a side job to her full-time job. Given the significant decline in sales, she decided to take a leave of absence from her teaching job. For ten days, she visited several convenience stores, met with agents, and saw all her loyal customers. During this tour, she learned many important things, mainly that there was a new competitor in the market. The competition was selling fish cakes that used preservatives, which meant that they could last longer and were sold at a much lower price than hers.

Hani and her kitchen helper tried out a few of the recipes. Meanwhile, she also engaged with her customers and agents to solicit feedback on her products, including what kinds of food products they would like her to make. She also gave out free samples of her new creations to them. “Everyone had an opinion about the taste, packaging, and other aspects. I considered every piece of feedback that I got,” she recalled.

Additionally, Hani’s agents and customers said that they were getting tired of Fania Food, which only offered fish cakes and bandeng presto. Many of them were interested in other products and brands. “That’s when I thought I would need to make other fishbased foods,” she said.

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This feedback led to Fania Food offering 18 different types of frozen fish products, including milkfish cakes, bandeng presto, fish nuggets, fish cakes, tofu meatballs, fish sausages, and shrimp balls.


Inspiring Indonesia

Additionally, Hani also made dried food products, such as shredded fish meat, crispy tilapia, milkfish chips, and carp chips. The prices ranged between 11,000 to 17,000 Rupiahs per bag, weighing between 200 – 250 grams. The fish cakes and the bandeng presto were sold not by the bag, but rather by weight of the whole fish. Further, Hani was determined to create one new product every three months. Her kitchen team had also grown into 13 workers.

With each year, Fania Food’s rate of production and sales continue to increase. In 2011, the business made profits to the tune of 90 million Rupiahs per month. It was at this point that Hani decided to quit her job as a teacher and treasurer at her school. She made the decision to focus on managing Fania Food— a decision that turned out to be the right one as the size of the business was growing exponentially. By the end of 2014, her business was making 180 million Rupiahs a month.

Most recently, she recruited the services of Hari Susanto, her husband. His background in IT helped her with the business, mainly in marketing Fania Food online. Meanwhile, Fania Food sales have expanded considerably, particularly with many agents offering their services to her. Hani established that agents would receive 20% of the proceeds. Currently, she works with over 50 agents in several cities, such as Yogyakarta, Solo, Jakarta, Bandung, Cimahi, Depok, Surabaya, Kudus, Nganjuk, Banyumas, Medan, Denpasar, Malang, Semarang, Boyolali, and Banjarnegara. Fania Food products are sold in convenience stores, hospitals, school canteens, military canteens, and several other outlets.

Nonetheless, the decision to leave a job she had been doing for 14 years did not come lightly. Her family, especially her mother, was very much against it. “If all you wanted to become was a fishmonger, why bother with all the schooling all the way out in Yogyakarta?” said Hani, reciting her mother’s words. Being a teacher had become a tradition in her family, as her grandparents and parents were also once teachers. In the end, Hani assured her mother that she would continue to be engaged in education. “At least now I will


have more time to spend with my children, serving as both a parent and teacher to them,” stated Hani. As time went by, Hani would not be able to escape the world of education, even if she wanted to. Because of her extensive experience in making fish-based foods and subsequently marketing them, coupled with the many awards that she received, many institutions asked her to share some of this knowledge and experiences. The Department of Maritime Affairs and Fishers in Yogyakarta has invited her several times to do a campaign on the benefits of eating fish and shellfish in different areas in the province.

centers, meet with women’s groups, and talk with anyone who is interested in learning about what I do and how I do it. This includes the benefits of eating fish and how to process fish into a variety of food products,” she stated. Her advice to homemakers who might have some extra time and would like to earn additional income is to just “go for it”. “Don’t wait until you have a large amount of capital. Just use what you have. If you like what you are doing, you will surely succeed,” she said.

Further, at least every couple of months, Hani receives invitations to speak at events outside of Java, such as in Lombok, Gorontalo, Makassar, Balikpapan. During these speaking events, she is able to expand her market and share her knowledge and expertise in starting a business. “I visit early childhood

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Tips from Fania Food:

1. Work not only with your physical and mental abilities, but also with your heart. Hani believes that when you put your heart into your work, other people will also accept it with their hearts as well. “There are no ‘small things’ in starting up and managing a business. Everything is a big thing.” 2. Prioritise Quality. Hani refused to compromise on quality in order to get more customers. “I once received an order of a few tons, but I had to decline because it would force me to use a second-grade quality of meat.” 3. Turn a complaint into feedback. Many people consider customer or agent complaints as just that, or think that they don’t understand the hard work that went into the products. However, if we really listen to their complaints and transform it into feedback, these can become important assets for improvement. “I always ask my customers and agents for their opinion on flavor, packaging, and what kind of products they would like to see in the market.” 4. Your employees are your partners, not your subordinates. Fania Food ingredients, spices and products are freely available to the employees. Wages and other requirements are always discussed together. “Fania has a tradition of providing its products to its employees. We must ensure that those who worked on cooking and making the food products are also allowed to taste their final products.” 5. Don’t give up. Hani believes that success does not happen overnight, and that setbacks or failures should not prevent us from reaching that success. “The important thing is that we keep trying; whether we fail or succeed, it is not up to us.”


Taking care of the Mangroves, Nurturing life


ling at Mangrove Bea uple of visitors are cyc

15 Women Social Entrepreneurs


ch. This eco-tourism des

Inspiring Indonesia

tination is managed by KSU Muara Baimbai.


Photos: Nasrullah for Oxam in Indonesia.

We can rent cabin in mangrove area and we can enjoy the mangrove forest.

Business Profile Company Name:

KSU Muara Baimbai

Field of Business: Established since: snacks from mangrove tree, ecotourism, community ________________ cooperative _____________

JulY 2013

Type of product: crackers, tea ________________

Initial capital: IDR15,000.00 per member +

gross revenue:

(from British Council) _________________

IDR100 million

Âą IDR1,5 billion per year

Price range: IDR7,000.00 - IDR10,000.00 (mangrove snacks) _______________

(from all business sectors) _____________________

84 people

Employee: community cooperative member ___________

Sales and Marketing: Direct sales/own counter at cooperative office and mangrove beach, direct order from customer

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Supplier: mangrove forest/ cooperative member _____________________ Production capacity:

50 kgs per month for crackers


Inspiring Indonesia

LOCATION: III Sub-village, Sei Nagalawan Village Perbaungan Sub-district Serdang Bedagai District North Sumatra


The previously arid and barren beach has now been transformed into a lush and green shoreline with thousands of mangrove trees growing abundantly. Fish, prawns, and white cranes have returned to inhabit the mangrove area. Jumiati Name: Jumiati Place, Date of Birth: Lubuk Cuik, January 8th,1981 Education: SMK Kabupaten Batu Bara Occupation: Leader of Women Group of Muara Tanjung Fisherman Village Field of business: various product from mangrove, ecotourism, fisherman cooperative

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usk was approaching. The sky was clear. The wind was blowing through the mangrove leaves decorated with white cranes. Little fishes were swimming amongst the mangrove roots, attracting the attention of visitors walking across the bamboo bridge. Others were busy snapping pictures of the beach overlooking the Malaka Strait. This was scenery of a small hamlet in Sei Nagalawan Sub-Village, Perbaungan Village, in the district of Serdang Bedagai, Sumatra Utara province.

Only less than ten years ago, this area was just an ordinary fishing village. The coastline was eroded by abrasion and many of its residents lived in extreme poverty. However, it has now been transformed into the “Nipah Village Mangrove Tourism Center.” In addition to its luscious mangrove forest that is home to various animals, this village is also known for its mangrove-based food products—all of which grew out of a business started by Jumiati and her husband, Sutrisno in 2009. The production house of the mangrove food is located only 500 meters from the forest. The house, which also doubles as the office for the Women’s Co-op of Muara Tanjung, Sei Nagalawan Village, was built out of traditional bricks and mortar and woven bamboo. Above the entrance, a sign-post reads “Muara Baimbai Multi-Purpose Cooperative”. Meanwhile, a group of women can be heard having a discussion in the living room. “This is for the sample going to Medan,” said Jumiati, pointing to a bag of chips and putting it in her handbag. Another woman was stuffing the bag with the chips and passing it to another woman for her to weigh. The bags were then presssealed using a heat sealer. Before long, 50 bags of chips were


sealed and ready to be sold around the Nipah Village Mangrove Tourism center.

A number of government offices at the district and province remain their main and most regular customers. Business is especially good whenever these offices hold trade shows.

The mangrove leaves that were made into these chips originated from the acanthus genus, or locally known as jeruju. In addition to chips, the leaves can also be made into tea. Meanwhile, the mangrove fruits that are derived from the sonneratia genus (locally known as pidada) and the avicennia genus (api-api) plants are processed into toffees and a sweet syrupy beverage. “Chips that are sealed in a regular 100-gram plastic-based bag are sold for 7,000 Rupiahs, while chips that sealed in an aluminum-based bag are sold for 10,000 Rupiahs,” explained Jumiati, who is also the Head of the Muara Tanjung Women’s group.

According to Jumiati, making mangrove chips is not that difficult, but can only be done using the jeruju type of mangrove. The tips of the plant are picked and cleaned, and the thorns are cut off. Then, the leaves are pureed in a blender and boiled, and mixed with tapioca flour and spices, such as tapioca, garlic and salt. The batter is then put into molds and deep fried. The result is crispy mangrove chips, with a distinct flavor and natural green color. Making mangrove tea is even easier. Selected mangrove leaves are chopped up into tiny bits and dry-roasted in a frying pan until they are dried. The tiny bits of leaves are ready to be steeped in hot water for a cup of tea. “30 grams of tea are priced at 10,000 Rupiahs,” explained Jumiati, mother of two.

“We started out by renting a shop in Bengkel, but then we decided to close it. The rent was too expensive,” she explained. Bengkel is the name of a traditional market, located approximately 14 kilometers from the village. “At the moment, we make our products for sale at the beach (around the Nipah Village Mangrove tourism center), and for special orders,” said Jumiati, who was born in Sumatra but speaks in a thick Javanese accent.

15 Women Social Entrepreneurs

In the eight years since the business began, they have produced up to 50 kilograms of mangrove chips per month with a profit of 4 million Rupiahs. Other streams


Inspiring Indonesia

of revenue include a savings and loans scheme, mangrove tourism operation, and a fisheries business. Among these, the tourism enterprise has generated the most income, reaching up to 100 million Rupiahs per month. Therefore, the women of the group on average makes between four and nine million Rupiahs per month in dividends. Jumiati and one of the KSU Muara Baimbai members are preparing woods for campfire for tourists as well as cooking for the canteen at the mangrove beach.

The impacts of mangrove degradation Neither Jumiati nor the other female fishers ever thought that mangroves would be able to improve their lives. Up until 2009, most of them were in debt, while living on 3,000 to 9,000 Rupiahs per day solely from the sales of their husbands’ fish catch. Jumiati and the other women were merely homemakers who were not contributing to their families’ economy. And since that daily income was not enough to meet their daily needs, they would often need to take out high interest loans at the local credit provider, known as bakrie, or batak kredit. It was not uncommon for community members to pawn off

their valuables, such as their wedding rings, just to buy some rice and other foods. Like many coastal communities, most of the residents of Sei Nagalawan Village are fisher folk. They use very simple tools, such as nets and small dinghies. Their daily income is determined not only by how hard they work, but also by the weather conditions. During the monsoon season, particularly, the winds and weather conditions are especially unkind. High waves and storms are the norm. However, if they do not go out to sea, they also cannot buy any food. And thus, the fishermen are


forced to brave the seas, even during the monsoon season. Many of them get injured as a result—and some do not return.

roads,” recalled Sutrisno, Jumiati’s husband, who also serves as the Head of the Muara Baimbai Multi-Purpose Co-op. Before the shrimp industry entered the village, The degradation of the mangrove they did not have any electricity, forest has forced these fishermen and the dirt roads would get muddy to go further out into the sea during the rainy season, making in search of fish, as the coast areas it difficult to reach the capital of no longer hosts the amounts of Perbaungan village, a mere fish it used to. Back in the 1970s, 15 kilometers away. The village, this village, located 42 kilometers which has a total area of from the Kualanamu Airport, was 871 hectares, is divided into part of the mangrove green belt that three sub-villages. Jumiati and stretches the eastern coastline of her family live in Sub-Village 3, North Sumatra. The old timers recall which is the furthest away from a time when they could easily catch the center of the village and borders fish, shrimp and crabs just right the Malaka Strait. along the coast without having to go too far into the sea. However, Despite the positive impacts of since the area was developed on the development, the negative ones a massive scale in the 1980s, greatly outweigh them, particularly the coast was transformed into as it relates to environmental shrimp ponds, plantations and degradation. The ecological rice fields. Up to 2,500 hectares degradation has greatly reduced of mangrove land in the district of the amount of fish in the sea. Serdang Bedagai was destroyed Mangrove swamps actually provide as a result of this massive great ecological services, such as development, which focused preventing abrasion and salt-water particularly on creating ponds intrusion, providing a habitat for for cultivating Asian tiger shrimp. crabs, fish and various birds, Additionally, the degradation of as well as a source of food. the mangrove forests has also Additionally, the mangrove genus resulted in more severe waves consist of many different species, and winds that often affect the such as rhizopora mucronata, Sei Nagalawan village. rhizopora apiculate, and the acantus Ilicifolius, all of which grow “There are benefits to all of abundantly in the area. this development. Our village now has electricity and paved

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The movement to regrow mangroves It was this dire condition that prompted Jumiati and her husband to restore the mangrove swamps that bordered their village of about three thousand residents. By restoring the swamp, the people’s economic condition will also improve. “We started advocating to our closest neighbours,” explained Sutrisno, who is ethnically from Banjar, South Kalimantan, and has always been known as a fisherman activist.

to plant them. However, they soon discovered that enthusiasm was not enough. Without proper knowledge on planting and maintaining mangroves, most of the plants died off, while only about 300 of the seedlings that they planted survived. Jumiati and Sutrisno refused to give up and learned more along the way. “We had just started to form mangrove conservation groups at the time,” reminisced Jumiati. That year, representatives of the Jala group also provided assistance to the community on how to maintain mangrove swamps. Jumiati mobilized the women in the community to plant mangroves, promoting the idea that mangroves would better protect their village from severe winds and waves. Moreover, they also envisioned a richer mangrove ecosystem that would be once again abundant with fish.

Their initial efforts were not very successful. “How can we empower people if they are poor?” said Sutrisno, reciting a friend’s remark from Medan. Both Sutrisno and Jumiati took this to heart, which in turn encouraged them to work even harder to find a way to address the community’s poverty. In 2004, Jumiati and Sutrisno began to rejuvenate the mangrove swamps. Working with Sutrisno’s network in the North Sumatra Fishermen’s Association (Serikat Nelayan Sumatera Utara /SNSU), the North Sumatra Fishermen’s Advocacy network (Jala / Jaringan Advokasi Nelayan Sumatera Utara) gave them 2,000 mangrove seedlings. With much enthusiasm, the couple and a group of close friends and families went

Once the community was able to rejuvenate the mangrove swamps in 2006, the Jala group taught them about the types of mangroves that could be processed and would be safe for human consumption. Jumiati and her fellow women learned that the jeruju, pidada and api-api types that were growing in their beach could be made into chips, toffee and syrup. During the


same year, Sutrisno and Jumiati facilitated the formation of two groups: the Muara Baimbai Co-op for the fishermen; and the Muara Tanjung Women Fisher’s Group, an avenue for the fishermen’s wives to organize initiatives related to mangroves.

Meanwhile, up until the end of 2007, the Kekar Foundation, a network associate of Sutrisno and Jumiati, had been teaching the community on how to develop a credit union. As a result, Sutrisno and Jumiati promptly formed a credit union in the community. Each member would pitch in 15,000 Rupiahs, consisting While the men were out at sea, of a mandatory fee of 5,000 Rupiahs the women learned how to run and 10,000 Rupiahs capital fee. a business. Twelve of the women The credit union proved to be quite pooled their money and bought beneficial to the community. two sacks of rice. From there, They were able to take out loans they re-sold the rice in one-kilogram without worrying too much of the bags for 4,500 Rupiahs. high interest rates charged by the Many of the local community local credit association, bakrie. members were intrigued since they Moreover, during the Eid Al-Fitr were able to pay in installments celebrations, members of the union and the price was a lot cheaper would receive their dividends. than other vendors. However, this enterprise was short lived. The fishermen also benefited from The women lacked the proper the credit union, like being able management skills and knowledge to get some funds to fix their boats on how to rotate capital funds in or purchase new tools. a business. Despite having learned As time went by, both of the groups how to manage the mangrove began to work with each other and swamps, the need to obtain eventually merged into the Muara affordable food items was still Baimbai Multi-Purpose Co-op. a priority for many of them. This co-op includes a savings It was not until early 2008 that and loans scheme, processing they learned how to capitalise mangrove food products, selling on mangroves to improve their the fishermen’s catch and managing household economies. the mangrove tourism area.

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Women grou

p members

of KSU Mua

ra Baimbai are posing at the man grove trekk ing.

Jumiati and Sutrisno.


Mangrove trees at the 25

beach area.

Photos: Nasrullah for Oxfam in Indonesia.

Trekking line at the mangrove fores

The Nipah Village Mangrove Tourism Area This five-hectare coastal area is where Sutrisno and Jumiati, along with the other members of the co-op, spend their time, especially on the weekends. They claim that hundreds of people would visit the mangrove beaches during the weekends, either to enjoy the scenery or to enjoy a meal in one of the nearby cafes. In October 2014, they started to build other facilities, such as homestays, toilets and cafes. They also built small bamboo huts with palm leaf roofs that functioned as a resting area for tourists. These new facilities were built from funds obtained from various sources, including from a 100-million Rupiah grant provided by the British Council, who had approved their proposal to create a community-based ecotourism enterprise. The mangrove tourism program attracted many visitors domestically and from abroad. Students from vocational schools and middle schools in Medan, as well as universities in Malaysia and Thailand came to visit and attend “classes”, or tours on mangrove management. Some of these schools have even become annual visitors. In an effort to

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promote their tourism site, Sutrisno also worked with a travel agency that helped spread the word to the other schools, universities and the general public. On a typical mangrove tour, the guide, who is also a co-op member, brings the students on a guided tour around the mangrove swamps and provides an explanation on what the mangrove ecosystem is and the ecological services it provides. The co-op also offers various mangrove visit packages that the students can choose from. These include a trekking and meal package and a trekking, meals and planting mangrove package. Visitors can choose the package they desire based upon their needs and budget. Members of the Muara Baimbai co-op always strive to improve the quality of their services by continuously improving their skills as tour guides. Amidst their daily tasks of maintaining the area, they also get together to talk about how to be better tour guides and update their information on mangroves. “The tour guides receive a payment of 100,000 Rupiahs per tour,” said Jumiati.

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This financial incentive is a great motivation for the tour guides, many of who are young adults, to continuously improve their knowledge and skills. “One of the best groups is primary school students,” said Jumiati with a smile. “They are such a rambunctious crowd, and sometimes some of them would ask to be carried,” she added jokingly.

Sutrisno, Jumiati and several other co-op members are currently developing the co-op building to provide space for other SMEs to display and sell their products. “Some of these include handicrafts, various snacks and even a hair salon,” explained Jumiati. In line with its mission to improve the welfare of the community through education and economic initiatives, the co-op strives to make a profit in addition to creating a service that benefits the members and the community.

The previously arid and barren beach has now been transformed into a lush and green shoreline with thousands of mangrove trees growing abundantly. Fish, prawns, and white cranes have returned to inhabit the mangrove area. A decade long of hard work has finally resulted in tangible results, which have been felt not only by the coop members, but the villagers at large. Jumiati and her fellow female members have also shared their knowledge and provided assistance to neighbouring villages, such as those living near Cermin Beach, who have learned how to make mangrove chips. The women’s group has also been invited by government agencies to attend various events, even at the national level.

The district’s name, Serdang, is derived from the name of a hardwood tree, which is often used in home construction. This namesake seems to be deeply embedded in the philosophy and spirit of the fishing community of Sei Nagalawan village; that never wilts and always strives to make a better life.


Super Sri Sadono Rice: Proud to be a Rice Farmer

Farmers are harvesting

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is a main food for on the rice fields. Rice most of Indonesians.

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Photos: Nasrullah for Oxfam in Indonesia.

Yayuk is with her family in front of her grocery store where she sells organic rice.

Business Profile Company Name:

CV. Adikarya

Type of Business: Various products from rice and other organic plant __________________________

Established since: th


April 2013


Type of product: Capital: organic rice (Ciherang, IR 64, membrano, pulen, wangi, red), instant rice bran, rice bran cookies, (barn/office excluded) instant soy bean, fried onions, _________________ sorghum, instant corn rice, etc. ________________________

Âą IDR100 million

Gross Revenue:

IDR500 million per year ____________

3 people

Employee: __________________________

Sales and Marketing: Own grocery store, reseller at Malang and Surabaya

Price range:

IDR15,000.00 IDR45,000.00


Supplier: 10 rice farmers, 2 red rice farmers and other rice farmers in Nganjuk _____________________ Production capacity:

Âą 100 tons per year

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Location: Bulu Sub-village, Putren Village, No. 51 RT/RW1 Sukomoro Sub-district Nganjuk, East Java


She not only employs organic farming, but she also adheres to zero-waste farming. The idea behind zero-waste farming is that it supports other sectors, such as raising livestock, to produce 4Fs: food, feed, fertilizer and fuel. Yayuk Sri Rahayu

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t is 6:30 am, and Yayuk Sri Rahayu is preparing to open her shop next to her mother’s parking garage. It is located in Bulu Sub-Village, Putern Village number 51, RT2/RW1 in Sukomoro Sub-District, Nganjuk District, East Java Province. As the customers come in, Yayuk explains the prices of the different rice types. “This one is 20,000 Rupiahs,” she said, pointing to an 800-gram bag of red rice. “That one is 45,000,” she said, this time pointing to a 5-kilogram sack of white rice. Several small bags of red rice line the racks on a shelf in the interior of her shop.

amino acids can be quite useful in skincare products, such as soap, moisturizers, facial cleansers and others. Rice bran is also high in ferulic acid, which is an excellent anti-oxidant against pollutants, peroxide and other free radicals in the body. Realising rice bran has many benefits, Yayuk tried to promote various food products and skincare products containing rice bran in her shop. Established in 2012, Yayuk’s shop, Sri Rahayu, also provides a slew of other house wares for the bathroom, the kitchen and laundry room. She has two branches in Surabaya and Malang, which she employs her extended family members to manage. “My younger sibling manages the shop in Surabaya, where all of the customers are their neighbours,” she added.

Yayuk’s shop also has a variety of other rice types, such as IR64, membramo, and ciherang. People looking for rice-based products, such as rice bran and rice bran baked goods, can also find them here. Rice bran is a byproduct of the rice milling process, which consist of aleuron, the outer hull and germ. At least 10% of rice bran is generated from the milling process, and considering that rice is the staple food for the majority of Indonesians, there is also a large amount of rice bran.

To keep up with the current trends, Yayuk tried to market her products online. “The shipping cost outweighed the price of the product itself, so I stopped using online commerce,” she explained. She went on to say that she sells about five tons of rice per month, which is broken down to three tons out of her shop in Nganjuk, 1.5 tons in Malang and 500 kilograms in Surabaya.

Although rice bran is rich in bioactive nutrients that are healthy, it is still largely used for cattle fodder. Its high levels of


All of the rice she sells in her three shops comes from her own 3.5-hectare rice field. Located in Putren village, her rice field yields about 28-30 tons of rice per harvest, and can yield up to three harvests per year. “I estimate

that I can get about eight tons per hectare,” said the 40-year-old woman. She only plants ciherang variety, which is longer, more fragrant and fluffier than other varieties of rice.

No-waste Farming At the moment, the government is planning to convert several parts of farming land in Putren Village into a toll road. “About 25 hectares of this rice field will be affected,” she explained, pointing out to the green field. This toll highway of 87 kilometers is planned to connect the districts of Ngawi and Kertosono and could potentially demolish hundreds of hectares of rice fields in Ngawi, Nganjuk, Magetan, Madiun and Jombang districts. Housing projects will also affect the landscape, as many residents have begun to cash in their rice fields to make way for residential projects.

Yayuk has three cows that contribute to providing fertilizer for her rice fields and gas as fuel for cooking and electricity. Photo: Nasrullah for Oxfam in Indonesia.

Located approximately 120 kilometers west of Surabaya, Nganjuk District is known for its production of shallots. In fact, it is ranked number two of highest production of shallots in Indonesia, following Brebes District, with an

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annual production of 1.3 million tons of shallots. Approximately 11,000 hectares of farmland is dedicated to cultivating shallots. Despite the pervasive practice of growing shallots and its higher selling price compared to rice, Yayuk and her husband had never considered to use their farmland for anything other than rice. Aside from continuing her family’s tradition of cultivating rice, Yayuk believes that as long as the fields are well-managed, growing rice can be profitable. Yayuk does not use any chemical fertiliser or any pesticides, because she wants

to ensure that the rice is safe for consumption. She uses an entirely different approach to farming compared to other conventional farmers, in that she not only employs organic farming, but she also adheres to zero-waste farming. The idea behind zero-waste farming is that it supports other sectors, such as raising livestock, to produce 4Fs: food, feed, fertilizer and fuel.

“On our farm, nothing is wasted,” explained Yayuk, mother of one. For example, the rice hulls and hay that they store in their 180-square meter barn, is combined with cow dung to make compost. The hay and cattails that she grows in a 1,400-square meter plot is used to produce fodder for the cows. The cow dung, in turn, is fed into a biogas digester that provides cooking fuel and electricity for a 1,000-square meter building (that functions as an office and storage and milling of rice) and Yayuk’s parents’ house. She partnered with the State Polytechnic in Malang, who helped set up the biogas technology in 2015. They went on to donate a flatbed dryer to help her dry un-hulled rice during the rainy season, which is fueled by husks and hay.


Farmer by Choice Born in Nganjuk on March 28, 1976, Yayuk never imagined that she would grow up to be a farmer. Her father worked in the village in the BRI bank, while her mother was a village secretary and worked part-time as a rice farmer. Both of her parents had wanted Yayuk to leave the village and establish a better life in the city, which she tried for a while. After graduating from Brawijaya University with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering in 1999, Yayuk worked at IKEA in Jakarta as a Quality Assurance Engineer. In her position, she was in charge of finding suppliers and performing quality control on the IKEA products that were produced in Indonesia. She lived in Jakarta for four years

with a promising career. She even got an opportunity to travel abroad with her job. In 2003, she decided she wanted to go back to school, so she quit her job and moved to Yogyakarta. She enrolled in a graduate program in management in Gajah Mada University, and worked as a Quality Control Representative for a company from Hong Kong, RT Sourcing Asia Ltd. Her job required extensive travel to many factories across the country. She stayed with the company until she graduated in 2007. In 2005, Yayuk married Trisula Darma Saputra. Between the time she got married and completing

Name: Yayuk Sri Rahayu Place, Date of birth: Nganjuk, 28 March1976 Address: Dusun Bulu, Desa Putren No. 51 RT2/RW1 Kecamatan Sukomoro, Nganjuk, East Java Education: Magister Management Gajah Mada University Class 2004 Occupation: Owner and Director of CV Adikarya Field of Business: Agrobusiness

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her degree, she had miscarried three times. She had been so busy juggling between her studies and her job that she was not physically strong to carry the pregnancy to full term. That is when she decided to return to Nganjuk after getting her master’s degree to get some rest. When she returned to her hometown, her eyes were opened to the agriculture situation there.

it can bind nitrogen. Silk trees that have stalks of 10-15 centimeters in diameter also have a high market value. “It can reach up to 900,000 Rupiahs per tree,� explained Yayuk, who had once won a scholarship from Honda representing Indonesia at the IATSS (International Association of Traffic and Safety Sciences) Forum in April and May of 2008.

Yayuk discovered that the family rice field had been cultivated by local labor farmers, who also happen to be the neighbors. She went on to observe how they worked and cultivated the land using traditional farming methods. She then suggested that they also try intercropping by adding cattails or silk trees. From the very beginning, her grandfather had always insisted on not using any chemical-based fertilizer or pesticides. Yayuk wanted to take it a step further by using a valueadded approach.

Moreover, Yayuk also realized that the welfare of the labor farmers was a vital aspect of the business. She began to establish a partnership with 10 labor farmers and together they agreed to share the dividends. She provided them with the seedlings and seed money for operational costs. For the first harvest of the year, the revenue was divided 50-50, while for the second and third harvest, the revenue was divided 30-70, whereby the labor farmers received 70% of the income. She claims that this system is more favorable amongst the farmers, because they are able to work on the land without having to pay the lease in advance, like in other places. Additionally, this system places the risk of crop failure on both the owner and labor farmers. Most importantly, the labor farmers

Yayuk believes that intercropping offers many benefits to the rice field. The silk trees can help support the rice stalk from the wind as well as become organic fertilizer. Furthermore, its roots also help fertilize the soil, because


would not need to borrow from loan sharks to pay the lease on the land and other production costs. These loan sharks often charge a high interest rate and the farmers would often have to borrow against their harvest.

other existing products using the same name,” explained Yayuk, who happened to be a finalist for the Arthur Guinness Fund Community Entrepreneur Challenge in 2011. This process made her aware of the importance of legality in running a good business.

In addition to getting the rice from her own paddy field, Adikarya, Ltd—a company she established in 2008—also buys rice from other labor farmers. Rice from various places is bought year-round and is stored in the Adikarya warehouse. The labor farmers also receive news on the most up-to-date rice prices. Since the rice is produced and milled on site, the selling price is competitive due to the low transportation costs. The quality of the rice is also top-notch. “In the beginning, people were unsure of the quality. They asked why the rice looked dull and not white like other rice they see in the market,” Yayuk reminisced. Nowadays, more people are aware that Yayuk’s rice, sold under the trademark name Sri Sadono, was grown organically and full of healthy nutrients.

Thanks to her initiative to develop a farming business that helps conserve the environment and supports the labor farmers, Yayuk won several awards including the SME Award held by the Government of Nganjuk District in 2014, third place in the Femina magazine Women Entrepreneur in November 2015, and a Kartini Finalist for the Next Generation Award in 2015 that was held by the Ministry of Communications and Informatics. As part of the Smiling World Accelerator program, Yayuk received three months of training on management and marketing from LGT Venture Philanthropy in 2013.

Yayuk, a life-long learner, also participates in different trainings held by the Department of She added that it took her two Cooperatives and SMEs at the years to get a license to use the Sri district and provincial levels. Sadono trademark. “The agency These trainings include topics on had to check if there were any entrepreneurship and compost-

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making. She also acknowledges the importance of building her network at forums and public events, as demonstrated through her participation in the International Organic Agriculture Exhibition at Brawijaya University in November 2014.

Furthermore, Yayuk is passionate about sharing her knowledge and experience on zero-waste farming with others. She envisions that her paddy field and warehouse can also serve as a zero-waste farming tourism center. For a woman who has always dreamed and worked hard to make it come true and Yayuk’s business is not limited advocated for the preservation of only to farming. She has mobilised local wisdom, this vision may not other women in her village to create be so far out of reach. handicrafts from ribbon, flannel, recycled fabrics, seeds, and Rice bran as one of the product from rice, widely known for cuttle consumption, dried flowers. Many of these now can be used as human consumption handcrafts are on display and after several steps of production. sold at her shops. Photo: Nasrullah for Oxfam in Indonesia.


nDalem Chocolate: A Token of the Heart from Jogja

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at nDalem’s products


to one of her customers


Photos: Indra Wicaksono for Oxfam in Indonesia.


about one of Cokel ika Hazim is explaining

Business Profile Company Name:

CV. nDalem Mulya Mandiri

Field of Business: Various products from chocolate _________________

Established since: th

4 January 2013

_____________________________ Capital:

Type of product: • Regular: Classic (Extra Dark, Dark, Milk Chocolate), Hot Spicy (Chili, Ginger, Mint), Rempahnesia (Clove, Cinnamons, Lemongrass), Wedangan (Bajigur, Ronde, Uwuh), Kopinesia (Aceh, Jogja, Bali, Flores, Toraja, Papua) and Patehan, which combined with Green Tea. • Premium: 42% White Chocolate, 52% Milk Chocolate, 68% Balance Dark Chocolate and 72% Intense Dark Chocolate _____________ Gross Revenue:

IDR500 million per year ____________


12 people 15 Women Social Entrepreneurs

± IDR40 Million

(exclude office/store) _________________

Price range: IDR14,000.00 - IDR45,000.00 ________________________ Supplier: Kakao farmers from Gunung Kidul, Yogyakarta ____________________________ Production Capacity:

3.000 chocolate bars per month (exclude premium type) ___________________

Sales and Marketing: Supermarket and hotel in Yogyakarta, Jakarta and Solo. Social media and website. 42

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LOcation: Jl. Bhayangkara No. 23 Yogyakarta 55261


Meika and her husband also “sell� education on chocolate. As a way of educating the customers that come in the store, they display posters and infographics about the history of chocolate globally and how cacao beans are processed. Name: Meika Hazim Place, Date of Birth: Yogyakarta, 18 Mei 1982 Address: Jl. Bhayangkara No.23 Yogyakarta 55261 Education: S2 Business Administration, Marketing from Gajah Mada University Class 2005 Occupation: Owner and Director of CV. nDalem Mulya Mandiri Contact:, + 6281 2296 7892,, @cokelatndalem

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he beverage wedang uwuh was accidentally invented by Sultan Agung whilst meditating underneath a clove tree in Imogiri, Yogyakarta. In Indonesian, wedang uwuh means “rubbish beverage”, due to the many spices in the beverage that resembles rubbish.”

Pedas (hot) edition, Classical edition, Kopinesia (coffee) edition and the Patehan (green tea) edition. nDalem Chocolate is the brand of nDalem Mulya Mandiri company in Yogyakarta, established on January 4, 2013. The company was founded by Meika Hazim and her husband, Wednes Aria Yuda, both originally from Yogyakarta, at Meika’s parents’ house on Kauman Street number 31 in Yogyakarta. The main office is now located at an old Indische colonial building on Bhayangkara Street number 23 in Yogyakarta. Yuda’s background in food technology and agriculture products from Gadjah Mada University was instrumental with the food research and recipe development, while Meika’s background in business administration and marketing from the same university played a role in the administration of the business and marketing strategy.

This is part of the description of the Wedang Uwuh flavor of nDalem Chocolate found on the backside of the wrapper. Wedang Uwuh is part of the Wedangan (Javanese for hot beverage) series of the chocolate line, along with other flavours such as Wedang Bajigur and Wedang Ronde. The packaging for nDalem Chocolate also features many cultural references to Yogyakarta, such as the palace guards and classical batik motif, which can be found on other chocolate series like the Rempahnesia (spices) edition,

Their first store front was located at Yuda’s parents’ house in the Seturan area, which they used for the first two years. Then in November 2015, the couple rented a space just about 50 meters west of Malioboro Street, one of the most iconic streets in Yogyakarta. For the next two years, this building served as the production house, the store, a chocolate museum and their home.


When nDalem Chocolate was officially launched on March 1, 2013, there were not as many flavors offered. “At the time, we only had the classic line: dark chocolate, sugar dark chocolate, and extra dark chocolate,” Meika said. They chose March 1st as the launch date to coincide with the commemoration of the General Offensive of March 1, 1949 that occurred in Yogyakarta. “We used the hashtag #serangancokelat1maret (#chocolateoffensive1march) for our social media outlets,” she chuckled.

With the exception of the Kopinesia and Patehan lines, an 85-gram of nDalem Chocolate is sold at 20,000 Rupiahs, and a 50-gram bar is 14,000 Rupiahs. Both the Kopinesia and Petahan bars are only available in 50-gram bars at 15,000 Rupiahs and 17,000 Rupiahs, respectively. nDalem Chocolate also launched a special edition of the love story between Rama and Shinta, sold in two 50-gram bars priced at 40,000 Rupiahs. The couple stated that they procure the raw materials for the regular chocolate lines from a factory in Tangerang, West Java. However, when it comes to their premium products, nDalem procures the cacao beans from Gunung Kidul, Yogyakarta. These beans are processed using the bean-to-bar method.

Three years after the first launch of the chocolate line, nDalem now has 19 different flavors, categorized in six major lines, namely Classic (extra dark, dark, milk chocolate), Hot (chili, ginger, mint), Rempahnesia (clove, cinnamon, lemongrass), Wedangan (bajigur, ronde, uwuh), Kopinesia (Aceh, Jogja, Bali, Flores, Toraja, Papua), and Patehan.

Meika is sharing her experience at Choco Fest Yogyakarta 2015 on how to manage a chocolate business. Photo: Cokelat nDalem.

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Diligently Experimenting and Learning Meika and Yuda were determined to create tasty chocolate bars from beans produced in Indonesia, specifically from Yogyakarta. And for this, they went on to create the bean-to-bar chocolate bar. This type of chocolate has yet to garner popularity amongst the Indonesian market, due to the bitter taste of the chocolate and hence the reluctance of chocolate producers to develop the concept further.

surprised to learn that Gunung Kidul was home to so many farmers, especially cacao farmers, who were working on quite an extensive amount of land, which if combined could make up 500 hectares of land. “They were all spread across the district,” said the bespectacled Meika.

Seeing the large potential of the cacao farmers, they began to attend the cacao farmers’ forum in For the couple, however, this was Yogyakarta. As a result, many of the seen as way to grow and diversify farmers asked for them to purchase their product. Furthermore, they their cacao beans. But Meika and learned a lot from their experience Yuda had their doubts as it was in participating in the Young not such an easy task to create Entrepreneur competition, good quality chocolates directly an annual national SME competition from cacao beans. “Processing sponsored by Mandiri Bank since cacao beans is not the same as 2007. In 2014, they entered their coffee beans, where it only involves product in the competition and picking, drying, roasting, and became a finalist. “One of the drying,” explained Meika. adjudicators advised us to start developing bean-to-bar chocolates,” Nonetheless, they refused to give explained Meika, who is a big fan of up. In 2014, they contacted a Dutch red clothes. NGO called PUM, which is known for providing technical assistance on The pair connected with the local food processing, including chocolate. government in Yogyakarta to They found about the NGO from expand their network and learn an internet search and after months more about the chocolate world. of correspondence, Piet Brinkman, After meeting with the Department one of their chocolate experts, came of Forestry both at the province and to visit them in November 2015. at Sleman District, Meika and Yuda For 110 days, he taught learned about the cacao farmers in the couple on how to create Gunung Kidul District. They were bean-to-bar chocolates. 47

“Mr. Piet sent us a list of very expensive equipment that we had to purchase for the training,” said Meika. They picked three of the most basic pieces of equipment that we would need: an oven, a grinder and a micrometer. Luckily, they found an inexpensive grinder on an American website for 1 million Rupiahs. “We ordered two of them,” reminisced Meika. For the micrometer, they found one in Jakarta that was quite expensive, around 3.5 million Rupiahs. Fortunately, Piet was willing to buy one from the Netherlands for 1.3 million Rupiahs. “We reimbursed him once he arrived in Yogya,” she added. As for the oven, they bought a traditional oven that was readily available and affordable in Indonesia.

“And since the beans are grown on their own land, it is organic,” she added. “None of the farmers use any pesticide. Instead, they use compost,” she said. One of the farmers that supply to nDalem is Mr. Edi. He has grown and cultivated cacao beans since the 1980s and fermented his cacao beans since 1992. Having learned new skills from Mr. Piet and conducted extensive research from the internet, including YouTube videos, Meika and Yuda were able to produce premium nDalem chocolate products in four flavors: 40% White Chocolate, 52% Milk Chocolate, 68% Balance Dark Chocolate, and 72% Intense Dark Chocolate. This premium line is sold at 45,000 Rupiahs for an 85-gram bar, and 200-gram bag of chocolate nibs. One of the most valuable lessons they learned from Piet was to constantly document every step of every process so that they could evaluate it. This documentation will also be useful to determine how to further develop their chocolate lines.

Meika explained that her company currently buys cacao beans from the farmers in Gunung Kidul at 37,000 Rupiahs per kilogram, which is about 10,000 Rupiahs above the average market price. For this price, however, the company requires that the cacao beans are already fermented.

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Chocolate Business and Education Together with her husband, Meika started nDalem Chocolate with a startup capital of 40 million Rupiahs, all of which was sourced from her personal savings. First, they purchased office and kitchen equipment, and then the cacao beans for 15 million Rupiahs. “The rest was used to pay for rent since we had moved out from Yuda’s parents’ house,” explained Meika, who enjoys reading motivational and marketing books.

In addition to selling their chocolate products, Meika and her husband also “sell” education on chocolate. As a way of educating the customers that come in the store, they display posters and infographics about the history of chocolate globally, how it arrived in Indonesia, and how cacao beans are processed.

At Cokelat nDalem office/store, people also can visit one of a room that functioned as a small chocolate museum displaying history of chocolate from around the world as well as how chocolate finally reached Indonesia. Photo: Indra for Oxfam in Indonesia.


Moreover, every Monday to Friday, between 8:00 am and 4:00 pm, visitors are able to step into a small room with a window to watch how the chocolate is made. On Saturdays, this visitors’ room is open until 2:00 pm. “After that we have to do a weekly clean-up of the kitchen,” Meika explained. This couple, who got married in 2012, continues to introduce innovation to their company, not only from a product development aspect, but also in educating the public, in partnership with other entrepreneurs and independently. They once held a tour entitled “Night at the Chocolate Museum” to introduce the history and process of making chocolate. They also held a discussion series under the theme of Choco Break— an alternative to tea break and coffee break—and invited several speakers from Yogyakarta to speak on entrepreneurship. Students from the various universities around the city, such as Gajah Mada University and Indonesian Islamic University, have also visited the store to learn more about the chocolate business as part of their courses in agroindustry. Moreover, Meika and her team diligently participate in numerous trade expos, such as Cocoa Day 2015 in Yogyakarta and Trade Expo Indonesia 2015 in Jakarta.

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Meika is also frequently invited to speak at different events, such as SME seminars in Yogyakarta and training events in Makassar that was sponsored by the Ministry of Industry. She claims that one of the factors that has made her company as strong as it is now is their discipline in documentation, both in terms of financial booking and descriptive reports. This is the advice that she shares at the SME seminars. nDalem Chocolate employs 12 workers which spread across the production, marketing, and logistics department, and office administration with an annual revenue of 500 million Rupiahs. Not including the premium line, approximately 3,000 bars of chocolate are produced every month. “We only started the premium line in February 2016, so we can’t really tell how large the volume is,” said Yuda, who specializes in product development. nDalem Chocolate can be found at the store and online on their website. Meika also partnered with numerous companies in Yogyakarta, Central Java and Jakarta, which led to her products being sold in Hypermart in Yogyakarta, Carrefour in Solo, and Pacific Place and Grand Indonesia in Jakarta. Furthermore, nDalem Chocolate can also be found in select hotels in Yogyakarta, such as Melia Purosani and Novotel. Inspiring Indonesia

Meika always loves to share stories as well as her experience in Chocolate business to everyone.


Photos: Cokelat nDalem

wants to learn about chocolate or visit from school or institution that Cokelat nDalem also opens for a preneurship School in 2015. Entre iyah Aisy from as such chocolate business

How Chocolate can Change One’s Course of Life Born and raised in Yogyakarta, Meika was no stranger to the business world prior to founding her own company. During her second year in college in the department of economics at the Islamic University of Indonesia, she started to work at the ADD company (known for making the DAGADU t-shirts) as part of the training team. She stayed for four years until she graduated in 2005 and went on to do an MBA program at the Gadjah Mada University. During the graduate program, she worked as a presenter and reporter for the local TVRI station for about two years (between January 2006-December 2007).

Back in Yogyakarta, Meika and a couple of her friends got together and contemplated starting a business in chocolate. Alas, due to conflict within the team, the business only lasted for two years between December 2010 and August 2012. Despite this initial failure, Meika saw a large potential in the chocolate world. Then, she married Yuda on November 10, 2012, who also happened to have a passion in chocolate. Together, they made the preparations to start their own chocolate company. Meika and Yuda divided the tasks between the two of them, where Yuda was in charge of developing the recipes, while Meika dealt with the legal and trademark aspects. “In December 2012, Yuda took a chocolate course at the Chocolate School in Jakarta. I’ve only gone last December 2015,” explained Meika, who won the Mr. & Miss Jogja pageant in 2005.

Her wanderlust brought her to a job in Batam Island as the Public Relations and Executive Assistant at Infinite Frameworks Studios, one of the biggest animation studios in Indonesia, where she worked between June 2009 to October 2010. During this time, she also worked as a radio broadcaster at KEI FM Batam. However, her love for her hometown eventually brought her back home.

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This young lady, who also teaches a course in entrepreneurship at her alma mater, stated that the biggest challenge was introducing new, unusual flavors to the consumers. As time went on, she learned that the easiest way to find out whether people liked the new flavors was by giving out samples. “Every time I went to an expo, I would always bring samples and testers,” she explained. That is how she gets feedback on what works or does not. Competing with other wellknown brands was another major challenge, although nDalem Chocolate has received a recommended status on TripAdvisor.

Meika was greatly inspired by her two parents and their work in the business world—her father in the automotive business, and her mother who ran the family business. She learned how to negotiate and network from her father, and learned how to persevere from her mother. This cheerful woman is always eager to share her stories and experiences to those keen on learning about entrepreneurship. In keeping with its namesake, nDalem, which means home in Javanese, and its slogan, “heartfully-made chocolate”, Meika hopes that the comfort of her hometown of Yogyakarta can be fully reflected in the flavor of nDalem chocolates— a #tokenoftheheart from Yogyakarta.


Du’anyam: Weaving Women’s Lives

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Photos: Nasrullah for Oxfam in Indonesia.


Business Profile Company Name: Address: Gedung Kemang 15 Lt. 3 Jl. Kemang Raya No. 15 South Jakarta, Indonesia ____________________ Field of Business: Various products of weaving from Lontar/ Palm leaves ____________

Du’Anyam Established since:

JulY 2013 _______________

Initial fund:

± USD5.000,00 _____________________ Price range:

Type of product: Sandals, basket, wallet, tissue box, documents folder, trash bin, beach bag, pouch ________________________

8 people

Employee: Weavers are not included __________________________

Sales and Marketing: Social media online, exhibition, hotels/spa

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IDR15,000.00 IDR1,000,000.00 _______________________ Supplier: Weavers from Larantuka, NTT ________________ Production capacity:

±300 baskets per month ±200 mats per month and other products 56

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Location: East Flores, East Nusa Tenggara


“Even though we didn’t win every competition, we were able to learn how to create a business plan the right way, plan our financials properly and received useful input from the panelists.” Ayu Name: Azalea Ayuningtyas Place, Date of Birth: Jakarta, 15 November 1989 Address: Jakarta Barat Education: S2 Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health Class 2013 Occupation: Managing Director Du’Anyam Field of business: Weaving products from Lontar/palm leaves, NTT Contact:,, +62 819 3293 4075 15 Women Social Entrepreneurs


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he higher one’s level of education, the greater their responsibility is to society. This is what Azalea Ayuningtyas, or Ayu, a graduate of Harvard School of Public Health believes in. This sense of responsibility is also what has led her to leave the comfort of working in a large firm to develop social entrepreneurship with communities in Flores Island, East Nusa Tenggara (NTT).

specializes in strategy, marketing, pricing and sales. However, while working at Simon-Kucher and Partners in 2013, Ayu felt burnt out and started to question where her life was taking her and what purpose it served.

She recalled a trip she made to India that changed her complete outlook on life. “When I was at Harvard, I took a research class on the slums in India,” she recounted. Born and raised in Jakarta, Ayu is One day, when she was conducting grateful that she has a supporting interviews using questionnaires, family. Her involvement in social a group of women came to her and issues has been heavily influenced started yelling at her. One of them by her own parents’ involvement in was upset because there had been social activities in Jakarta, including many studies and research projects providing aid for communities in conducted in her village, but did not Jogjakarta who were impacted by seem to make any improvements in the 2006 earthquake. This sense of her life. This struck Ayu. “I wanted to gratitude drove her want to share do something more tangible, more and create a positive impact in other real,” she stated. people’s lives. Later on, another trip she made, Ayu graduated from the University of this time to Flores Island, paved the Michigan with a bachelor’s degree way for her to explore the kind of in biology (2007-2011) and then life she wanted to live. Ayu visited went on to get a master’s degree an old friend from Flores, Yohanna in epidemiology from the Harvard Keraf, for a vacation in mid-2013. School of Public Health (2011-2013). In addition to vacationing, she also While in college, she started working took some time to conduct in a number of large companies, a survey on the health conditions such as Kalbe Farma (June-July of expecting mothers and children 2009) and the Michigan Center for on the island. Yohanna, along Translational Pathology (2008-2010). with three of her other friends, After getting her master’s degree, Zona Ngadiman, Melia Winata she worked at Simon-Kucher and and Jessica Tjahja, accompanied Partners (2013-14), a company that Ayu in the field for these surveys.


They would also later become her colleagues in establishing the artisanal business, Du’Anyam.

begun to work in a number of areas, these works were mainly limited to education and capacity building programs. Governmental programs such as “Expecting Mother’s Savings” have not been able to address this basic need.

Ayu had found her calling. Although Flores had an extraordinary wealth of natural and cultural assets, the local communities were still mired in economic poverty and poor health services, which was even worse in the remote areas. In East Flores, Ayu found many cases of malnutrition in expecting mothers, especially in protein rich foods. In fact, there are up to 140 cases of malnutrition each year in this area—the highest rate in Indonesia. Meanwhile, the rate of malnutrition among toddlers was the second highest after West Papua.

Based upon her observations, Ayu realized that community members actually understood the importance of nutritious food, especially for expecting mothers. She believed that the problem was not that the community did not want to be healthy, but rather that they were unable to meet this basic need—a reality that bothered her greatly. She and her friends decided that improving the community’s economy could serve as both a solution and a foundation to help meet the community’s health needs, especially women’s health needs.

In addition to exploring the villages and talking with the communities in Flores, Ayu also engaged in a dialogue with various government offices, such as the Department of Health, physicians and village midwives. Based upon her observation and discussions, Ayu come to the conclusion that the root cause of poor health in women, especially expecting mothers, was poverty. When communities lack economic resilience to meet their daily needs, they are also unable to meet vital nutrition and health requirements. Although several social organizations have

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They then searched for information at the Department of Industry and Trade, the Department of Co-ops and Small and Medium Businesses, the Department of Tourism and Culture and the Department of Women’s Empowerment to map out the existing economic potentials. Additionally, they also conducted observations and interviews with the community. During these visits, Ayu noticed how good the women were at making various woven products from fan palm leaves.


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Handicrafts made of woven palm leaves The fan palm (Borassus flabellifer), grows plentiful in Flores and can be used for many different purposes. In addition to the leaves, the fruits are often used as a food product. As such, the people of Flores have been weaving palm leaves for many generations. The leaves are typically woven into many different kinds of household wares, such as mats, food baskets and articles for traditional events.

The weaving process begins by cutting the palm leaves from the trees and setting them out to dry for two days. When they are dried out, the leaves are sliced into equal-length slivers and woven into different handicrafts. With the exception of the color pink, which is chemical based, weavers use natural dyes from teak leaves or a mixture of mud and turmeric to colour the leaves.

Lontar (family of palm trees) grows in the wilderness of a small island in NTT made the materials for weaving easy to find. Photo: Nasrullah for Oxfam in Indonesia.


Despite the abundance of palm leaves and almost everyone being able to make these woven crafts, the community had not capitalized on this talent to improve the economy. The remoteness of the area and lack of information on market prices had prevented them from understanding the true potentials of palm leaf handicrafts. Ayu, on the other hand, understood very well the potential value of these woven crafts, both domestically and abroad. She decided that she would bridge the women of the community to the market. She hoped that an improvement in the economy would lead to an improvement in the quality of life in general, and the community’s health in particular.

Her decision, however, was not well received by her family in the beginning. “Especially my mother, who worried about her daughter travelling all the way to NTT, afraid that something might happen to me,” she recalled. In the end, however, after winning numerous awards both domestically and abroad, Ayu’s parents came to accept her decision. In 2013, Ayu and her two friends, Yohanna Keraf and Melia Winata, launched their social enterprise. The local government and community responded positively toward their proposal. And after receiving additional support from other colleagues, they named their social enterprise Du’Anyam, which is a portmanteau of du’a, meaning mother and anyam, which means to weave in the local language.

She also decided that she would use social entrepreneurship in her efforts to build up the local business, a principle she learned at the Harvard School of Public Health. This concept, in her understanding, required a combination of both good intentions for empowerment and a profitable business. Social enterprises cannot succeed and be sustainable if it is only dependent upon donations.

Their first step was to create a solid business foundation by providing work opportunities for local women, particularly expecting mothers and young women, and develop their weaving skills to improve the sales value of their woven crafts. Given her experience in working in community development and networking with the government and community and religious leaders, Yohanna, or also called Hanna, took the lead on this activity. Meanwhile, with a strong background in business, specifically in retail and

Ayu then made the bold decision to quit her job at Simon-Kucher and Partners and revisit her previous interest in social development. “I get very excited when I think about social activities,” she exclaimed enthusiastically.

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The female weaver can do her weaving while doing other domestic tasks. Photo: Nasrullah for Oxfam in Indonesia.

of SMEs. Dun Tana Lewoingu SubVillage in Titehena Village, East Flores district, became the model village of the Du’anyam project. A year later, Du’anyam won another international award. This time, it was from the Global Social Venture Competition (GSVC) from property management, Melia Winata UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business in 2015 for the Southeast worked on Du’Anyam’s business Asian region. This award came with strategy and plans. Both of these foundation activities took six months a $1,000 cash prize. to complete. Du’anyam has also received Ayu was also supported by four other recognition from domestic colleagues, each of them experts in organizations. UnLtd Indonesia, their fields: Zona Ngadiman (market an organization supporting entrepreneurship and social analysis and IT), Valiska Nathania entrepreneurs in Indonesia, also (corporate legal), Jessica Tjahja supported Du’anyam. In June (finance analyst) and Pramoda Dei Soedarmo (management consulting). 2015, they introduced Du’anyam to relevant designers and helped It was this solid team that helped set up access to markets. UnLtd’s accelerate the business’ activities, support lasted until June 2016. leading it to win the MIT IDEAS Global Challenge Award in 2014 “Even though we didn’t win every as well as a $5,000 cash prize competition, we were able to learn (equivalent to 60 million Rupiahs). how to create a business plan The IDEAS Global Challenge is the right way, plan our financials a prestigious competition held properly and received useful input by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), one of the world’s from the panelists,” Ayu stated most famous universities in Boston, confidently. She further mentioned that receiving grants from the USA. This cash prize was used to competitions motivated her to improve the quality of the products, constantly better herself. conduct market research and establish partnerships with a number


In September 2015, for the first time, Du’anyam products were sold in two hotels and villas in Bali. The hotel asked for 200 pairs of hotel slippers. Furthermore, based on the positive response in the market, Ayu began to expand her operation to other villages that same year. As a result, five new villages joined the Du’anyam management, namely Dun Tana Lewoingu, Tanahwerang, Sulengwaseng, Liwo and Ilepadung, all of which were in East Flores District. Now in its third year of business, Du’anyam’s products have begun to enter the retail market. Ayu hopes that they will eventually be able to expand to 15 villages.

per month. Ayu added that the handicrafts that these Flores women make are quite durable. “Worn daily, these slippers can last for up to four months,” she explained. These palm leaf weaves are so strong that the people in Tanah Werang Village on Solor Island has been using them as wall material in their homes, which is only replaced every 7-8 years.

In addition to the hotel market, Du’anyam products have also entered a niche market domestically, thanks to its participation in numerous craft expos, such as the internationally recognized Trade Expo Indonesia, held in Jakarta in 2014 and sponsored by the Ministry of Trade and Industry. Du’anyam In the five villages, up to 80 women, still relies heavily on personal between the ages of 17 and relationships when it comes to the 45 years, have joined the Du’anyam foreign market. However, following umbrella and made approximately current trends, Du’anyam has 300 baskets each month. also begun to market its products “Additionally, they make about online. The retail prices online 200 woven mats each month,” vary between 50,000 to 1 million stated Ayu, who also happens to Rupiahs, depending on the design be a big basketball fan. “They also and quality of the product. make hotel slippers, beach bags and baskets for spa equipment.” Despite having been weaving for many years, weavers in these five The retail price for the crafts range villages require on-going training between 15,000 and 150,000 to improve their design in order Rupiahs. Currently, nine hotels and to keep up with market demands. villas in Bali order their souvenirs “We have a designer who helps from Du’anyam. One of them even with diversifying the product has a subscription with Du’anyam designs,” added the 26-year-old for no less than 300 woven slippers woman. Hanna, now the Director

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of Operations, is in charge of overseeing this area. Du’anyam has also hired three employees to supervise the operations in Flores. In terms of wages, Du’anyam workers receive a commission for their work. Furthermore, the workers receive a share of the profits made from the sales of the crafts. While the fan palm leaves are readily available in the villages, other materials such as rubber and buttons are procured from an SME in Taskimalaya, West Java, with whom Du’anyam has created a partnership. Du’anyam also includes other expenses in its budget, such as training on quality improvement and financial management as well as holding nutrition and wellness sessions. Moving forward, Ayu hopes that the workers can establish a co-op that will later become a Du’anyam business partner.

Ayu is explaining to the weavers in Duntana Village about partnership program. Photo: Du’Anyam.

Nonetheless, Mama Mili continued to create her woven crafts, albeit behind her husband’s back. She would give her products to her neighbors to be given to Du’anyam. It took six months before she received any payment for her handiwork. This additional income was used to meet the family’s needs, which in turn, convinced her husband that Du’anyam activities were indeed profitable—so much so that he took over the household chores when she was away, like doing the dishes. Many other spouses of workers were quite delighted with the additional income that they offered to help prepare the palm

This rapid growth of the Du’anyam enterprise did not happen without its own set of challenges. One of them was the difficulty in getting the community’s buy-in, especially from the spouses and families of the women workers. Mama Mili, an expert weaver in her village, once stated that her husband objected to her working with Du’anyam. He said that the community was fed up with one-time trainings and projects held by social organizations in the village.


Two elder from Tanah Werang Village, East Flores, NTT, shows their unique pattern weaver mats that they claim only them who can make that patterns. Photo: Nasrullah for Oxfam in Indonesia.

leaves by cutting them off of the trees, drying them out, and sorting and binding them. Ayu believes that this enterprise has benefited not only the economy and health of the community, it has also brought about positive changes in the division of labor in the household.

Another hurdle was the lack of supplemental materials and human resources in Flores. “While the basic materials for the baskets were all sourced from Flores,” explained Ayu, “other materials, such as the rubber soles for the slippers or leather for the bags, had to be sourced from an SME in West Java.” Working with an outside provider was a necessary step to ensure that the business ran smoothly. Ayu hopes that in the future, all materials can be sourced from within Flores.

Another challenge they faced was the weather, specifically the rainy season that prevented workers from drying out the palm leaves. In response, Du’anyam provided large tables with plastic UV covers to trap the heat and dry out the leaves, taking advantage of the greenhouse effect. 15 Women Social Entrepreneurs


Inspiring Indonesia

Good bookkeeping skills are essential in running a small business. Therefore, Ayu and her team held several trainings in documentation and bookkeeping for the workers. They also provided some seed funding for the village coordinator, also known as BuKor (madam coordinator), who reported to a staff person in Larantuka.

In the future, Du’anyam would like to enter the home décor and living and clothing accessory sectors. They have begun exploring this possibility by working with a brand in Jakarta called Nook Living, a player in the interior design market, as well as with Arbor and Troy, a company in the home décor & furniture and office accessory market. Ayu believes that not only does Du’anyam introduce woven handicrafts of East Nusa Tenggara to the world, it also serves as a gateway to other handicrafts from Eastern Indonesia, such as rattan crafts of West Nusa Tenggara and others.

They also needed to make adjustments to the local purchasing system. “The workers do not get paid immediately after they complete an order,” she explained. “When a product is completed, BuKor inspects the quality and directly pays the worker if it passes her inspection. It provides the workers with more of a guarantee this way,” she added.

Tips and recommendations on starting up a small enterprise: • Dare to leave the establishment and make decisions. • Have a strong will, including when challenged by those closest to you. When you have an idea for an enterprise, don’t hesitate to consult with others with more experience. That discussion can help in the planning process. Don’t fear that your ideas will be stolen. • Diligently find opportunities to compete in grant competitions. Even if you don’t win, you will get new contacts that can help in developing your enterprise. • Never give up and give it your all. • If you believe in an idea, understand that the concept may differ from implementation.


Mina Food: Keep on Trying and Don’t Give Up


A costumer at on how to be Mina Food store is lo oking for come a rese ller partner located in di which is fferent city.

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first seafood bring Mina Food as the Dini has managed to ang, Central Java. mb Re in t uni ss ine processed food bus


Photos: Nasrullah for Oxfam in Indonesia.

Dini is preparing a spring rolls stuffed with fresh tengiri fish meat as one of the high demand products from Mina Foo d.

Business Profile Company Name: Field of Business: Various products from seafood ______________

Mina Food Established since:



Type of product:

Initial Fund:

IDR40 million

27 types, such as fish (stick, nuggets, meatball), shrimp (pangko, ekado, (excluded office/store spring rolls) and others and equipments) __________________ _____________ Gross Revenue:

IDR20 million/ month

Price range: IDR2,000.00 - IDR13,000.00 _______________________


Supplier: six fishermen AND/OR direct purchase from fish harbor ____________________________


7 people in Rembang 20 people in Tangerang (in contract with other company)

Production Capacity:

Âą 500 kgs per month ____________________________ Sales and Marketing: outlet in Rembang, reseller throughout Indonesia

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Location: Jl. Gajah Mada No. 182, Rembang District, Center of Java



hree school children looked very pleased with themselves as they exited a small house. Each of them had a small paper plate with four pieces of fried snacks. They walked to a bench across the yard, sat down, and commenced to enjoy their delicious snacks amid their chatter.

“This is only an outlet. The production house is actually located on Magersari Street,” she stated. At least 27 types of fish and shrimp-based food products are sold at this outlet, some of them are frozen, whilst others are ready-to-eat. She procures all of the seafood from the fishermen in Rembang. At least “That’s what it looks like every day. six of them are regular suppliers for School children stopping by our Mina Food. However, in a pinch, shop on their way home,” explained Dini can always contact another Dini Bangun Wijayanti, 33, founder company or other fishermen to and owner of seafood shop, supply additional seafood. Mina Food, located on Gajah Mada Street, number 182, in Rembang, As long as the fish and shellfish Central Java. are fresh, Dini is able to pay the fishermen a higher price than the Dini greets the school children, market price. The products are drenched in sweat from the fresh either because they had just oppressive heat of Rembang. been caught, or the fishermen Despite the heavy traffic of trucks were able to maintain a cold chain, and cars passing by along the whereby the catch is constantly Northern Coast that particular kept at a temperature close to weekend, the children appear to 0°C. Furthermore, Mina Food be more engrossed in eating their only accepts fillets, therefore “ekado”, which is still steaming hot, the fishermen would be able fresh from the fryer. Ekado is to sell whatever is left to the a dumpling filled with processed fish flour factories. fish and other ingredients, such as salt and garlic.

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Developing Local Potentials Located on the northern coast of Central Java, Rembang District has a total area of 1,000 square kilometers, where 35% of its land consists of coastal land, facing the Java Sea. Due to the large area of coastal land, the fisheries sector hold a big economic potential for the people of Rembang City. In 2012, Rembang produced more than 58,000 tons of fish and shellfish, making this district with 35 kilometers of coastal land one of the most important players in the fisheries industry in Central Java. However, the majority of the fish caught in Rembang are processed in very limited ways—it is either brined, salted, or smoked. Not many have begun to process the fish into frozen food or fish jelly. Further, most of the fish are exported, which in effect does not provide any added value to the local communities. Seeing this situation, Dini decided to start a fish processing business.

world. Both of them were high school teachers in Rembang, so they knew little outside of the world of education. After graduating from high school, Dini had no idea what she wanted to do with her life—albeit secretly having started to resell t-shirts of a famous Yogyakarta-based brand at her school. Her decision to enroll at the College of Fisheries Jakarta Cohort 26 in 2000 was really because she wanted to see the outside world. Upon graduating from college, she began to look for a job outside of Jakarta. As luck would have it, she was offered a job at a laboratory of a fisheries company in Manado, North Sumatra. Dini packed her things and bought a ticket using money she had saved for years. However, on the eve of her trip, her mother came to see her in Jakarta and pleaded for her to return to Rembang. Dini’s dreams of traveling the country vanished and with a heavy heart, she returned home. “I cried throughout the bus trip home,” she reminisced.

Dini was born and raised in Rembang by parents who were far removed from the business


As time wore on, Dini gradually came to terms with her parents’ “demands” to return home. She even found a new business opportunity in fisheries in her hometown. Dini spent a lot of time observing the fisheries industry in Rembang, especially at the Coastal Fisheries Dock. She discovered that there was such a huge economic potential from the fishing industry.

part-time teacher. She picked up the language during her studies at the College of Fisheries.

Although her business did bring in quite a bit of revenue, Dini felt that something was amiss. She believed that she could do more with her knowledge in processing fish, which she learned in college. Gradually, she began to experiment in making fish nuggets. With only Dini started out by becoming 500,000 Rupiahs, she bought a middle person for salted fish. some mackerel from the local Her business model was simple: fisherman and some spices from she would buy the salted fish from the market, and tried to create the fisherman in Rembang and some fish nuggets. “I made these sell it to other districts. “I became mackerel fish meatball nuggets. kind of like a broker,” she said. At first I sold them to my friends, Some of the orders, however, and it turns out many of them liked were beyond small and simple. them,” she said with a chuckle. Some of them requested between Based upon this experience, one and two tons per order. she realized that this enterprise “There was a time when I would could potentially be lucrative in receive orders for 10 tons of fish terms of income, as well as provide per month,” she added. During her her with the satisfaction of having down time, Dini taught Japanese at a value-added product and creating a local high school in Rembang as a local jobs.

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The long and winding road Seeing how her friends really liked her mackerel fish nuggets, Dini continued to experiment and create new products. Dini says that this attitude of trying new things is part of her character. “I am always curious about things. When I want something, I will do everything to get it,” she said with conviction. Through her friendly and gregarious attitude, Dini sought to find new customers in other cities. She would participate in the Ramadhan bazaar in Semarang and the Rembang Expo, which is held on the anniversary of the district, during Kartini Day, or National Education Day. Her first customer was a buyer from Semarang. After an initial sampling of her nuggets, the client put in an order for 500 packages of mackerel fish nuggets, containing 10 nuggets per bag.

She believes that with proper preparation, fish products can be made to last without the use of preservatives. As a result, Dini has had to be careful about how she processes the fish. This is why she is very strict in using the cold chain system, whereby the food is kept in a freezer at a temperature close to 0°C, which will arrest the rotting process caused by microbes, and even kill the microbes. Mina Food currently has seven large freezers with specialized functions, namely three for raw materials, one for cooked foods, and three for food products ready to be sold at the outlet. Of the various means of marketing her product to different audiences, Dini claims that the most effective has been the customers at the shop. “People recommend my product to others,” she stated proudly.

Together with an employee she had recruited, Dini went to work to fulfill the order. Soon thereafter, she received another order from a client in Surabaya. “I had to decline the request, because they had asked for me to put preservatives in the nuggets,” she explained. Dini is strict about not including preservatives in her products, because she does not want to ‘poison’ the public.

Dini further adds that she found her life’s calling since she started her seafood business. She has even dreamt of expanding her business nationally, which is gradually coming to fruition. From its humble beginnings in 2006, Mina Food has now grown into a business with 27 different fish-based food products,


such as fish sticks, fish nuggets, fish meatballs, shrimp panko, shrimp ekado, and shrimp fritters. Each month, the enterprise ships approximately 500 kilograms of its food products to cities such as Magelang, Salatiga and Banyuwangi. “Each city has its own sets of preferences. For example, Magelang likes fish sticks, while Salatiga likes the fish meatballs,” she added with a large grin. Dini further stated that the company can make a net revenue of up to 20 million Rupiahs.

to sharing her recipes. Additionally, Dini also uses shrimp to make shrimp rolls and shrimp fritters. For these shrimp-base food products, she requires about 100 kilos of shrimp every month. Nowadays, Dini has three women employees working in the production house, all of whom are from the local area in Rembang. As for the outlet, she has hired three more employees to take the orders, purchase the ingredients, and manage the bookkeeping. The team is managed by an operational manager.

One Mina Food product that is widely popular is ekado, which is type of deep-fried dumpling filled with processed fish and a variety of spices, such as salt, garlic, shallots and black pepper. These ekado are available in a 250-gram frozen bag for 15,000 Rupiahs or as a dish served on a plate, where four pieces are priced a 2,000 Rupiahs.

Although the business has shown rapid progress and high revenues, Dini’s family was not always as supportive. For example, when she was considering purchasing a large freezer, her husband objected. “He didn’t approve of my buying the freezer, because at the time he thought I was just experimenting, and was concerned that it would end up not getting used,” she recalled with a chuckle. Nonetheless, Dini was relentless. She finally bought the freezer and has proven that it was worth the purchase as it is still being utilized to store large amounts of raw materials. “In the end, I was able to convince him,” she added.

Dini explains that her shop serves about 300 orders of fried ekado on a daily basis, which are sold both at two nearby schools and one hospital in Rembang, as well as at the Mina Food outlet. Furthermore, the business produces up to 250 kilos of ekado every month. Another favorited product is shrimp panko, which is sold in a 150-gram frozen bag. “The shrimp panko is 13,000 Rupiahs,” explained the entrepreneur, who is always open

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In 2013, while her business was flourishing, Dini packed up her things and moved to Kendal, to


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follow her husband who had already been living there for two years on his civil servant assignment. “Before that, we had lived apart for six years. He lived in Jakarta, while I was in Rembang,” she stated.

design a more hygienic and fuelefficient way of handling brined fish. “For me, life is all about how we can make other people happy,” she stated with conviction.

Before finally deciding to move to Kendal, Dini had considered closing Mina Food, because she was worried that there would not be anyone to take care of the business. However, she decided against it when she thought about how it might affect her employees. “I run this business not just to profit for myself, but also to help other people,” explained the mother of two.

Dini continued to explain that her products are also sold through resellers in several cities. “I can’t even tell you how many resellers I work with,” Dini said. Indeed, that same afternoon, a woman walked into the outlet to inquire about being a reseller for Mina Food in Pekalongan, which is six hours away from Rembang.

Always moving forward, Dini has also established a cooperation with Before moving to Kendal, she a number of other companies, assigned one of the employees to such as Pelangi Food in Tangerang, manage the operational aspects, in which she supplies them with her including bookkeeping and fish and seafood food products. reporting. Dini, however, still makes Mina Food has also signed frequent trips back to Rembang a 20-year contract with them. to keep an eye on her business. “I have about 20 employees Her passion for the development in Tangerang, as part of this of Mina Food continues despite cooperation with Pelangi Food,” being physically away. In fact, she is she stated. These employees are exploring the possibility of creating in charge of providing Pelangi Food a new brand called Ayasiefood. with the processed fish and seafood “We haven’t really launched it. products. “Even though it is produced I’m still looking for a supplier,” under the Pelangi Food brand, on she said with a wide smile. the packaging it will read ‘produced by Mina Food for Pelangi Food, These days, Dini enjoys living in Tangerang,’” she stated proudly. two cities, Rembang and Kendal. She frequents the docks in Kendal The Mina Food production is located and shares her experiences with the at Dini’s house on Magersari Street. fishermen. She talks about how to The three women who work there


are graduates of the local vocational school. It is on this 705 square meter estate that Dini and her workers are constantly thinking about how to innovate their product. Further, Dini is always aware of the need to maintain high quality in her products, not only in regards to flavor, but also cleanliness.

Rembang, not only for her own benefit, but also so that she can hold workshops for the local communities on how to create their own fish-based food businesses. “I want people in my community to know about fish processing, and learn how to use modern equipment, such as grinders, choppers, and mixers,� she explained. It seems that this vision is no longer a pipe dream. A number of schools in Rembang have made Mina Food a referred place for its entrepreneurship class.

In order to maintain the quality of her products, Dini has all of her employees, both in Rembang and Tangerang, to go through a threemonth training program on how to process the raw materials, maintain flavor, differentiate between the fresh and non-fresh ingredients, and learn hygiene standards based on the existing regulations.

Curiosity and being persistent are two keys for Dini to bring her business to grow. Photo: Nasrullah for Oxfam in Indonesia.

Despite having resettled in Kendal and only occasionally visiting Rembang, Dini has no intentions of moving her business from this coastal town. She wishes to continue to grow Mina Food in

Name: Dini Bangun Wijayanti Place, Date of Birth: Rembang, 29th March 1982 Address: Jl. Gajah Mada No.182 Magersari, Rembang District, Jawa Tengah Education: Fisheries Academy Class 36 Year 2000-2004 Occupation: Owner of Mina Food

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Dini is strict about not including preservatives in her products, because she does not want to ‘poison’ the public. She believes that with proper preparation, fish products can be made to last without the use of preservatives. Dini’s tips on how to start a business: • Strong determination. A large capital doesn’t guarantee a successful business. • For the women, don’t fall into consumerism. Even after you made a profit, don’t blow it all in shopping. Put it back into the business. • A business does not necessarily need a large startup fund. A house can be used as a production house if you are really determined.


Pelangi Nusantara: Soaring High with Recycled Fabrics

have time to discuss and watch As social entrepreneurship, people also can Noor Suryanti, the founder will where tara Nusan the process of producing at Pelangi and share her experiences. ons questi gladly accept any

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Every price tag on Pel angi Nusantara’s produc t always includes short informa tion about the organizat ion.

Not only se wing, wom en at Pelan can learn ho gi Nus w to design , and develo antara Community p their know color trend ledge on s, patterns, and type of sewing. 81

angi Nusantara Comm


Photos: Nasrullah for Oxfam in Indonesia.

Signature pattern of Pel

Business Profile Company Name:

Pelangi Nusantara

Field of Business: Various product of sewing from unused/ leftover fabrics _________________ Type of product: Pillow case, bed cover, bag, wallet, pouch, blanket, etc. _____________________ Gross Revenue:

Âą IDR30 million per month ______________

Established since:


_______ Initial Fund:


(exclude office/store)

_________________ Supplier: Fabrics industry, Clothing store, Batiks industry in Yogyakarta, Moslem clothing industry ____________________________


Sales and Marketing: Online, own outlet/store, by order

150 women from surrounding community

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Location: Jl. Wijaya Barat No.84, Singosari, Malang, East Java

Jl. W Sing Jawa


“A fortune will not run out because it is shared; it will only multiply instead.� Endahning Noor Suryanti

Name: Ir. Endahning Noor Suryanti Place, Date of Birth: Malang, 23rd of April 1966 Address: Jl. Wijaya Barat No.84 Singosari, Malang, East Java Education: Fisheries Faculty, Brawijaya University (1984 - 1989) Occupation: Founder and Director of Pelangi Nusantara Community Awards: UKM Innovative from Ministry of Cooperative and Small Business Enterprise 2015, Pramakarya Award 2015

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t is told that Aladdin, the character from the tales of the Arabian Nights, travelled the world by riding on a magic flying carpet. In a way, like Aladdin, Endahning Noor Suryanti, 50, also went on “a magic carpet ride” with her recycled fabrics. In fact, she brought 150 members of Pelangi Nusantara along for the ride.

On the porch, around 30 women were seated on the floor, listening intently to Suryanti’s instructions. This was also the place where they worked on their crafts—choosing, cutting, and sewing their fabrics. Stepping into the house itself, there was evidence of the fabric crafts displayed all around the living room, including pillow covers, bedcovers, table cloths, purses and wallets. The living room was also where the women gathered to discuss management and design issues, as well as determining prices for each of their products.

Noor Suryanti—who also goes by Yanti—of Singosari, Malang, in East Java, had been working tirelessly in building a community of recycled fabric artisans. Her hard work was rewarded when she won the 2013 Community Entrepreneurs Challenge for the start-up category, convened by the Arthur Guinness Fund, in partnership with the British Council. Since the award and 100 million Rupiah prize money was awarded in London, England, Suryanti, the head of the Pelangi Nusantara social enterprise, got on an airplane and went abroad for the very first time.

Many of the women in the Pelangi Nusantara Community had dropped out of school and married early, while some were also former migrant workers who returned and reunited with their families. Others were stay-at-home mothers from the local community. Now that they have been trained in working with the recycled fabrics, they have become experts in the craft, and have even been able to sell their products in markets abroad. All of this was possible thanks to Yanti’s hard work and perseverance.

At first glance, Pelangi Nusantara’s home base looked like any other house. However, once you entered the premises, it became clear that this was no ordinary house.


Sewing Hobby

For the first six months, Yanti made a monthly profit of 500,000 Rupiahs. She was thrilled and eager to expand. In addition to sewing, she also tried designing and selling her own line of clothes in the community. Unfortunately, it did not result in any significant income.

Yanti is the second child amongst three other siblings. None of her parents were tailors or traders. In fact, her father was a math teacher and her mother was a homemaker. Despite having a bachelor’s degree in fisheries from the University of Brawijaya, Malang, Yanti never had any inclinations to start an enterprise or work in her field. Instead, after she graduated, she enrolled in cooking classes and learned English. She even started to make baked goods and sell them.

As luck would have it, Yanti lived near a Sarinah department store, where she knew many of its customers and managers. What started out as casual conversations and acquaintances with Sarinah employees, turned into the idea of selling her clothes to Sarinah. Fortunately, Sarinah management was open to the idea. “I imagined my clothes were going to be displayed on the mannequins in Sarinah. I would have felt very proud of myself,” she reminisced.

However, her bakery efforts did not profit the way she expected. So, in 1998, she started a tailoring business, a hobby she had developed since she was in middle school. “I found that sewing was the most economically profitable business. That is why I decided to seriously commit to it,” said Yanti, in her very thick East Javanese accent.

However, the road to success is never that easy. When Yanti first brought her clothes to Sarinah, the management rejected her products, citing that the model, color and finish of the clothes did not meet their requirements. She took her clothes and made some adjustments and once again offered them to Sarinah. And once again she received a rejection. Nevertheless, she did not give up. She was determined to break into the Sarinah market.

With her savings of 500,000 Rupiahs, Yanti bought one sewing machine and one hemming machine. She offered her tailoring services to her neighbours, hemming or tailoring children’s uniforms or other clothes.

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Yanti went to the department store management and asked which kinds of models, colors, quality of fabric and types of stitches were acceptable. She also brainstormed with her neighbours, who also frequented the department store. After three rejections, Yanti’s designs were finally accepted by the department store. She submitted three pieces each of ten different designs. She was overjoyed and proud of her accomplishment. “To me, it was a sign that I had to continue to develop my sewing business,” she explained with a wide smile.

Furthermore, from observing her customers’ taste and trends depicted in the media, Yanti decided that she would focus her designs on Muslim attire. This decision turned out to be the right one for her. She learned the basics on her own, continued to follow the trends on Muslim attire and sought feedback from her customers. With these resources, Yanti’s Muslim clothing line was a huge success. By mid-2004, her monthly profits reached up to 50 million Rupiahs. Furthermore, she was offered to participate in various fashion shows and trade expos, and got more media attention. Yanti went to Malang, Jakarta and other cities outside of Java to participate in different shows. This increased exposure led to even more customers from all over Indonesia and some even from Japan and the United States. Yanti then decided that she would set a target of reaching 100 million Rupiahs per month—a milestone that she accomplished by the end of that same year.

Her clothes did not sell out immediately, however. Some of them didn’t even sell at all, so they were returned to Yanti. Luckily, Yanti was not too bothered by this. “The fact that Sarinah actually took my clothes itself was a form of advertising, which I then shared with my neighbours, customers, and potential customers,” she said. Her sewing business continued to flourish. What started out with only one sewing machine grew into ten sewing machines and workers by 2003.


Sewing Recycled Fabrics Despite the great success she enjoyed with the sales of her Muslim attire, Yanti’s business took a different direction in 2007 when she accepted an order from a Japanese businessman. It all started when the Agency for Investment in East Java invited her to participate in a trade expo in Surabaya, which also featured several foreign guests. This is where she met Simodha, a Japanese investor who was interested in her work.

products along with her Muslim clothes. “My mother advised me to not waste these pieces of fabric, and instead turn them into something else. So I took that advice, and it has opened a different path for me,” she explained. In terms of profit, although it was still small compared to her main products, the Muslim attire, this side project has added about 7.5 – 10 million Rupiahs to her overall revenue per month.

Simodha placed an order for Yanti’s household fabric products, such as table cloths, and pillow covers, as well as other merchandise, such as handbags, purses and bedcovers, all of which were made from recycled fabrics. These fabrics were actually leftover fabrics from the Muslim clothes that Yanti’s shop had used and repurposed into various other products. At the time, these recycled fabric products was merely a side project, as the Muslim clothes became the main focus in 2004. It was Yanti’s mother who encouraged her to take advantage of the leftover fabrics and turned them into handbags and purses. As she began to attend more trade shows, she also started to bring these ‘leftover fabric’

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Every Wednesday, no less than 30 women gather to learn to sew. Photo: Iwan Setiawan for Oxfam in Indonesia.


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Pelangi Nusantara (Rainbow of the Archipelago) Amidst managing her business, Yanti still found time to be involved in various community activities, such as volunteering at the local health facility, the women’s group and assisting other small- and medium-size enterprises (SMEs). Through her involvement in such activities, Yanti heard many stories of the women in her community. Many of them had dropped out of school and married at a very young age, all of which have prevented them being able to develop their potentials. Yanti also met with many former migrant workers who had worked abroad and wanted to re-establish themselves in their villages. However, due to the lack of jobs, many of them were unemployed. “Every time I attend these community meetings, whether it is at the women’s group or the health facility, a voice in my head has always urged me to do something about it,” she recalled.

from 10 different villages gathering at one of the member’s house twice a week to sew together. Yanti provided all of the lessons and fabrics to women for free. If a woman was interested in starting her own business with the fabrics, Yanti would charge a small fee for the startup materials. She would then buy the products made by the women and sell them in her shop. “If the intention is for them to open up their own shop, then I would ask that they pay for the lessons. But if they want to learn and sell their products to me, I will give them free lessons,” Yanti explained. At the same time, creating a saleable product is not such an easy task, especially for someone who had just learned how to sew. Among ten trainees, usually only two or three of them would be able to create a marketable product. “I did not want to mess around and compromise with quality. If the product was not good, I didn’t sell it. They would need to continue to learn until they could make good quality products,” she said.

As a result, Yanti began to spend more time and effort to teach the women in her community on how to sew using the recycled fabrics. More and more women became interested in learning how to sew, which resulted in groups of women


Yanti visits the different sewing groups regularly. Once a week, Yanti invites all of the groups to come together to attend her enrichment lessons, which can cover a variety of topics, such as sewing techniques, management, design, and entrepreneurship. Slowly but steadily, the women began to formalise their groups. In 2010, there were ten sewing groups consisting of 15 women, which Yanti named based on their locations. Although the quality of the work was not yet consistent across all groups, occasionally there would be one or two groups that made saleable products.

In the middle of all this, Yanti received a large order of 5,000 bedcovers made of the recycled fabrics. She had always strived to fulfill all orders from her customers. “Whoever it is and however big the order, I must meet their demands and maintain a good relationship with that customer,” she said. However, since this customer gave her a very short deadline, Yanti was unable to fulfill the order on her own. Because of the tight deadline and large order, Yanti decided it was not the right time to stop working with the women. An order this big meant an opportunity in the market, one that she would not be able to fulfill on her own. This is when her social entrepreneurship calling was once again reignited. On the one hand, she could run her business purely for profit with just ten workers. For a job as big as this one, she would surely have to hire more workers, but could enjoy the profits all to herself.

As the sewing groups began to show signs of growth, Yanti’s own business began to slow down. In addition to a decline in the market, Yanti saw that other shops were selling similar products at a lower price. This forced Yanti to consider if it would be more profitable for her to just focus on the Muslim attire and keep the recycled fabrics as a side job, like she had before, and stop teaching the women’s sewing groups. “Whatever I decided, there would be consequences either way. I deliberated with my husband, my family and a number of close friends. It was not an easy problem,” she recalled.

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On the other hand, she could combine her business with the 150 women she had been teaching and mentoring. The latter option made her feel at ease. She wanted to conduct a socially-based enterprise that could help her local community. She envisaged that if she could help develop these 10 groups to make salable


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and good quality products, she would never have to decline a large order.

Some of her friends and colleagues thought that Yanti’s decision to ‘share’ her business was not such a wise one. Nonetheless, Yanti stood by her decision and did not feel like she was losing out on profit. As the founder of Pelangi Nusantara co-op, Yanti was also asked by many organizations to share her experiences and facilitated various business partnerships between communities and the private sector or with the government.

In the end, Yanti decided to combine her business with the ten sewing groups. This was the birth of the Pelangi Nusantara Co-op. The name “Pelangi Nusantara”, or Rainbow of the Archipelago, was inspired by the many different places in Indonesia from which the recycled fabrics came and the different types of products that the co-op created, resembling a rainbow from the archipelago.

“Although I combined my business and profits with 150 other people, my revenue has not declined. In fact, it has grown. My income comes from the sales and dividends, as well as from the fees I collect from facilitating companies who wish to implement initiatives similar to Pelangi Nusantara as part of their corporate social responsibility initiatives,” Yanti explained.

One of the major consequences of this merger was that Yanti now had to share the business she started years ago with other people. And since it was a co-op, Pelangi Nusantara was co-owned by all of the members. Nonetheless, Yanti still had a primary role in the co-op, in that she had the authority to assign the jobs to the groups. But when it came to pricing, she and the groups would decide these together. Soon after Pelangi Nusantara started its operations, each of the members received between 1 – 1.5 million Rupiahs per month, from an overall profit of 20-30 million Rupiahs per month. Yanti received an additional 10% fee from each order she accepted.

On top of that, Yanti also teaches at the LP3I, a vocational school, in Malang, which offers a course in entrepreneurship. Yanti was asked to share and teach her know-how as an entrepreneur and practitioner. “I do not stand up in class and talk about entrepreneurship. Instead, I take my students to my shop and have them talk with the artisans and witness for themselves how an enterprise is run,” she said.


PT Sampoerna and PT. Pertamina, two of the largest tobacco and oil companies in Indonesia respectively, are among many of the companies that have hired Yanti to facilitate partnerships with the local communities. This was quite an accomplishment for Yanti, as she had never dreamt of teaching or facilitating community groups beyond Pelangi Nusantara. With these companies, Yanti would typically talk about cooperation, division of labor, wages, and how to facilitate the community groups to improve their skills. She received a hefty facilitator fee from these companies.

Ever since she founded the co-op, Yanti’s focus on her personal business, Muslim attire, slowly decreased. Whenever she accepted an order for a Muslim attire, she would outsource it to her former employees, who had now started their own tailoring business. “Many of my former workers have opened up their own shops in their homes. So, I outsource all of the clothing orders to them,” she explained.

Pelangi Nusantara continued to flourish. The recycled fabrics that she originally obtained from leftovers of her clothing business were no longer sufficient. All of the knowledge she shared Yanti began to partner up with with the companies and students a number of fabric factories, came from her personal clothing shops, and batik artisans experiences. Not all of her lessons in Yogyakarta. “Initially, they gave were stories about instant success; us the fabric for free, but when some of them were also about they heard that we were making her failures. “I also picked up millions out of the fabric to make knowledge from organizations bedcovers, they started to charge I followed as well as courses us a fee,” Yanti said with a smile. sponsored by the government and foreign organizations, Yanti is not the only one happy with such as the British Council,” the progress. Members of the co-op she explained. In 2015, Yanti have also enjoyed their success. won the Paramakarya Award “They no longer feel inferior from the Ministry of Labor and because they lack a formal Transmigration, which was education. They now have awarded to her by President a marketable skill and income. Joko Widodo.

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Many of them even tell their children that they too are going to ‘school’ when they are about to go to the co-op to sew,” said Yanti.

In keeping with its namesake, Yanti envisages that Pelangi Nusantara will be able to create more diverse products from traditional clothes from all over the countries, using fabrics Over the years, Yanti has also such as batik, songket, and ikat. taught the women some other “We’ve received a lot of orders from skills, such as stitching and knitting. foreign countries. This way, “In the future, our competition will not only will we be selling not only be domestic companies, our products, we can also introduce but also foreign companies. the rich cultures of Indonesia to If we don’t continue to develop the world,” said Yanti, who also ourselves, it will be difficult won an Innovative SME award from to grow,” she explained. the Ministry of Cooperatives and SMEs in 2015. The positive impacts of Pelangi Nusantara have also affected Yanti’s family, particularly her two children; Achmad Fadjrul, who is currently completing a degree in the Polytechnic State college in Malang, and Ghulan Najmudin, currently learning business in the LP3I vocational school. Whenever she can, Yanti takes her two children to observe, learn and even get involved in Pelangi Nusantara’s activities. “That way, they can understand how the business is run and become motivated to start and run a business that is not only about profits, but will benefit the community as a whole,” added Yanti.


Sitti Rahmah, The Organic Food Hero from Pitusunggu

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Photos: Doc. of Oxfam in Indonesia and Iwan Setiawan for Oxfam in Indonesia


Business Profile Company name:

Kelompok Tani Pita Aksi/ Pita Aksi Farmer Community Field of business: Various products from organic rice and vegetables

Established since:




Price: Based on season

Type of product: water spinach, tomatoes, rice, spinach, cabbage



Supplier: 25 women farmers

Sales and Marketing: Own store, district market, by order

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Production Capacity:

5 - 7 ton/hectare

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Location: Bontosunggu Sub-village, Pitusunggu Village, Ma’rang, Pangkep District, South Sulawesi


“I have full confidence in the work that I do, because I believe that people’s health is important. Organic food is healthy, since there are no chemicals in it. I kept working on it, and eventually I succeeded.” Name: Sitti Rahmah Place, Date of Birth: Pangkep, January 4th 1972 Address: Bontosunggu Sub-village, Pitusunggu Village, Ma’rang, Pangkep District, South Sulawesi Education: Ma’Rang Senior High School of Pangkep Class 1990 Organization: Founder and Director of Pita Aksi Women Farmer Cooperative, Pre-School teacher 15 Women Social Entrepreneurs


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t was a two-hour trip to travel from Makassar city to Botosunggu Sub-Village in Pitusunggu Village, Ma’rang SubDistrict, Pangkep District, South Sulawesi. Concerned that we may not be able to find her house, Sitti Rahmah, 50, asked her daughter, Kharunnisya, to meet us on the side of the Poros Pangkep Road. She gave us a ride on her moped through her village. It was a bumpy 15-minute ride through muddy dirt roads to Sitti’s house.

In the front room of the house, there was a clean, tiled room enclosed by a short little fence. On the wall, there was a large chalk board and rows of various photos of visitors, ranging from college students to the Canadian ambassador. This is where Sitti gathers with 50 other women farmers from her village and neighboring villages to discuss their organic farming. “The seed money for organic farming is relatively small, but the payoff is quite significant. Additionally, the products are healthy and the maintenance is pretty easy. However, no one wanted to try it at the beginning. Even after I initiated organic farming, no one was interested in following my lead,” said Sitti.

Her house, which had wooden walls and partially dirt floors, was surrounded by various plants, creating a shady, lush atmosphere. In her front yard, watercress plants were growing abundantly. Meanwhile, on a 10 x 10 meter plot next to her home, Sitti was growing paddy, which at the time was still green. “Because it is the rainy season now, we grow less vegetables and replace it with paddy,” explained Sitti Rahmah, the mother of three born in 1972.

Sitti dressed very plainly, not unlike most of other women in the village. When we saw her, she wore a large hijab, a long-sleeved shirt, and trousers. And although she had successfully initiated an organic farming movement in her village, Sitti remained down to earth. “Many people have asked me to tell them about my initiative, they believe it’s successful. But what is success? All I do is just growing vegetables,” she said.

In the back yard, she grew a variety of vegetable plants, such as chilies, eggplants, bitter melons and watermelons. We also saw a leaf and grass shredder that she uses to make organic fertilizer. “Before we had the shredder, I had to cut up all the grass and leaves with a knife,” added the founder of the Pita Aksi Women’s Farmers Group, who also happens to be an early childhood teacher.

Sitti’s main capital in building this organic farming movement is her strong determination, willingness to learn new things and a great sense of care for her community. Because the village is located by the sea, 99

the soil has a high level of salinity, which in turn causes many crop failures. It is no surprise that many farmers decided to transform their fields into shrimp ponds. During the 1990s, the price of shrimp was quite high, often reaching up to 120,000 Rupiahs per kilogram. Unfortunately, the farmers only enjoyed this high price for five years. Suddenly, the price dropped drastically to only 30,000 Rupiahs per kilo, as the rate of harvest also dropped. Many of the farmers lost a lot of money and let their land grow fallow. In 2010, Sitti became interested in attending a program that was held by Oxfam. Oxfam, a confederation of 17 organisations with representation in over 90 countries, including Indonesia, had started a project on improving the welfare of coastal communities called Restoring Coastal Livelihoods (RCL). Oxfam partnered with the Mangrove Action Project (MAP), which at the time had opened a Fishpond Field School and Organic Farming Field School. Sitti Rahmah chose to enroll in the Organic Farming Field School, specifically focusing on utilization of house yards. There were more than

15 Women Social Entrepreneurs

Government of Indonesia claimed the total number of productions of dry unhulled rice per 2015 is 74.9 tons, equivalent 43.61 tons of rice, it means an increase of 5.8% from previous year. Photo: Nasrullah for Oxfam in Indonesia.

25 participants, whereby 20 of them were women. This high proportion of women was part of Oxfam’s goals to better empower them. Sitti attended the trainings for three months, where she learned how to farm organically, till the land, make seedlings, control pests, understand weather patterns, and learned about marketing organic farming products.


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Leading by Example Although many of the participants expressed doubt about organic farming, Sitti found the trainings enlightening and felt challenged to try it out. A month after the end of the trainings, she tried out the techniques in her own yard. With limited land and several polybags, Sitti’s first attempt at organic farming was satisfactory. “At least for my personal needs, I didn’t need to buy vegetables at the market anymore. In fact, I was able to sell my vegetables at the market,” she explained. However, the success was not long lasting. Her organic plot was often affected by rats. Sitti believed that there were so many rats in the village, because they were breeding in the fallow land. Because of this, Sitti invited the community to start tilling the land so the rats could no longer build their nests in the fallow land.

her efforts. She continued to grow organic plants to set an example for her neighbors and friends. When her vegetable garden started to yield vegetables, other women in the village began to take notice. Six months later, 25 other women expressed interest in learning about organic farming. They then formed the Pita Aksi Farmers Group. The name Pita, meaning ribbon, is a play on their village’s name, Pitusunggu. Aksi, meaning action, means exactly its definition. Therefore, Pita Aksi represents a real action from Pitusunggu.

Sitti decided to work with women because they had a lot of free time, yet were not economically empowered. Her initial efforts to mobilise the women to start farming was met with resistance by their spouses. Many of the men believed that women belong in the kitchen. “In so many places, women are underestimated and considered Sitti discovered that it was not as unable to contribute very much. easy to mobilize the community to My vision is that through the Pita re-work the land. Even her husband Aksi Farmers Group, women can continued with his shrimp pond, grow vegetables and provide instead of supporting her with her additional income to their families,” farming idea. But this did not deter she explained.


Sitti persevered. She kept on encouraging the women of Pita Aksi to start farming organically. Gradually, they began to start working the uncultivated land, which was not easy to do, as the soil had hardened and was overrun with shrubs. Together, they start to chip away at the soil to make it suitable for cultivation and growing plants again. “We started by clearing the shrub, uprooting small trees that had started to take root. We used large farming equipment, such as a tractor and others. Together, we revitalised the land,” Sitti said. The women’s persistence gradually started to inspire the men in the village. After two years of Sitti’s efforts in organic farming, her husband, Muhamad Arief, started to help the farmers group. Despite initially having been reluctant to get involved, Arief cultivated the land, made containers for the seeds, and even helped sell the vegetables at the market. “We grew water cress, mustard greens, tomatoes, bitter melons, and paddy. Based on our experiences, this time we tried planting saline resistant paddy, which I received from the field school,” explained Sitti. The first vegetable harvest from her 10 square meter plot brought revenue of 500,000 Rupiahs

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per month. Meanwhile, her 1-hectare rice paddy yielded a harvest between five and seven tons. “MAP helped us with selling our crops to the supermarket chain, Gelael. But now since their program ended, and the supermarket chain required us to have organic certification, we no longer supply our crops there. Instead, we have started to sell them at the main market,” she added. Aside from the markets, many customers from Makassar would often come to the village directly to buy the organic vegetables and rice. “They found out about these organic crops and rice from the media and word of mouth,” Sitti explained. One of her daughters who goes to college in Makassar also helps with the business. She would bring the organic vegetables and rice to campus and promote it amongst her professors. Further, in order to expand her sales, Sitti also built a small kiosk on the side of Poros Pangkep Road. She also turned the spinach from her plot into spinach chips, which would stretch out its shelf life. This came out of her observation at the early childhood school at which she teaches, where there are many different types of chips and other flour-based snacks. So, she decided to make spinach chips, which turned out to be


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a success. She proceeded to teach her methods with the members of the Pita Aksi Farmers Group. Sitti believes that organic farming is not only beneficial for overall health, but it has also improved farmers’ independence. Based on this conviction, Sitti continued to develop and promote the farming model. “By 2013, everything I did in growing vegetables, paddy, and in the fishpond was using organic techniques. I believe that health is important, and organic food does not have any chemicals in it. So I kept going. And it turns out it was quite successful, too,” she explained. She recounted a story of one of her neighbors who had diabetes and could not eat the regular rice bought at the market. When the neighbour tried the organic rice, he had no problems with it. “The level of glucose in organic rice is more stable. He didn’t even have to buy the special red rice, just the white organic rice,” she added.

The most she would require is some diesel for the leaf shredder. “With just dried leaves and cow dung, we practically do not pay anything for fertilizer. It’s been six years since I last bought fertilizers,” Sitti stated. Sitti has even been able to take advantage of the weeds to help make her organic fertilizer, which is made by mixing leaves, cow dung, husks, banana leaves, and other organic materials. She also uses a natural method of deterring mice from her plot, using noni, or cheese fruit. She cuts up the fruits into small pieces and places them around the areas and channels where the mice would normally go. The riper the noni, the better. As for paddy pests, she plants citronella and galangal around the fields. She is a big believer in organic methods, where even waste can be useful.

By 2013, word on Sitti’s success in organic farming had reached neighbouring villages. The head of Mutiara Village Representative Body In addition to the health aspect of expressed his interest in developing organic food, Sitti also stated there similar organic farming techniques were other benefits. For instance, in his village. As a response, the cost of organic farming is much Sitti visited the village and helped less than traditional farming, since establish an organic farmers group. she does not use any chemical Other villages also began to express fertilizer. All of the fertilizer she uses interest and wanted to establish is made from organic waste. a farmers group as well.


“I want to proliferate organic farming as widely as possible. I want for the women in neighboring villages to also practice organic farming, just like in ours. Organic farming is much more healthy than non-

organic food. The revenues are also higher, although oftentimes organic vegetables are sold for the same price in the market, because people don’t value the health benefits of organic foods yet,” Sitti explained.

Improving Welfare Organic farming has created real change in the welfare of Sitti’s family. “I saved the money from the sales of my organic vegetables since I started in 2013. Because of my savings, I was able to help pay my daughter’s college tuition. At that time, my husband was close to selling his shrimp pond to pay for her expenses, but I asked him to hold off on it while I looked into my savings account. I found that I had 11 million Rupiahs, which was just enough to help my daughter pursue a midwifery degree in Magelang in 2014,” she said.

chose her as a Female Food Hero in 2013, which coincided with International Women’s Day. The President of RI, Joko Widodo, also awarded her with the National Food Adhikarya award in 2015. Sitti’s dreams of being able to step foot in the Presidential Palace and meet with the President finally came true.

Despite having received the award, Sitti states that what makes her happiest is that she was able to encourage the women in her village to adopt organic farming. “I was quite delighted that I could teach organic farming to the other women Aside from supporting her family, and other villages. Nowadays, Sitti Rahmah’s perseverance in they are working on making chips cultivating organic farming in her from the organic vegetables. I’ve village has significantly changed made an effort to invite experts her life. The Canadian International to come to our village and share Development Agency together with new materials and techniques with Oxfam and GROW International them,” she said.

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Sitti’s efforts did not stop there. She has also encouraged fishpond owners to switch from chemicallybased feed and drugs to organic ones. Sitti started with her own fishpond where she used organic feed. She noticed that the fish grew to become larger than usual. Furthermore, when it came time to harvest the fish, Sitti invited the women in her group to come and fish them out using fishing rods. “It was a fun activity and brought us closer together as a group,” she added. From there, she encouraged her husband to switch to organic feed for his fishpond. The most significant change was that the costs became quite small, because all of the materials needed for the organic feed came from organic waste, such as leaves and leftover vegetables.

two groups. The first one was to sow the seeds, while the second one would harvest the seaweed. Meanwhile, the women would clean, package and sell them. These days, despite her hectic activities in organic farming, Sitti Rahmah also makes time to teach at an early childhood school, along with three other teachers. Despite the modest honorarium of 500,000 Rupiahs that is split with these teachers, Sitti also teaches reading skills to the women in the village. “Many of the women who drop off their children at the school cannot read themselves, as well as 10 women in my group. So, I want for them to be able to read, so they can do better in life,” she concluded.

In 2011, Sitti also worked with the men to start cultivating seaweed. Armed with the skills and knowledge she learned during Oxfam’s trainings in 2010 held in Makassar, Sitti split the men into


Sangkuriang Taro Layer Cake: Transforming Taro into a World Class Snack 15 Women Social Entrepreneurs


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Photos: Khoiril Tri Hatnanto for Oxfam in Indonesia.


Business Profile Company Name:

PT. Agrinesia Raya

Field of Business: Various types of Taro _____________________

Established since:

JunE 2011


Type of product: • Original (cheese, blueberry, tiramisu, chocolate, cappuccino) • Full Taro (cheese, blueberry, tiramisu, chocolate, cappuccino) • Green tea (cheese, chocolate, green tea chocolate) • Durian (cheese and chocolate) • Cheese brownies, cheese strawberry, and ‘coco pandan’ _____________________________ Gross Revenue:



(only the ingredient and the steamer, excluding other equipments) _______________________ Price range: IDR29,000.00 - IDR33,000.00 ________________________

± IDR500 million/year

Supplier: _____________________________ Farmers in Bogor, in the process to open taro agriculture __________________ Employee:

200 people _______________ Sales and Marketing: social media online, website, outlet, resellers

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Production capacity:

> 1,000 boxes/day


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Location: Jl. Sentul Raya No. 77 Cipambuan - Babakan Madang Bogor 16810, West Java


“I still focus on improving this business and keep on doing innovation. It is the key to survive in this competitiveness.� Rizka

Name: Rizka Wahyu Romadhona Place, date of birth: Surabaya, 15 June 1984 Address: Sentul Bogor Education: Master of Business Management of Institute Pertanian Bogor, 2014 Occupation: Owner of Sangkuriang Taro Layer Cake Field of Business: Variety of products from Taro Contact:, +628111156849

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trip to Bogor is never complete without bringing back a few snacks. Mini pastries (roti unyil), pickled fruits, apple pie, and macaroni casserole are but a few signature snacks from the notoriously Rainy City. In the past four years, however, a new snack has emerged as being uniquely from Bogor, the taro layer cake.

Rizka’s layer cake business, that started out in 2011 in her family’s kitchen, has grown into four outlets and one semi-automatic factory across the Bogor area. The company’s management is very professional, as demonstrated by the hiring of a general manager to oversee the company. Departments within the company have also been properly created.

Behind the popularity of the Bogor taro layer cake is Rizka Wahyu Romadhona, owner of Sangkuriang Bogor Taro Layer Cake and pioneer of taro layer cakes in Bogor.

The Sense of Entrepreneurship Rizka had a long road before achieving her current success, as she had previously worked for many different companies. After receiving a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Sepuluh Nopember Institute of Technology (ITS) in Surabaya in 2006, Rizka traveled to Purwakarta, West Java. In Purwakarta, she worked at a contractor in electronics. However, she only lasted nine months there. She then moved to Jakarta to work at Siemens Indonesia and lived in the Pulo Gadung area. Her boyfriend at the time, Anggara, proposed in

2009, and together they moved to his hometown in Bogor, West Java. As a result, Rizka had to commute every day from Bogor, which was quite a distance. “I took the JakartaBogor bus every day,” she recalled. It was during this job that her sense of entrepreneurship began to grow. Rizka and her colleagues would often crave for snacks in the afternoon and relied heavily on the fast food snacks in the canteen. A thought came to Rizka: “Since office workers need readily available snacks during the day, I am going to provide some alternative snacks.”


Incidentally, Rizka’s husband, whose full name is Anggara Kasih Nugroho Jati, owned his own meatball business. He started it in Bogor in 2008, having previously interned at the Kepala Sapi meatball shop in Surabaya. However, meatballs were not necessarily “fast food”. So, Rizka packaged them such that it would be ready-toeat meatballs. “I packaged them into little bags with the seasonings. All you had to do was steep them in hot water in a bowl,” she explained. Surprisingly, Rizka’s meatballs drew many fans. At first, she only sold them to the co-workers in the same suite. But before long, other workers from different suites and divisions started buying them, too. Rizka and her husband were inundated with orders. Seeing the large potential of the fast food business, the couple began to count the numbers and they discovered that selling meatballs would be much more profitable than working in an office. “Bismillah, in 2010, I resigned from my office and helped my husband with his meatball business,” explained Rizka, who was born in Surabaya on June 15, 1984.

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Slowly but surely, their business flourished. They named their shop Warung Bakso Mandiri (Independent Meatball Shop) and through a partnership model, they were able to expand their shop to 20 outlets. They bought a house and a car, and mopeds for the business. Sadly, their success did not last long. Rizka and her husband had started selling cendol (a traditional Indonesian dessert) and chips, but delving into this additional business backfired on them. “The money that should have been put back into the meatball business was diverted to other businesses. It messed everything up,” Rizka recalled. The new business had not produced any profits, while the meatball business was lacking in capital. As a result, three of the motorcycles that they had been leasing had to be returned. Their personal car that they had been using for the shop had to be sold to pay off their debts. And their mortgage was neglected for four months. It was a nightmare. “We even had to pawn off our wedding rings, and then when we came back for them, we discovered that they had already been sold off, because we missed the deadline,” Rizka said sadly.


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Never Giving Up Rizka refused to give up. She had no choice but to rise up. So, she started to think about how else she could make a living. One day, she watched a TV interview of Denny Delyandri, a man from Magelang who found success in selling banana cakes in Batam Island. The interview inspired her to sell a snack that was uniquely of Bogor. Rizka believed that Bogor would be a great market to sell food and snacks, considering that Bogor was such as popular tourist destination. This Rainy City drew hundreds of out-of-town visitors every weekend. “If even just ten percent of these visitors bought my snacks, I could still make a sizable profit,” she said. She racked her brain to come up with a new snack that was uniquely from Bogor. There had been many traditional foods and snacks from Bogor, such as pickled fruits. She wanted to create a new iconic snack. Finally, her sights fell on taro, a type of tuber widely found around Bogor. Due to the high rainfall in Bogor, vegetation and plants are able to grow abundantly, including the taro plant. Rizka had always brought back raw taro from Bogor whenever she went home to Surabaya. Her family would either boil or fry the tubers.

“And sometimes we would even have to throw them out, because there was so much and we didn’t know what to do with them,” she said. She made it her personal challenge to find a way to process this taro into a snack. “In Surabaya, they made layer cakes made of cassava. So I thought, why not try to make a layer cake from taro? Especially since no one else had tried making layer cake from taro. I had seen taro chips and fried taro, but no layer cake,” she recalled. After hatching this idea, Rizka asked her mother for the recipe for layer cake. Although her mother was not a professional baker, she had watched several cooking shows on TV. Rizka tried out the recipe for taro layer cake, using the remaining money she had in her savings, 500,000 Rupiahs. She used the money to buy the ingredients and a steamer. She borrowed the rest of the equipment from her parentsin-law. For 22 hours, starting at 6:00 am to 4:00 am the next day, she worked in her kitchen to create her first ever taro layer cake. “During this process, I thought up the name of the layer cake, Sangkuriang Bogor Taro.


The hope was that my layer cake would become a legend, just like the legend of Sangkuriang,” she explained. Her first experiment did not turn out as expected. In fact, the next few times were also a failure. Nonetheless, Rizka kept on trying. She tried fresh taro, but eventually discovered that taro flour was the best option. Her husband’s continued support helped her gain the confidence she needed. “I knew that taro flour was the best option for my layer cake. It helped with the leavening process,” she said. After a month of trial and error, Rizka finally found the perfect recipe. The next step was to try out some samples to her neighbors. To her delight, the response was positive. One by one, they began to put in their orders for Rizka’s layer cake. Initially, Rizka relied on word of mouth to market her cakes. Then, she began to use social media. She would also introduce her layer cake to different neighborhoods and attend social gatherings. Furthermore, she offered her layer cakes to government offices in Bogor, such as the Department of Industry and Trade in Bogor City.

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Everywhere she went, her layer cake was well received. One day, the Department of Industry and Trade in Bogor approached her to become one of their partner enterprises. She also received several invitations to participate in exhibitions and trainings. She introduced her layer cake to the Department of Culture and Tourism, and just like others, they loved her layer cake as well. “I put a ‘Visit Bogor’ sticker on the packaging, since I was selling my cakes as a Bogor specialty. It turns out that they liked the idea,” she explained. From there, Rizka began to gain recognition by the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI) of Bogor City and Bogor District. They helped facilitate to sell her taro food products. For example, whenever there was an event in the member hotels in Bogor, they would invite Rizka to provide some of her taro snacks and split the profit with the hotels. Slowly, but surely, people began to recognize the “Sangkuriang Taro Layer Cake” brand. Initially, she would sell up to two boxes a day, and gradually it grew to between 50 and 100 boxes a day. Each box was priced at 25,000 Rupiahs.


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The couple admits that they felt in over their heads. They lacked sufficient workers and equipment to keep up with the demand. She started to purchase semi-automatic machineries to help speed up the production rate and recruited employees to work for her.

from 25,000 to 35,000 Rupiahs a box. But thank God, the profits were quite significant,” said Rizka, who also won a Young Entrepreneur award in 2012.

The high volume of demand was too overwhelming for her. She soon ran out of room and workers to keep up with production Following the strong brand demands. She also had to move recognition of her layer cake, Rizka her production location six times, finally opened a storefront for because each one could not her cake in December 2011. She contain the growing amount of established the first outlet on Sholeh production equipment. Iskandar Street in Bogor. After four months, she opened another outlet on Pajajaran Street, and another one in the Puncak area in December 2012. By this point, she was selling over a thousand boxes per day. “We had to increase the retail price, albeit only by a little,

Managing the Business In 2013, Rizka finally bought her own factory in the Tanah Baru area in Bogor, which solved her capacity problem. The main challenge she faced now was managing the business and employees. “Once we had 60 employees, neither of us knew how to manage them. My husband had a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering, while mine was in electrical engineering, so none of us had a background in management. For a moment, we even considered

dissolving the business,” she explained. Rizka did not want to repeat her past mistakes in mismanaging her business, so she tried to be more careful. She had to take steps in fixing the management of the company that had almost gone bankrupt. Because the pair did not know how to properly manage their employees, this had an effect on the consistency of 115

the cake’s quality. “We would receive feedback from our customers saying that the flavors changed from time to time. This was concerning. I had thought to just close the company instead of having to manage so many different people,” she reminisced. She hired a management consultant, who then gave her advice on how to fix her management problems. In mid-2013, her company finally got its ducks in a row. Sangkuriang Taro Layer Cake now employs 200 workers. “In 2014, we hired a General Manager. That way, my husband and I would not need to worry about managing our employees,” she said. Rizka is responsible for maintaining the administrative duties, whilst her husband deals with the production side. They are currently focusing on developing the business with resellers, and working with about 15 resellers located across Jakarta, Bogor, Depok, Tangerang, and Bekasi area. They also ensure that the resellers are properly trained to maintain quality. Rizka’s taro layer cake became so popular that other bakers tried to emulate it. Rizka believes that at least 20 other taro layer cake

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shops have popped up in Bogor. Some of them are existing shops that added taro layer cake to their portfolio, whilst others wanted to get on the taro layer cake bandwagon. “Some of these new shops were run by my former employees, who went out and started their own taro layer cake shops under a different brand,” she stated. In fact, one of Rizka’s former employees is now one of her strongest competitions—indeed, even the flavor is similar. This worker had previously worked as a supervisor in the production house and was entrusted with Rizka’s recipe. “I was always open when it came to my recipe. Others were absolutely secretive of their recipes. I had even heard of one person refusing to get married because they were afraid that their recipe would get stolen,” stated Rizka. Alas, the risk of running a business includes having to compete with your trusted former employee. Rizka tries not to let it hamper her business. She believes it is more productive for her to focus on strengthening her enterprise than thinking about the competition.


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“I just focus on improving and innovating my business. That, I believe, is the key to longevity amid competition,” she said.

sourced the locally available material, cassava. She even bought a factory and established an outlet in Surabaya.

Indeed, Rizka continued to innovate. What started out with only two flavors, taro and brownies, has now grown into seven unique flavors: green tea, strawberry, and coco pandan, among others.

“We had been dreaming about expanding to Surabaya since 2014, but our management coach forbade us from doing so. Only four months ago did we open our factory and shop there and thank God, it has been well received,” she explained.

Rizka, mother of Zhafira Batrisya Jati and Rizkina Aqila Jati, has also tried to replicate her success in Bogor in her hometown, Surabaya. Instead of using taro, she has

Securing the Ingredients Rizka’s layer cake business continues to flourish. Unfortunately, it is often not matched with the availability of its main ingredient, taro flour. On the one hand, there are very few taro flour suppliers. On the other hand, the demand for it continues to grow. Rizka often has had to compete with other bakeries that are also making similar food products to purchase just one kilogram of taro flour.

She believes that ever since she started her layer cake shop in Bogor, others have followed in her footsteps, and hence the increase in demand for taro flour. She also stated that as a result, the number of taro farmers has also increased. “Starting in 2012, farmers who had previously been planting cassava shifted to planting taro. Some of them have even begun to make taro flour as well,” she explained.


Sangkuriang Taro Layer has four outlets in Bogor and 15 resellers in Jakarta and its surroundings.

Tunner steamer machi ne was specially ordere d from Japan. It can ma intain the taste and qua lity of the product.

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Despite the high demand for taro flour, Rizka believes that the market for taro flour is still wide open. Therefore, Rizka, who has a master’s degree from the Bogor Institute of Agriculture, has begun to look at the upstream industry of taro. She would be able to guarantee the availability of taro for her business and at the same time, help rejuvenate the taro farming industry in Cijeruk, Bogor. Additionally, she has also started to explore the egg industry, as it is one of the essential ingredients for her layer cake that has a fluctuating market price.

In her efforts to develop the upstream industry, Rizka is planning to partner and empower the local farmers. She believes that buying her products directly from the farmers will be greatly beneficial for her business, as it is a good way to deal with the competition. “By controlling the products at the source, I can control the quality and prices. That way I am not at the mercy of the market prices,” concluded Rizka.

Tips and Suggestions on Starting a Business • Do not give up and be diligent • Be smart in reading the landscape and finding opportunities to identify what people need • Be focused • Always be innovative in trying new things


Kakoa Chocolate: Glorifying Cacao Farmers

sion is to improv Kakoa Chocolate’s mis

ties directly to them by buying the comodi e the farmers’ welfare product’s quality. the e rov imp to g and provide trainin

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Pick-test w as conducte d to determ cocoa bean ine the qual s that brou ity of ght by farm ers. A sack cocoa bean of s contains of 100 seed s.

There were 26 farmers from Tanjung Rejo Vill age, Lampung, who comple ted a training to improv e the quality of cocoa pla nts for two months in February 2016. Six of them were women. 121

Photos: Nasrullah for Oxfam in Indonesia.

Salted cashew is most demanded as one of Kakoa Chocolate products.

Business Profile Company Name:

PT. Aneka Coklat Kakoa

Field of Business: Variety of Chocolate snacks __________________

Established since:

JulY 2013 ________________

Type of products: • Chocolate bars, square bars, flakes and nibs • Flavour: dark chocolate, chilli chocolate, creamy coffee, salted cashew, coconut brittle, and sea salt and pepper ______________________ Employee:

10 people

(not include the factory employees) ________________________ Sales and Marketing: Agreement with supermarkets in Jakarta and Tangerang Selatan, website, and social media.

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Initial fund:

± USD50,000

(exclude the building) ___________________ Price: IDR39,000.00/50gr ______________________ Supplier: Cocoa farmers in Lampung ____________________________ Production capacity:

± 10 thousand chocolate bars /month


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Location: Jl. Laksamana Malahayati No. 17/2 Bandar Lampung


“We have a social mission to empower the farmers so they can produce export-quality beans.” Sabrina Name: Sabrina Mustopo Place, Date of Birth: Jakarta, 27 October 1984 Education: International Agriculture and Rural Development Cornell University (2005 – 2007) Occupation: Founder and Director of PT. Aneka Coklat Kakoa (

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he way Sabrina Mustopo, 31, skillfully cracks open a dried cacao bean, the main ingredient of chocolate, demonstrates her years of experience in the field. This young lady carefully examines the cacao beans in her hands and says, “The ones with the white spots, those are moldy,” while pointing to a cacao bean to a group of farmers. She went on to explain why the beans were moldy and advised them on how to keep the storage rooms dry and free of humidity. She continued to scoop up more beans, crack them open and examine them. One after another.

Sabrina Mustopo is the founder and director of PT. Aneka Coklat Kakoa company. It owns the trademark of “Kakoa Chocolate” chocolate products and tea. Under this trademark, the company offers four lines of chocolate food products, namely chocolate bars, chocolate squares, chocolate nibs and chocolate flakes. Meanwhile, there are four flavors of tea that is a combination of dried cacao shells and other ingredients, namely goji berries, cinnamon, ginger and soursop leaves.

Although she is the director of the company, Sabrina makes it point to visit the cacao plantations Despite the punishing heat of to ensure the quality of her product. Pesisir Barat in Lampung, Sabrina Not only does she feel that she has forged ahead with examining an obligation to obtain the best the cacao beans until she looked at raw materials for her company’s no less than 100 dried cacao beans. product, she also assumes This inspection was part of a sample the responsibility of the farmers on test of three sacks of dried cacao producing the best cacao beans beans that farmers from Tanjung so that they too could get Rejo Village, Bengkunat Belimbing a fair price. “It is my responsibility Sub-District, in Pesisir Barat District to train the farmers and maintain had brought over. the quality of my product,” she explained, sitting underneath the shade of a cacao tree.


This chocolate company that Sabrina founded in July 2013 purchases its cacao beans directly from the various farmers, spread across Tanggamus and Pesisir Barat districts in the province of Lampung as well as in Malinau district in North Kalimantan province. Purchasing directly from the farmers was a strategic move in an effort to shorten the value chain. Not only does the company profit from a shortened chain, but the farmers also receive a higher price for their beans. PT Aneka Coklat Kakoa is able to pay them approximately 60,000 Rupiahs per kilogram, which is much higher than the price they receive from middle-men at about 23,000-40,000 Rupiahs per kilogram.

Fortunately, while the company demands high quality beans, they provide assistance to the farmers in properly maintaining their cacao trees. They provide them with two months of training at no charge, which includes skills on how to properly take care of cacao plantations, how to treat diseases, and how to process a cacao bean the right way. “We have a social mission to empower the farmers so they can produce export-quality beans,� added Sabrina. As a result, up to 160 cacao farmers from five villages in Lampung, Sedayu, Sukaraja, Pemerihan, Tanjung Rejo, and Sukabanjar, have received some form of training as well as farming tools, such as hedge clippers and grafting knives.

However, in order to get this price for a kilogram of cacao beans, the farmer must meet a number of criteria set by the company. Among them are that the cacao beans must be organic, are large in size and were fermented correctly.

Not only conducting the pick-test, Sabrina is also communicating the quality of the cocoa beans to the farmers. Photo: Nasrullah for Oxfam in Indonesia.

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Farmers as Partners Despite being a newcomer in the chocolate business, Sabrina is a fast learner. Her knowledge base in plant cultivation, including cacao, is quite solid. In 2007, she graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in international agriculture and rural development from Cornell University in New York. She then worked as a consultant at McKinsey, one of the most well known agriculture consulting companies based in New York. The company stationed her in Belgium for four years and three years in Singapore. All of these experiences have afforded her the opportunity to do different types of research and meet with various stakeholders from the government and civil society as well as the farmers. As a consultant, Sabrina is well experienced in providing advice and training to farmers on farming best practices in Africa and Asia Pacific. Through these experiences, she discovered many problems as well as potential in the agriculture sector in Indonesia, particularly in cacao cultivation. Although Indonesia is the third largest cacao bean exporter in the world after Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana, millions of its cacao smallholder farmers still live in poverty. It was this reality that bothered her and served as the impetus to get more involved in the cacao industry in Indonesia after

having left the country since she was four years old. “Why isn’t anyone cultivating this great potential?,” she asked. Her prior experiences as an agriculture consultant in several countries has given her a different approach compared to other chocolate companies. One of these is the continuous oversight and assistance provided to the smallholder farmers. Each farmers group comprising of 20-60 people must choose a coordinator who is responsible to support the members in increasing sales and improving the quality of the products. The coordinators are also responsible to seek out technical assistance in plantation management, which involves ensuring that the farmers fill out the log-books correctly as well as providing coordination during the harvest period. Currently, five cacao farmers have received special training as coordinators. Once the farmers, also partners of PT Aneka Coklat Kakoa, have been properly trained and have implemented the proper planting techniques, the company is then able to award the plantation an organic certification. This certification covers not only the cocoa trees, but also any other tree or plant that might be growing on the land, such as


or coconuts. And with her extensive network, Sabrina has introduced other companies which seeking these other organic raw materials to the farmers, as her company only buys the cacao beans.

Despite her support to the farmers and incredible patience in addressing their questions, when it comes to quality, she refuses to compromise. The company will only purchase cacao beans that are up to par. Each farmer receives a log-book that And as for the sub-par beans, they are required to fill out as Sabrina welcomes the farmers a way of monitoring their plantations. to sell these beans to other The log-book records information on companies. In fact, she welcomes the plantation’s profile, such as the farmers to sell their beans to the number of cacao trees, how they other companies that might offer are maintained, and the levels of them a higher price—even though organic fertilizer for each tree. she had provided them with Sabrina explains that the log-books the training, free of charge. are a helpful tool in tracking how beneficial the training has been Ever since she founded the in improving productivity. “I know company, Sabrina has had more that other companies also provide opportunities to discover the training, but I don’t know about the back roads of her home country, monitoring tools,” explained Sabrina, after having spent several years who occasionally code-switches discovering the roads of the United between English and Indonesian. States. Her determination to go into the field and meet with the Although Sabrina is the head of farmers meant that she has had to the company, she is not averse to trek several rural roads, including meeting and working directly with in the South Bukit Barisan National the farmers. Given her background Park. She has also had to drive in agriculture, she discusses various through rugged terrain to a village issues with the farmers, including located 185 kilometers from Bandar trying to figure out what is causing Lampung City, but this did not the diseases. And when she cannot deter her at all. Together with staff answer their questions, she goes members of WWF, Sabrina makes back and does her research, sure that the farmers partnering including by asking her colleagues with her company are not using the from abroad. She truly enjoys national park land. PT Aneka Coklat explaining to the farmers that it is Kakoa also works with the German more beneficial to sell fermented donor agency, GIZ, to support cacao beans than wet cacao beans. this goal.

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The Beginnings of a Business Sabrina founded PT. Aneka Coklat Kakoa with a former colleague from McKinsey with a startup fund of about USD 30,000. The capital money was used to purchase processing and packaging machinery, as well as to purchase the cacao beans from the farmers. As for the factory, Sabrina used a large plant that her family owned in Bandar Lampung. Since the launching of the company in October 2014, Aneka Coklat Kakoa has been able to produce approximately 10,000 chocolate bars per month.

and packaging. “I hosted several chocolate tasting parties for my friends and family” she said with a smile. “It would have been too expensive to hire a consultant,” she chuckled.

Based upon the feedback she received, her line of chocolate products have developed into six different flavors: dark chocolate, chili chocolate, creamy coffee, salted cashew, coconut brittle, and sea salt & pepper. These flavors come in four types: chocolate bars, squares, nibs, and flakes, as well as a chocolate tea made of the cacao According to Sabrina, one of bean shells. Each of the four types the main reasons her chocolate comes in its own set of flavors. products have been well received For example, the chocolate bars in the market is that she conducted and square comes in all extensive market research before six flavors, while the nibs come in launching them. She repeatedly dark chocolate, coconut cashew, tested out the products on her family and mixed spices. The dark and close friends, soliciting their chocolate bars and nibs are input and feedback on the flavor by far the most popular products, which are sold at a price of 39,000 Rupiahs per 50 grams.

Sabrina is happy to have dialogue with farmers, even in the cocoa field which is located at least 186 km from Bandar Lampung City. Photo: Nasrullah for Oxfam in Indonesia.


Sabrina believes that it is not only the flavor of Indonesia that makes her chocolate distinct. The way the bar itself is designed and packaged is unique, in that the bars are created on molds in the shape of cacao leaves and cacao beans and the paper wrap features a batik design. In line with its marketing goal of selling premium chocolate, Kakoa Chocolate products are

only currently available at a number of high-end hotels and cafes in Jakarta, Kemchicks, Lotte Avenue, and Ranch Market. At the same time, people can purchase the chocolate from their website. Furthermore, since Sabrina is acutely aware of the importance of innovation in product and marketing, Kakoa Chocolate is also taking orders for wedding events and office gifts.

Attracted to Agriculture Sabrina is no stranger to agriculture. Ever since she was a little girl, her father, an agriculture businessman, heavily influenced her. Despite being raised abroad, she heard many stories from her father about the great agriculture potential that her home country possessed. These were the factors that led her to want to learn more about agriculture and subsequently study it in college. Although Sabrina and her family have now returned to Indonesia, they often take trips to Singapore where they own a home.

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Her decision to leave an established career abroad and return to Indonesia to start a business was not one she made lightly. It took her a year to come to a final and committed decision to leave a career and large paycheck. “I had such a hard time,” she reminisced. “My mother was the most vocal objector,” she said with a smile. “But if not now, then when else? I really believed in the idea of starting a company and empowering the farmers,” she exclaimed confidently.


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These days, she feels at peace with her decision. Not only has she managed to start her own company, she has also garnered many valuable experiences through her visits to the cacao producing villages. It is a great feeling to be accepted as part of the village community, being able to stay overnight at a farmer’s home, enjoy a simple meal of rice, fried fish and chili sauce at a food stall in the village, and walk through the plantation with the farmers.

Despite having lived 80% of her life abroad, Sabrina’s enthusiasm for developing and working with Indonesian farmers is remarkable. An avid gardener and jogger, Sabrina hopes that one day Kakoa Chocolate will grow into a large enough company that can boost Indonesian chocolate to compete in the world arena and improve the lives of cacao farmers in Lampung and across the nation.

Advice for women wanting to start a business: • Make a real plan, determine the direction of the enterprise, have the discipline to follow through the plan, but remain flexible to changes. • If you have little capital, start small. • Muster support from your family and friends, especially when faced with challenges. • Changes require time. Be patient.


Arafa Tea: An Upstream to Downstream Endeavour to Promote Indonesian Tea

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Photos: Stella Yovita Arya Puter for Oxfam in Indonesia.


Business Profile Company Name:

Field of Business: Variety of Tea Products ________________________

Arafa Tea Established since:

2007 ________

Type of product: * Tea (white tea buds, white tea wipi, green tea panfired, green tea steamed, genmaicha, oolong tea (green and black), black tea premium) * Green tea and black tea snacks (rice cracker, cereal, potato chips, chocolate, black tea chocolate) * Green tea cosmetic (dry scrub, hand-body lotion, face soap, face mask, oil) _______________________ Employee:

20 people

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(Âą IDR13,500.00 - IDR175,500.00) ___________________________ Supplier: 5 groups of tea farmers in Bandung ____________ Marketing: Outlets in Bandung, culinary center, social media, resellers, export, and exhibition.


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Location: Jl. Bukit Dago Selatan 53A Taman Budaya, West Java, Bandung


“The main capital of a start-up is having a strong will, and the main challenge I faced was changing other people’s perceptions.” Iffah Name: Iffah Syarifah Hendrayati Place, Date of Birth: Bandung, 10 November 1967 Address: Cigadung, Bandung Education: Master of Psychology University of Indonesia Occupation: Founder of Arafa Tea Contact:,, +62878 2530 1550, +62817 0218 404 Iffah, a woman with M.Psi degree from the University of Indonesia had established a school with natural concept in Jakarta, is now a tea businesswoman.

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ea has been commercially cultivated in Indonesia since colonial times in the early 19th century. In fact, records show that tea was being exported from Java to Amsterdam from as early as 1835. Since then, tea plantations have sprung up in various parts of the country and become a major export commodity. Tea gradually became one of the most consumed beverages rivalling the popularity of coffee. However, most Indonesians are familiar with just two types of tea: green tea and black tea. Unbeknownst to the wide majority, Indonesian tea plantations also produce white tea. It is just not sold in the Indonesian market. Instead, Indonesian white tea is wildly popular in the international market. Historically, white tea has

been served to royalty in China, exported to Europe, and widely found in England. In addition to white tea, tea seed oil—not to be confused with tea tree oil—is another highly valued commodity that is not well known amongst Indonesians. It is sad that the people who actually cultivate the tea do not get to enjoy the highest quality tea products. Moreover, the farmers and tea pickers who grow and maintain the tea plantations are not paid a fair wage. This sad reality is what motivated Iffah Syarifah Hendrayati, born in Bandung on November 10, 1967, to develop a tea-based business. Iffah’s business is focused on both making a profit and educating the market and producers.

Loving the Environment Before she was well known for being a tea businesswoman, Iffah was already known as the founder of a naturalist school, Citra Alam, in Ciganjur, East Jakarta. She started this enterprise in 1991 after she got married and moved from Bandung to Jakarta with her husband, Darso Sayat, who worked as an IT consultant for an agriculture company.

Having lived in Bandung, Iffah missed the rural feel that she could not get in Jakarta. Her longing for a rural atmosphere prompted this mother of four to re-create it in an urban setting. She began planting organic plants and herbs in the backyard of her house in East Jakarta.


Her diligence in tending to her organic and herbal garden, coupled with her passion for working with youth led Iffah, who has a master’s in psychology from the University of Indonesia, to build a school with two of her colleagues. They named it Citra Alam School, and built it in Ciganjur, East Jakarta. The supplementary curriculum featured environmental conservation and organic plants. “The three of us combined our money to start the school. We used the same curriculum as other normal schools did, but we added in a supplementary curriculum in environmental conservation,” she explained.

the Fatmawati to the Kampung Rambutan neighborhoods. So, since I owned a house right behind the UI campus, I invited a few of the students to teach at my school at this house, where the children could learn and hang out,” she added.

She raised funds for the street children’s education center from the registration fees she collected for the various seminars she held at the Citra Alam School. “We held several seminars throughout the year on parenting, and that time, it was not as popular as it is these days. Many of our students’ parents attended these seminars, and then we used the registration fee to fund the street children’s Additionally, Iffah also believed that school. Everything was done education should also touch upon based on faith. I just believed that social issues. “I wanted to provide as long as my intentions were good, an educational space for the street there would always be a way,” children I saw on the bridges around she explained.

Developing Arafa Iffah’s involvement in the tea world started in 2004, when her family moved back to her hometown of Bandung and found a place to live in a nearby area, Cigadung. She also brought with her all of her organic plants and herbs and re-planted them in Ciwedey, one of the largest tea plantations in West Java.

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“We’ve made many trips to Ciwedey since we moved back to the Bandung area. I enjoy watching the tea pickers at work. In fact, I fell in love with them. I would listen to their stories of working from dawn to dust, but was discouraged to hear that they did not receive very much in wages for their labor,” she reminisced.


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“Tea pickers pick about 40 kilograms of tea and get paid 500 Rupiah per kilogram. So, they make only about 20,000 Rupiah per day, while the plantation owners get 2.5 million Rupiahs per kilogram from the tea companies,” explained Iffah. Seeing this reality, Iffah was determined to improve the welfare of the tea pickers. In 2007, she and a couple of students in Bandung formed a group they named Arafa. Initially, they visited some of the largest tea picker villages in West Java to get their stories, talk about their problems and facilitate in finding solutions. Their work covered villages in Tasikmalaya, Garut, Cianjur, Sukabumi, and Ciwidey. After numerous trips into the field, Iffah thought she would start a tea-based business from those five areas. In 2007, the Arafa

team began the tea production business, which they named the Arafa Team. They would purchase the raw materials directly from the farmers, sell the tea and share the profits with the farmers. This is when Iffah discovered white tea. She was surprised to learn that this product of West Java was only made for export purposes. “I thought it was odd that we were producing something that only foreigners were enjoying. And the exporters were enjoying all the profits,” she exclaimed. “Having seen how hard the tea pickers worked, I was encouraged to make white tea accessible to the Indonesian people. I decided that white tea would be Arafa Tea’s first premium product,” she added. Iffah approached the export company so that Arafa Tea could buy some of their white tea. “I paid the media to highlight and spotlight the benefits and superiority of white tea. I wanted to raise awareness of this tea and show people that our tea was not only consumed abroad, but also domestically,” Iffah explained. It was not such an easy task to introduce white tea to the general public, mainly because it was so expensive. During a trade expo of Indonesian products in 2007,


Iffah was selling a 30-gram box of white tea for 100,000 Rupiahs. People were surprised at how expensive it was. “I tried to tell them that white tea was different from ordinary tea. For every hectare of tea plantation, only one kilogram of white tea can be produced. While white tea is planted like any other tea, it is harvested differently. White tea is harvested before the tea plant’s leaves

open fully, from the young buds and must be harvested before sunrise,” she explained. After her first experience of introducing white tea to the general public, Iffah decided that she was going to continue to sell white tea. White tea was going to be the main product of Arafa Tea and profits would always be divided amongst the tea pickers.

Innovation and creativity After one year of selling white tea, Iffah started exploring other ventures. She believed that capital was not the only important aspect of running a business, but rather creativity and the courage to innovate. Iffah toyed with the idea of making tea products that could not only be drunk, but also eaten. She wanted so that all parts of the tea plant could be used up and not leave anything wasted. In 2008, Iffah started research on green tea powder. “I learned that the finer the powder was, the more L-theanine was contained in the green tea. I was inspired by Japanese matcha and wanted for Indonesia to start producing it as well.”

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After doing research for a year, Arafa Tea was finally able to produce and sell its own brand of green tea powder. Thanks to the green tea, Arafa Tea won an Adikarya award from the governor of West Java in 2011. Her efforts did not end there. In 2009, Arafa Tea created green tea chocolate. The whole process, starting from production to packaging, was done at Iffah’s house with a few workers to help. Iffah’s curiosity and creativity translated into innovation. In 2012, Arafa Tea began to expand by working with a group of rice cracker (opak) makers in West Java. The workers began to produce green tea-infused rice crackers, which led to another Adikarya award in 2013. 140

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Despite the successes, Iffah admitted that winning awards was not the main goal. Rather, it was to introduce to the Indonesian people the added value of tea.

Tea seed oil In addition to white tea and tea-based food products and beverages, one of Arafa Tea’s best innovations was tea seed oil— which is not the same as tea tree oil. It all began when Arafa Tea was invited to participate in a local trade expo in Bali in 2012. Representatives from many different countries that attended the expo visited the Arafa Tea booth to have a look at their products. A representative from the U.S. came up to Iffah asked her if her company sold tea seed oil. Coincidentally, she had just read an article on tea seed oil produced in China. Based solely on this knowledge, she boldly claimed that Arafa Tea did indeed produce tea seed oil. The next thing she knew, the American had placed an order of four liters of tea seed oil to be picked up in four months’ time. Iffah was scrambling. She persevered, however, in the faith that if the Chinese could

make tea seed oil, then so could Indonesia, especially since Indonesian tea was of superior quality. Iffah did her research on tea seed oil. She brought 100 kilograms of wet tea leaves to a friend of her at the Bandung Institute of Technology, Professor Muhammad Siddiq. She asked him to analyze whether her tea leaves would be suitable for tea seed oil. Alas, she was disappointed when Siddiq’s research discovered that tea leaves did not contain any oil. Iffah did not give up. She went to the tea plantations of Arafa Tea’s partners to observe how the tea pickers worked. During her observations, she noticed that both buds and seeds were present in the tea trees. “Initially, I was furious when I saw the seeds and buds, because it was an indication that they were not pruned. So, together with the workers, I picked the seeds off of the plants. When we picked


the seeds, I noticed that it gave out some kind of oil. One of the workers told me that the tea shrub does produce oil, but only in the seeds, which is always pruned to make way for the leaves,” she explained. Right there and then, Iffah asked the workers to harvest some of the seeds. She got three large sacks of tea seeds and brought them back to Professor Siddiq. He spent the night analyzing and trying to produce tea seed oil out of the three bags of seeds. “Fortunately, I was able to avoid being called a big liar by the client. After two months of research, coupled with great faith and perseverance, we were able to produce the four liters of tea seed oil to the American,” she exclaimed. A liter of tea seed oil sold for 12 million Rupiah, so Iffah ended up with 48 million Rupiah for the four liters she sold to the American.

The tea seed oil has also been distributed to the Hasan Sadikin Hospital, where it is used in conjunction with medication for infants and the elderly, due to its high levels of anti-oxidants. Currently, the market price of tea seed oil has reached 24 million Rupiahs per liter, which is double from when she first started selling it. “An entrepreneur is kind of like an artist. They must be able to create and give it their best. They must also be honest and provide the best to the producers, the employees, and customers. The ups and downs, the rejections— those all come with the territory and are just the steps that one has to go through to become a successful entrepreneur. We just have to be able to use whatever we have to keep on going,” Iffah said, concluding her story.

Arafa Tea’s tea seed oil is used as an ingredient for a cosmetics line in the United States. “And it’s from Indonesia. I’m quite proud of how I was able to fight to put Indonesian tea on the international map,” she said proudly.

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Social Mission Once her business was set up, Iffah was finally able to refocus her attention to her initial mission— help the tea pickers. “I wanted for everyone involved to be happy, from upstream to downstream, from tea pickers to tea lovers,” said Iffah. Winning the Adikarya award from the governor of West Java, Ahmad Heryawan, opened new doors to helping the tea pickers. On behalf of Arafa Tea, Iffah submitted a proposal to form a Farmer’s Association (Gapoktan) in the five areas of tea production, as well as build a production house at each location. The proposal was approved by the governor, who provided her with 500 million Rupiahs for each location, whereby 210 million was allocated for the construction and 290 million for production equipment. Arafa invited the farmer’s association to build the production houses together. Iffah discovered it was difficult to galvanize the farmers. “After they received the funds thanks to our efforts, it was as if they forgot about us. They wanted to just go their own way without working with Arafa, but I wanted for the money to be used for the concept and start-up of

the partnership. The problem was changing their attitude. Nonetheless, I insisted on continuing to work with the farmer’s association in the five locations to achieve my initial goal,” she explained. After a series of back and forth with the villages, Iffah was finally able to encourage the farmer’s association to build their own production houses for the tea products. Moreover, the buildings have been fitted with CCTVs, which she uses to share her story with other people and as a marketing tool. The tea pickers and farmers receive training on how to properly process the tea and maintain the production house. “The main capital of a start-up is having a strong will, and the main challenge I faced was changing other people’s perceptions,” she added. And thanks to her hard work of nurturing good relations with the farmer’s association, Afara Tea won its third Adikarya award in 2014. In addition to establishing the farmer’s association and building the production houses, Iffah also built a small orphanage in Ujung Berung, West Java.


The children there were given trainings and lessons on entrepreneurship and helped out in Arafa tea. “We want to prepare them to be able to work at Arafa Tea or start a business similar to Arafa Tea in Bukit Tinggi, when they are able to,� she explained.

to share stories about that is often used by Iffah as a place One corner in Dago Tea House ufacturing process. man the to s tea leave the history of tea, painting of the

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Arafa Tea Sales Up until recently, Arafa Tea products had been sold by word of mouth and through resellers. Iffah did not think that it would be profitable to sell her products in supermarkets, as it would ruin the cash flow, in that any leftovers would be returned to the producer. However, in 2014, Arafa Tea products were featured at the Dago Tea house, a culinary and educational center sponsored by the government of West Java. They introduced their white tea, green tea powder, chocolate tea, and rice crackers. The main focus of their presence there was to educate

the public about Indonesian tea. Iffah reached out to different schools and colleges to visit the Dago Tea house. She talked about the history of tea and how Arafa Tea processes their tea products. They were also treated to a sample of some of the tea and invited to do a crafts project using tea leaves. Arafa Tea products are also featured in trade expos abroad. It has now grown into a 20-person enterprise with workers from the five tea producing areas. Iffah receives the products from these locations and processes them in her home as a home industry. Iffah also works with a group of students in ITB studying pharmacology, who are trying to create tea-based cosmetic products. These cosmetics are sold through Arafa Tea at the Dago Tea House and reseller agents.


Komodo Water: Running a Business while Empowering the Community

n to educate the childre na also takes her time love reading. (N) a social business, Sha to y onl and r not is litte ter not to Wa as such Komodo on Papagarang Island

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with ution in collaboration t of local fishermen as par ) (SF . ent erm pow em local economic

Komodo Water Distrib

Gas treatm ent installatio in the block ns along with Salawati, S PERTAMIN orong, which A electricity ne are used ed and rem oval of petro to meet leum. (SF)


Photos: Nasrullah (N) & Shana Fatina (SF) for Oxfam in Indonesia.

Komodo National Park has an area of 137,300 hectares with five major islands: Komodo, Padar, Rinca, Gila Motang, and Nusa Kode, where the total population in 2010 reached 4,300 inhabitants. (N)

Business Profile Company Name:

PT. Tinamitra Mandiri

Office address: Wirausaha Building, Floor 5th Jl. HR Rasuna Said Kav. C5 Jakarta Selatan, Indonesia ______________________

Established since:

Field of Business: * Tinagas (vehicle with fuel oil to fuel gas conversion service providers) * Komodo Water (bottled water of Manggarai Barat) * PT. Intermega Sabaku Indonesia (gas flare provider in Sorong) * Ora Dive (a dive center in Laboan Bajo) * Hamueco Lodge (resort and trips Raja Ampat) ________________________

Type of products: * Fuel oil and gas fuel conversion service * Komodo Water * Gas Flare * Dive Center * Resort _______

March 2010 ____________________

Price of Komodo Water

IDR5,000.00 IDR9,000.00 _________________

Supplier: Water sources of Papagarang Island ____________________ Production capacity:

Âą300 jerry can/week ___________________________ Marketing: Collaboration with supermarket and hotel in Yogyakarta, Jakarta, Solo. Social media and website.

5 people

Employee: (Komodo Water)

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Location: Papagarang Village Komodo Sub-district Manggarai Barat District Nusa Tenggara Timur (NTT)



uring the monsoon season at the end of 2013, Shana Fatina Sukarsono, 29, made a trip across the Flores strait to visit Komodo Island. Her mission was to transport bottled water to the communities on the island. It was a very rough ride. The small motor boat she was on was thrown about by the violent waves. Some of the gallon water bottles were thrown off the boat. There was nothing she could do but watch the bottles— her commodity which is highly anticipated by the Komodo island communities disappear into the sea. More importantly, however, the lives of the passengers were also at risk of disappearing into the sea. There were a few close calls where they all thought the boat would capsize. After some time, they found some land and docked the boat while waiting for the waves to calm down. “After that experience, I decided I would not make any deliveries during the monsoon,” said Sahana, recalling the struggle to distribute Komodo Water bottled water, produced by her company, Tinamitra Mandiri. Despite the many wild and intense experiences she has encountered, Shana does not regret her decision to leave her life in the city to start a business to help residents of the Komodo National Park meet their drinking water needs.

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Dressed in jeans and a t-shirt with hiking sandals and a backpack, Shana looks more like an environmental activist or backpacker than a director of a company. Hardly anyone would guess that this young woman, who graduated cum laude from the Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB) with a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering, is the founder and president of Tinamitra Mandiri Group, a company that works in clean and renewable energy, clean water and sanitation and ecotourism. Despite her young age, Shana demonstrates a level of maturity that is beyond that of her peers. She became the first female president of the ITB Student Association between 2008 and 2009 and has always demonstrated a great concern for the community and the environment over her personal ambitions or interests. “Indonesia is so rich in resources and potentials. It just lacks proper management,” she said confidently. “Unfortunately, many young graduates are more interested in working for large companies and making a lot of money. They should take more risks to create their own jobs,” she added.


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Shana went on to say that social change can only be carried out by people who are able to meet their own needs and not dependent on others. Starting a company is one way of achieving that independence. Shana, who always wears her hair short, believes that by having your own money, you have the freedom to choose what kind of change you want to achieve and how to go about it.

She grew more interested in renewable energy and sustainable development issues when one of her college classmates asked her to join a carbon trading business. She saw that using less fossil fuels and more renewable energy could serve as a way to reduce fossil fuel subsidies and increase the incomes of public transport drivers.

Just before graduating in 2009, one of her colleagues asked Shana With a strong will and determination if she wanted to be involved in the already well established, the next project of building an ocean thermal step was finding a way to actually energy conversion and hydrogen start the business, which was not plant. So, Shana and eight of such an easy task. At first, her colleagues came together and Shana did not know what kind founded Colano Energy, a hydrogen of business she wanted to start. energy company. Unfortunately, But she knew that she was the company did not last long as always drawn to environmental many of its investors failed conservation issues. The prevailing to provide a solid commitment and perceptions of companies in the country was also not ready for Indonesia have been that the private the technology at the time. sector, especially ones in extractive Although Colano Energy disbanded industries, are always associated shortly after it was founded, with environmental degradation and Shana continued to foster her desire puts profit above environmental to provide accessible renewable concerns. Should running energy. Then, in March 2010, a business be always at the she founded Tinamitra Mandiri using expense of the environment? her own funds. This was the big question that Shana was faced with and she was determined to find a solution.


As soon as the company was incorporated, Shana asked several of her colleagues to establish a partnership and cooperation with her company to build a business that upholds the idealism of providing services to the community and conserving the environment. One of the arms of the company is called Tinagas, a company that converts petrol engines into a natural gas engine in a garage in Bogor, West Java. Working with the Department of Transportation, Tinamitra Mandiri converted 450 public transportation vehicles in 2011. Additionally, the company also analyses the frequency with which vehicles refill at the gas station and the factors that prevent cars from refilling. There are 120 vehicles left for them to convert amidst the different activities they carry out.

the warranty became void. Nonetheless, since there is no charge to install the conversion gear, drivers are not obligated to have their vehicles converted. At the moment, Tinagas only works on request-based conversions but has a vision to expand its services to trucks and buses.

Moreover, Tinagas also began to penetrate the business of Compressed Gas Stations in Cirebon, West Java. However, in 2015, the government decided that these stations were to be managed The lack of governmental policy to by the government, forcing Tinagas support this conversion from petrol to sell its assets to a state-owned to natural gas in the transportation corporation. As a result, Tinagas sector prevented the company from is now merely the operator of the developing any further. charging station. Shana, who also In fact, a number of regulations holds the position of Secretary made it difficult for owners of General of the Indonesian traditional petrol-engine owners to Association of Compressed Natural participate in these conversions. Gas Businesses (APCNGI), For example, the converter would continues to lobby and advocate the need to be removed before a vehicle government to change this policy. inspection. Furthermore, once an engine has been converted, Papagarang Island looks dry and barren in the dry season. Source: Google Earth

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Despite the various roadblocks, Shana refused to give up. She launched a natural gas trading company in Sorong, West Papua called Intermega Sabaku Indonesia, a sister company of Tinamitra Mandiri Group. This company manages associate gas from the joint operating body (JOB) of Pertamina-Petrochina in Blok Salawati, West Papua. Associate gas, which is a by-product of oil drilling, is processed and re-used to produce electricity and oil lifting. Based on her belief that all businesses should provide benefits to the surrounding environment and community, Shana decided that her business would fulfill the electricity need in Sorong. “I’ve received many requests to deliver the gas to Ambon on Seram Island, but for now I’d like to focus on Sorong,” she said confidently.

Moreover, Shana saw that most of the development efforts are happening in Java Island, including when it comes to providing power. The fact is, many areas in the Eastern part of Indonesia has the potential to provide their own sources of power, but no one is taking on this effort. “For example, Flores has a geothermal reserve that I’m sure can be used to generate power,” she added. “The issue of energy accessibility and availability is heavily influenced by governmental policy. I’m confident that the private sector would be happy to get involved with the right incentive and clear regulations,” she explained. Shana, who had previously won numerous awards such as the KAIST Green Business Contest from KAIST University in 2012, fully understands that her business is not like other business. She believes that a businessperson must also be able to contribute to social problems and social change. It was again this belief that prompted her to start another company that provides drinking water to communities in the Komodo National Park in West Manggarai, East Nusa Tenggara. Shana named it Komodo Water.


Providing Clean Water The idea of this new company started out when Shana and her family took a vacation to the Komodo National Park in 2010. For Shana, however, a vacation is not just about having fun and relaxation. She saw a side of the national park that tourists and even the government neglected—the lack of clean water for the community. Despite the island being a worldclass tourist destination and bringing in revenue to the area, this basic need was not readily available for the local communities.

During the rainy season, community members are able to collect rainwater using a cistern. The water, however, is not potable. To address this, the government built a drinking water treatment plant in Papagarang in 2013, but within a year it was broken and never fixed.

After her vacation, Shana made numerous trips to Komodo Island to help find a solution to the water problem there. For six months, Shana conducted various tests and group discussions with the local community. By the end of As it turns out, neighbouring villages those six months, she decided and islands also did not have to establish Komodo Water. access to clean water, especially Unlike other bottled water during the dry season. For example, companies that obtains their water communities of Mesa Island, which from water springs, Komodo Water is home to about 1,500 residents, processes brackish water from must buy their water from Labuan bore wells in Papagarang Village. Bajo City, which is a three-hour Using reverse osmosis technology, motor boat ride. Communities of this brackish water is transformed Papagarang Island, located into potable water. “After about 21 kilometers from Labuan Bajo, five months of surveys, we were must also travel this distance to able to drill a well with adequate the city for their water. A gallon of water debit,� explained Shana. clean water in Labuan Bajo would cost many of these poor community members 12,000 Rupiahs.

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Inspiring Indonesia

Komodo Nat

ional Park is a world clas No less than s 33 dive oper tourist destination. ators in Labu Only eight ar an Bajo. e managed by local resi dents. (N)

Fishermen from Papagarang Island are completing the process of making traditional salted boiled fish. (N)

local residents of Komodo Water employees are all activities from out carry They Papagarang Island. technicians to personnel who put a sticker on the jerry can. (SF)

Installation of exhaus t gas management in cooperation with PERTAMINA in the Block Salawati, Sorong . (SF) 155

Although Komodo Water was processed from brackish water, the quality is comparable to that of bottled spring water. The water of Komodo Water must go through three filtration processes. The brackish water is filtered for the first time into a large vessel, then a second time that produces clean water, then a final time into potable water. From there, the water is bottled and labelled. All filtration processes take place in a 105-square-meter plant that sits on a 2,500-square-meter plot of land not far from the beach in Papagarang village.

water is actually sold for 9,000 Rupiahs. Despite the inflated price, Komodo Water is still less expensive than all the other bottled water that sells for 14,000 Rupiahs. Although the profits from Komodo Water is relatively small, it is adequate to cover the operational costs, including wages of the Komodo Water employees. Shana employs five villagers to run the operations of Komodo Water, all of whom receive training in management and operating the machineries. Furthermore, she also has agents placed in each village to support the distribution. The villagers decide whom they recommend to be workers at the plant. Interestingly, almost all of the agents for Komodo Water are women. They work part-time at the factory, which allows them to carry out their domestic work as well.

Komodo Water is sold to agents in 20-liter jerry cans in various prices. In Papagarang Village, for example, one jerry can goes for 5,000 Rupiahs, whereas in Komodo Island, which is the furthest location from Papagarang, the price of on jerry can of Komodo Water is The wage system at 8,000 Rupiahs. Typically, agents raise the price by 1,000 Rupiahs per Komodo Water is different from jerry can, so in Komodo Island, the that of other companies.

Employees are not paid a monthly salary, but rather a daily wage, because that is what they are accustomed to. Komodo Water employees are paid a daily wage of 50,000 Rupiahs.

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Inspiring Indonesia

Moreover, the employees are not asked to write reports or have a specific work schedule. Shana has learned that she must be extra patient with them, not place too much pressure on them, and not set too high of an expectation on their performance. She believes that it is important to adapt to the local way of working before slowly introducing a better and more organized work ethic. Throughout this adaptation period, Shana realized that the best method of getting their buy-in was by setting an example and collaborating with them. “I value my business, but I also need to ensure it has value for them, too,” she explained. Although Tinamitra Mandiri is not a charity, the local community definitely feels the social benefits of affordable and quality drinking water. This was not by accident. Shana designed Komodo Water to be a business instead of a charity, because she did not want the community to see it as such, especially as many previous social projects have ended unsuccessfully. She believed that partnering with the community is much more effective. “From the very beginning, I’ve also claimed that this is a business. The community benefits,

and so does the company. We are in partnership with each other,” she said, beaming with confidence. The first six months was spent doing socializations and introductions with the community. Once they agreed to build Komodo Water, Shana offered her requirements. “We have to do this together. So for example, you, the community, must provide the land for the factory,” she said, recalling her conversation with the community. Getting the community involved throughout the process was the way of building ownership. During this process, Shana had to explain to the community many, many times that Tinamitra Mandiri was not an NGO that gave out assistance. Komodo Water has been able to grow and flourish the way it has because of the communitybased business model it employs. Established in October 2010 and fully operational in February 2013, Komodo Water now reaches seven villages in the Komodo National Park (Papagarang, Mesa, Warloka, Komodo, Rinca, Soknar, and Nenteng villages), and in two villages on Flores Island (Lente Golohmori and Kukusan villages), serving a total of 2,780 households.


During a distribution event, the team Water, she left Jakarta and moved typically brings about 300 jerry cans to Papagarang Village in Komodo of water for around three villages. Sub-Sistrict, which she considers her second home. She still makes Moving forward, Shana would like trips back to Jakarta and Papua to build a water treatment plant in to manage her other Tinamitra Labuan Bajo City, so that they can Mandiri businesses. reach even more remote villages. “Hopefully we can start that this Komodo Water was not the only year,” she said optimistically. business she started in the area. Shana is currently in the process In addition to providing affordable of establishing a diving operator potable water, Komodo Water has called Ora Drive, in partnership also empowered the community with local diving outlets in Labuan through offering job opportunities Bajo. “Out of the 33 diving operators as well as transferable skills, such here, only eight of them are local,” as hygiene standards, operating she stated pensively, “the rest are machinery and carrying out simple all foreigners.” This model was mechanical repairs. Komodo Water also replicated in Raja Ampat, also partners with fishermen, West Papua, where Shana started traders, and boat owners who Hamueco, a diving outlet, also become agents for distribution and working in partnership with local also receive some profits. diving operators. Finally, Shana has also started a library in Papagarang Despite her busy schedule, Shana Village with donations from the always makes it a point to be in the Indonesian Student Association in field to develop her new businesses. Birmingham, England. So when she was starting Komodo

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Inspiring Indonesia

The Entrepreneurial Mind Shana is no stranger to the business world, as her father is an executive in the oil and gas sector. Despite her family’s wealth, Shana decided to leave the comforts of that affluence and start her own businesses in Eastern Indonesia. Her mother worries constantly about her daughter’s safety. “When I took her on a vacation to Flores, my mother asked me why in the world I would want to live there,” she reminisced. But since her parents had also taught her to be independent, she was determined to reach her goals and never give up. A PADI advanced diver license holder, Shana loves talking about the lives of the local communities in the places she’s lived. When she lived in Papagarang Village, she always tried to make time to hang out with the children and teach them about throwing away garbage in the trash can. Almost all 340 families of the village know who she is. Whenever she takes

a stroll around the village, she will stop by and chat with the local residents. Shana also tries to find time to indulge in her hobby of music. A trained violinist, Shana teaches music to children in Labuan Bajo as well as street children in Jakarta. She is also an avid photographer and uses photography as a medium to share her adventures and knowledge with her followers. Although she maintains an address in Jakarta for her businesses’ headquarters, when asked what her residence is, Shana says that Papagarang is her home. Finally, Shana also enjoys outdoors activities, such as hiking and running. She has participated in a number of running competitions, one as far as 17 kilometers. “Right now, I’m training for a marathon. Wish me luck!” she exclaimed.


“Wherever my business is located in, I want for the local community to receive the benefits of it, experience an improved quality of life, social justice, social cohesion, and social resilience.� Shana

Name: Shana Fatina Sukarsono Place, Date of Birth: California, 29 October 1986 Education: Bachelor of Engineering ITB 2004 Occupation: Founder and President Director of Tinamitra Mandiri Group, Secretary General of Indonesia Compressed Natural Gas Entrepreneurs Association. Field of Business: Tinagas (vehicle with fuel oil to fuel gas conversion service providers), Komodo Water (bottled water of Manggarai Barat), PT. Intermega Sabaku Indonesia (gas flare provider in Sorong), Ora Dive (a dive center in Laboan Bajo), and Hamueco Lodge (resort and trips Raja Ampat).

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Inspiring Indonesia

On how to start and run a business Shana believes that some of the same principles apply to a business, no matter what it is in. Below are some of her tips based on her experiences. • Know yourself and know your field well. Make sure you know all the details of your expenses. Think of yourself as both a user and supplier. Cut unnecessary costs. Get things done yourself. In Shana’s case, she learned all the small details, including how to operate a generator, drive a motorboat, and understand the accounting side of her businesses. • Choose your human resources wisely. You must spot the potentials of all your employees. • Do your homework about your market. You need to really understand the root of the problem, because there is a fine line between what people need and what people want. For example: Communities in Flores wanted an ice provider, which Tinamitra Mandiri then created. But then no one bought the ice. • Be diligent in administration; cash flows and transactional records must be well documented. • Make sure your business is incorporated. Keep a clean reputation. • Be patient when developing your business. It will take a few months after your start your business before you can see what needs to be modified, whether it is your costs, systems or ways of working. • Your main capital is your brain and ideas. • Do your homework on the various grant competitions that are widely available. Even if you don’t win, you’ll get some valuable feedback.

Shana is never tired of looking for opportunities to develop the potential of the Komodo National Park by providing a real impact on its society. (N) 161

AV Care: Recycling Trash, Improving the Community’s Economy

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Photos: AV Care for Oxfam in Indonesia.


Business Profile Company Name:

AV Peduli / AV Care

Field of Business: Variety products of plastic trash, cement sack

Established since:

2014 _______

_____________ Type of products: Hey Startic brand (50 items) since 2014: wallet, bag, belt, shoes, vest, necklace, earring, etc.



Supplier: Assisted communities in Surabaya, Sidoarjo, Gresik.

Gross Revenue:

Âą IDR60 million/year


Sales and Marketing: Orders from domestic and international, exhibition, supply to other shops, social media.

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IDR100,000.00 IDR300,000.00

For cement sack: from the building contractors in Surabaya surroundings.


Inspiring Indonesia

LOCATION: Jl. Jemursari 4 No. 5 Surabaya 60237, East Jawa


“In essence, AV Care kind of transformed into Hey Startic, which is more business oriented. Nonetheless, this does not diminish the social aspect of the work. That is why empowering former residents of Dolly Village is crucial.� Vania Santoso

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Inspiring Indonesia


t is better to live from garbage than become garbage.”

Contained in this petit figure lies a big ambition, that is to create a better world by raising awareness about garbage management. Vania Santoso has worked with the local women in her community to be more aware and pay more attention to garbage issues. She has improved the livelihoods of hundreds of families from a garbage-based program. Various groups are involved in her program, including workers of the “recycling bank”, the artisans that recycle and process the garbage into useful products. This enormous dedication to refuse/ waste management is what led Vania Santoso to travel the world and attend various trainings, competitions and serve as a juror and speaker. “Everything we own, the things we use, at the end of the day are all from nature. So, it is not such an odd thing to mobilise everyone to save the environment,” said Vania Santoso, who ranked third best student nationally from the Directorate of Higher Education in 2014.

Intelligent, friendly, communicative and attractive seem to aptly describe Vania, who thanks to her work in garbage management was appointed Environmental Ambassador by the Ministry of Environment and Forestry in 2005. She was only 14 at the time. Vania, who was born in Surabaya on January 11, 1992, became interested in this issue when she was 13. She and her sister, Agnes Santoso, had always enjoyed early morning jogs around their neighborhood. As time went by, however, their path became more restricted as they had to run around areas that had large piles of garbage to avoid the smell. “If this continues, our neighborhood is going to be filled with garbage and polluted air. How do we stop this, or at least reduce it?” she had asked her sister at the time. “I also learned that not all natural disasters are caused by nature, but rather are man-made, such as flooding and landslides. Therefore, I believed that an environmental movement should start from the people,” she explained enthusiastically.


A concern for the environment that started it all As a response, Vania and her sister formed a community that worked towards environmental stewardship in 2005. They named it AV Care (in Indonesian, AV Peduli), which stands for A Vision: Concern About Renewing Environment. Some of Agnes’ friends from the law department at Airlangga University— her college at the time—also joined the group.

who lived near the riverbanks. She helped the community clean up the river, plant trees alongside the banks, and raise awareness about the importance of environmental conservation so that they could continue to take care of their environment when the AV Care program ended.

In 2005, Vania read a report issued by the WHO stating that Indonesia was the most polluted country in the world. At the time, Vania had already begun The statement shocked as well as a career as a singer, presenter, inspired AV Care to direct their focus on and model. Capitalizing on waste management. “Coincidentally, her entertainment involvement, I had always enjoyed making crafts she also tried to insert a campaign out of recycled items. So I had actually on environment issues whenever already begun to create a variety of she was involved in these types useful things out of different materials, of activities, such as singing and including recycled trash,” Vania explained. fashion shows. “We created songs about the environment, recorded To cultivate the community’s awareness them and distributed the CDs on garbage, Vania, through AV Care, everywhere. We would also host went to the different neighborhoods fashion shows where the clothes’ and villages and met with the heads of materials were made of recycled the neighborhoods and villages. materials. Basically, we wanted to She sought their support in galvanising make our environmental campaign the community to be more aware about into something fun and engaging,” the waste issues in the area. explained the second child of two. But why would anyone care about Through AV Care activities, Vania trash? Dirty items that had been also mobilized the community to discarded typically do not attract tackle immediate environmental attention from anyone. “We invited problems, such as river revitalisation 30 community members, but only and organising community members five showed up. Every time we held

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a meeting, different people would attend, and there were even times when not even one person showed up,” reminisced Vania, who in 2009 was appointed the Asia Pacific Ambassador for the Environment in Indonesia by the United Nations. A wide variety of valuable products are produced from trash. A business that supports environmental conservation efforts. Photo: AV Care.

Added Value After a series of meetings that were aimed at socialising the importance of taking care of the environment and waste management, Vania realised that providing an economic benefit is critical in attracting people’s attention. She learned that plain explanations are boring to people and often uninspiring. People need to have some kind of economic incentive for utilising garbage in order to act upon it.

It seemed that Vania always had a strategy to address the different challenges she faced. When the community’s level of interest was low, Vania addressed it immediately. When she was faced with funding issues, she used some of her personal funds to cover for whatever cost was necessary. However, there was one problem that she was unable to solve, which almost made her want to throw in the towel. An anonymous Since then, Vania started to hold source was viciously ‘attacking’ classes on how to make compost her campaign and smearing from waste, to be used in vegetable her goodwill in the community. and herbal gardens. She also taught “I got phone calls and text the community members on messages from an unknown party, how to transform recycled trash into accusing me of spreading lies, crafts that can be sold. It took claiming that my project was not her about a year to establish a good real, and saying other bad things relationship between AV Care and about me,” explained Vania, the community. who balances her environmental activism with her studies and work. 169

One time, Vania received a phone call from a member of the media, because she was accused of employing scams in getting the community to be more active about the environment. “The editor’s office received information from an anonymous source stating that I was lying to the community and taking advantage of them. So, I invited them to come see what I was doing and provided them with an explanation. Only then did the issue subside,” she said.

competition in Sweden. Up until that point, there had never been a participant from Indonesia in this competition. So, she decided to submit a proposal entitled, “Useful Waste for a Better Future”, which she sent by email.

This “hater” attack was devastating for Vania. Luckily, her sister and parents were there to provide support. “You shouldn’t quit just because one or two people don’t like what you’re doing. Especially if you believe that your efforts will benefit a lot of people, why should you give up?” she said, repeating her father’s words. So, she kept going, even faster and further. Her time as an environmental ambassador afforded Vania the chance to learn many new things and opened new doors, including opportunities to go abroad. For instance, she was once invited to do a comparative study on waste management and campaign in Australia, as well as participate in an environmental conference hosted by the UN in Malaysia. During the UN forum, she learned that there was an international environmental

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Unexpectedly, Vania’s proposal was chosen as a finalist, and she was even asked to present her proposal before a jury in Sweden— all expenses paid. To be entered in the competition was already a great accomplishment for her, and now that she was invited to present as a finalist, Vania was over the moon. She prepared her presentation carefully and enthusiastically. And thanks to her hard work and dedication, Vania won first prize. “When they called out my name as the first place winner, I was literally crying happy tears,” recalled Vania, who was also the youngest speaker at the 2007 TUNZA International Youth Conference in Germany. Vania brought home the first place award and the USD 10,000 prize money. When she arrived in Indonesia, the Governor of East Java and the Mayor of Surabaya held a welcoming reception for her and also presented her with an award. The various achievements accomplished by AV Care significantly bolstered its recognition


Inspiring Indonesia

in the community, particularly amongst those that previously expressed doubt or rejected it completely. AV Care saw a significant increase in members, which started out with only five, and grew into 30 and now hundreds across Java Island. Communities in Surabaya, Sidoarjo, and Gresik are currently receiving consistent support from the organization, while other communities are considered independent and are able to run their own programs.

crafts and sell them there. This marketing strategy was quite successful, as clients from Vietnam, Australia, the U.S, and Norway placed large orders for the recycled products.

If one of the items she brought to the event happened to be sold out, she would take their orders and have the products shipped abroad, including to countries like the Netherlands and Australia. “Although most of these orders did not fill up a whole container, AV Care began to hold many new some of them were in the activities in several cities across the hundreds,” she explained. country and abroad. However, with the increase of communities wanting Vania was diligent in reporting the to create these recycled handicrafts sales numbers to the community. came another problem: how to “There is truly no greater joy than to market them. In many developed see the expressions of delight and nations, recycled crafts are often pride on the faces of the community highly valued, but this is not so in artisans, knowing that their products Indonesia. “Why would I want to were shipped abroad. Some of them spend a lot of money on something were even in disbelief and would made of trash?” said Vania, stating ask if their products were really what a typical consumer might say. sold abroad,” added Vania, also This perception was the biggest the Head of the Human Resources hurdle in marketing the products Division of HIPMI in East Java. made by communities under the AV Care program, which was When it comes to dividends, Vania compounded by the lack of gives 60% back to the community, a physical brick-and-mortar shop while 40% goes into AV Care, which to display and sell the products. is responsible for the marketing and design of the products, providing Fortunately, Vania often received the materials, and quality control. invitations to attend events aboard, Between 2005 and 2011, AV Care where the organizing committee was focused on raising awareness would let her bring some of the on the environment and sporadically


selling the recycled products during events. Although during this period the business was in its infancy, community artisans were able to receive between one and two million Rupiahs per month.

how to galvanise youth to take care of the environment while running a business. The university administration responded positively to her proposal, and subsequently funded a research on how to create natural dyes for recycled products In 2012, Vania received an invitation that would strengthen the integrity of to participate in the One Young the product and add some style. World forum in Pittsburgh, USA, where she learned about global Since then, Vania encouraged the business. She also learned about communities she worked with to be how to raise the community’s more business orientated. awareness about environmental “I chose, educated, and encouraged protection and how to manage those who wanted to do more. a recycling business without Nowadays, there are 11 people dismissing social aspects of the who are working with me whom business. “My goal in learning all of I consider as ‘pioneers’,” explained these things was not to expand my Vania. In turn, these pioneers business per se, but to learn how that are spread across Surabaya, it could be used to benefit many Sidoarjo, and Gresik, work with people,” explained Vania. She had their own community groups. also won an award for Asia’s Most Between 2011 and 2014, Vania Inspiring Young Entreprenuer and worked to strengthen the network, Change Maker, presented by FYSE, conducted research on materials an organization based in and designs, and strengthen Hong Kong. the human resources. “I wanted to create products that were not only Vania’s knowledge in business made from recycled trash, was also rooted in her university but were durable, stylish, training in management at and economical,” added the Airlangga University (Unair). first place winner of the SocialAn A-plus student, Vania submitted based Innovative Entrepreneur a proposal to her university on award from Inotek Foundation.

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Finding Hey Startic After several years in the waste management world, Vania started an official business in 2014 called Hey Startic. Hey Startic was a company that produced and sold recycled products and featured more than 50 products, including wallets, bags, belts, shoes, vests, necklaces, earrings and others. Hey Startic differs from AV Care in that it focuses on creating handicrafts from cement sacks, while AV Care is more concerned with campaigning and empowering the community to transform trash into useful items. Hey Startic was originally designed using an eco-preneurship model— a business based on environmental concerns. In other words, while AV Care still exists, its focus differs from Hey Startic. Used cement sacks became the chosen material for Hey Startic products, because it is one type of trash that is difficult to reduce. As long as there is construction and property development, there would never be a shortage of cement sacks. Additionally, cement sacks are very durable,

which makes it difficult to break down naturally. Vania works with individual refuse collectors as well as contractors to obtain the sacks. The cement sacks are cleaned and dyed using natural dyes, and then reinforced using natural sap to water-proof the material. Once it is ready, the sacks can be used to make various types of handicrafts. For a number of products, the sacks can be used in conjunction with leather, batik, and ikat cloth. Hey Startic products are marketed at various handicraft expos, such as Inacraft, where they can sell for between 100,000 to 300,000 Rupiahs. Some of the handicrafts have even reached the international market and are sold in Malaysia, the Netherlands, and Australia. Although the business is still in the growing process and has yet to achieve stability, there was one time where Hey Startic was able to achieve revenue of 60 million Rupiahs. Without a doubt, this was quite the accomplishment for a small start-up that is barely a year old.


In addition to working with communities since 2005, Vania has also recently started working with former sex workers of Kampung Dolly (Dolly Village), who have now become handicraft artisans, primarily in creating batiks on the cement sacks. “In essence, AV Care kind of transformed into Hey Startic, which is more business oriented. Nonetheless, this does not diminish the social aspect of the work. That is why empowering former residents of Dolly Village is crucial,” she explained. In addition to managing her business, Vania also works as a consultant for groups seeking to establish recycling banks. She has since helped to establish dozens of recycling banks, most of which have started to operate independently and on which she relies to obtain the materials for Hey Startic products. She sets a retail price on each individual piece of rubbish. For example, a coffee bag is priced at 300 Rupiahs. “In that way, anyone and everyone can participate in re-selling their recycled items, including street vendors,” she added.

Indonesia, as well as at the Juanda airport in Surabaya. “I pitch Hey Startic products as not only made of recycled materials and made by local communities, but as stylish and durable fashion accessories,” Vania stated. Moving forward, Vania dreams of having a place that combines eco-tourism, eco-learning, and eco-entrepreneur, which would attract tourists, customers, and the general public to learn how to create recycled products from trash. “At the end of the day, my greatest joy is seeing everyone else’s joy. The more people care about the environment, the better it becomes,” Vania concluded.

Although Hey Startic has yet to establish a brick-and-mortar shop of its own, it has been able to sell its merchandise in souvenir shops in a number of cities in

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Inspiring Indonesia

Name: Vania Santoso Place & date of birth: January 11, 1992 Education: Department of Economics and Business, Airlangga University, Best graduate, Bachelor’s in Management, 2014 Organizations: Founder of AV Care, Founder of Hey Startic, Head of the Human Resources Division of HIPMI in East Java Awards: • Asia Pacific Ambassador for the Environment in Indonesia, for the United Nations • Satyalencana Wirakaya (Entrepreneurship Medal) Presidential Medal of Honor, award by the President of RI, 2011 • 2015 Winner of Young Social Entrepreneur, Singapore International Foundation Green Entrepreneur, which was documented in a book published by the United Nations Population Fund. Contact:,


The Bitter Taste that turned into a Sweet Fruit

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Inspiring Indonesia

Photos: Nasrullah for Oxfam in Indonesia.


Business Profile Company Name:

CV. Karya Semesta

Field of Business: Provider of variety products of coffee Luwak ___________________________ Type of products: Luwak Lanang Coffee, Lanang Landep Coffee, and Gajah Hitam Coffee ____________________ Gross Revenue: In year 2012, it was up to

IDR1,6 billion __________________ Employee:

more than ten people

Established since:



Price: • Luwak Lanang (10 gr IDR40 thousand, 1,000 gr IDR1,275,000.00) • Lanang Landep (150 gr IDR30 thousand, 1,000 gr IDR160 thousand) • Gajah Hitam (250 gr IDR18 thousand, 1,000 gr IDR50 thousand) _______________________ Supplier: Coffee fields in Malang and Bondowoso _________________


Sales and Marketing: Export, cafe, on-line, and exhibition.

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Production capacity:

1.6 ton/month

For Luwak Lanang Coffee, and tons of coffee from farmers.


Inspiring Indonesia

Location: Gresik, East Java


Putri also told a story of the day she walked into the Department of Industry and Trade of Surabaya City in January 2010. With confidence, she walked into the office with the intention of finding information and expanding her network. Her determination and courage paid off. Theresia Deka Putri

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Inspiring Indonesia


arrived at a small café outside the Ramayana Mall in Gresik at 8:45 am. Aside from me, there was only one other person there. A waiter showed me to a table and gave me a menu. I had a question about two different coffees, Luwak Lanang and Lanang Landep, which the waiter answered quite comprehensively. After hearing the explanation of the two coffees, I ordered myself a cup of the Luwak Lanang coffee, which costs 40,000 Rupiahs. In less than five minutes, the waiter brought out my coffee and a cup of sugar on a wooden tray, similar to a Japanese geta, or wooden sandal. ‘Very interesting and unique presentation, unlike anything I’ve seen in other cafes,’ I thought to myself.

A few minutes later, the owner of the café, Theresia Deka Putri, also known as Putri, emerged from the kitchen to meet me. In addition to being the café’s owner, Putri is also the owner of the Karya Semesta Company, which produces and sells coffee. The company specializes in a particular type of coffee, Luwak coffee, which has gained popularity around the world. “The café is relatively new, just under a year old,” said Putri, starting out our conversation. Despite appearing to be exhausted, the 27-year-old struggled to hide. “Right now we’re preparing to open another one in Surabaya,” she added. This would be the new addition to the two cafes already established in East Java— Gresik and Surabaya—and one in Malaysia. “In 2016, we will open three more in Surabaya.”

Name: Theresia Deka Putri Place, Date of Birth: Kediri, 1989 Address: Gresik, Jawa Timur Education: Bachelor of Management, STESIA Surabaya Occupation: Founder and Director CV Karya Semesta Contact:, +6281330398900 Once, she had only Rp1,000.00 and was in debt because her business partner did not pay wares. Putrsi is now has a coffee business worth billions of rupiah.


Luwak Coffee Luwak coffee, or better known as Kopi Luwak, is a type of coffee that is processed from coffee beans that have been digested by the civet (Paradoxorus hermaphroditus) and excreted together with its feces. It is believed that coffee beans that have been digested by this brownish gray cat-like creature have a superior flavor and aroma due to the natural fermentation process of the digestion system. Putri uses only coffee beans from male civets, or luwak lanang as it is called in Javanese. “The enzyme of male civets causes the coffee beans to have a bolder flavor and aroma,” explained Putri, who happens to enjoy karaoke in her spare time. Putri, the third child of five, also explained that the Luwak Lanang coffee is the most popular brand of

15 Women Social Entrepreneurs

kopi luwak, which is constantly sold out due to orders from clients from foreign nations such as Malaysia, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, China and Poland. Despite the huge popularity of kopi luwak, it has recently received bad publicity and protest from animal rights organisations and communities. A number of documents found on the internet have revealed the poor treatment of civets kept specifically to produce kopi luwak. The civets are only fed coffee beans and live in tight quarters or cages. As a result of these conditions, the civets are often ill and stressed. However, Putri ensures that the civets she keeps are able to live freely in an enclosed plantation, so that they can roam around as if in their natural habitat. “If the civets are stressed, it shows in the coffee,” she explained in a rather thick Surabaya accent. Story about Luwak Coffee was featured in a Hollywood movie called The Bucket List, played by Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson.


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The long and windy road Putri’s accomplishments in the coffee business can be traced back quite a way. Since middle school, she demonstrated an interest in business. She started out with buying shoes and other fashion accessories in Surabaya using her own savings and resold them to her friends at school. In high school, she began to sell pastries and fried plantains. “You could smell the aroma of the fried plantains wafting in the classroom,” she chuckled as she reminisced. The main motivation behind her industrial endeavor was to earn extra lunch money.

She decided it might be a good idea to start selling her own coffee that she brought at the markets in Gresik. She would roast the beans, grind them and pack them in bags to be sold in the coffee shops she passed by when she was stocking the cosmetic stores. Further, she admits that she was able to ‘buy’ the coffee merely on trust. “I would pay only if my coffee was sold,” she said, chuckling.

She started to sell other brands of well-known coffee, while trying to introduce her own brand. “At the time, 20 percent was my own coffee, while 80 percent were someone Having been accustomed to working else’s brand of coffee,” she said. and living independently, Putri She claimed that even if her own decided to try working as a sales brand of coffee did not sell, at least person for a cosmetics company the other brand would, which she based in Surabaya selling skincare continued to do until 2010. products. Her main assignment was to promote and sell the skincare line Her coffee business was not always to various districts and cities in East successful. However, her positive Java. She worked in this position thinking always helped her find between 2005 and 2006, and thanks a way out in times of challenges. to her hard work, she was promoted One day in 2009, she found herself to team coordinator. with only two coins of 500 Rupiahs and just having been swindled by “I would go in and out of the markets a coffee agent for 700 million to stock the merchandise,” she said, Rupiahs. Later, when she was reminiscing. During those visits into driving her moped and took some the market, she noticed how many rest near the Wonokromo bridge, people liked to gather in coffee pondering her misfortune, a beggar shops. “All of the small coffee walked by. Putri felt sorry for the shops were packed with people.” beggar and gave him one of her coins.


No sooner had she got back on her moped that she saw a piece of paper flying across the bridge. She started to chase it, convinced that it was a bill of money. Once she grasped it, she discovered that indeed it was a bill for 10,000 Rupiahs, which she then used to have lunch at a nearby food stall. This is where she struck a conversation with a driver, to whom she mentioned that she sold coffee. The driver proceeded to call his former employer, who also dealt in coffee. “From that conversation, I received an order for coffee to the tune of 50 million Rupiahs,” she stated. Putri also told a story of the day she walked into the Department of Industry and Trade of Surabaya City in January 2010. With confidence, she walked into the office with the intention of finding information and expanding her network. Her determination and courage paid off. She was introduced to a staff member who then offered her a spot at government trade shows in cities including Surabaya and Jakarta, among others. By that time, she had already been selling Kopi Luwak, but she decided to sell the Lanang Landep coffee at the trade shows. Lanang Landep coffee is a single seed type, similar to peaberry coffee, which is believed to have

15 Women Social Entrepreneurs

special nutritional value for men. This coffee is marketed to middle to upper class markets. The first trade expo she attended was at the Jakarta Convention Center, where she met an attendee who recommended that she sell luwak lanang coffee exclusively. This attendee turned out to be the President of Andalas University. After the trade expo, she went on a tour to visit the coffee farmers and learn more about luwak lanang coffee. From this moment on, she began to focus exclusively on luwak lanang coffee. Nowadays, Putri goes to at least 30 trade expos a year across Java. She always makes it a point to get in touch with her contacts in each city that she visits. In that way, she is always able to maintain communications with her customers. Further, this constant contact has made her product to be well known among the industry in East Java as well as nationally. She received many awards, such as the Beverage Exporter Young Entrepreneur award from the Ministry of Cooperatives and SMEs in 2012, as well as the Best Food SME award from the Ministry of Trade. Putri’s coffee lines now consist of three types of coffees, including Luwak lanang, Lanang Landep,


Inspiring Indonesia

and Gajah Hitam (Black Elephant). The Luwak Lanang line is available in small bags of 10 grams and 1,000 grams, sold at 40,000 and 1,275,000 Rupiahs respectively. Lanang Landep coffee is sold in a 150 gram bag for 30,000 Rupiahs and 1,000 grams from 1,600,000 Rupiahs. Both of these coffees are targeted for the middle to upper class market. Meanwhile, the Gajah Hitam coffee, which is targeted at the middle to lower class market, is sold at 18,000 Rupiahs for a 250-gram bag, and 18,000 Rupiahs for the 1,000-gram bag. Although she was reluctant to reveal her current profit, Putri mentioned that in 2012, her business made 1.6 billion Rupiahs. She also added that of all the coffee lines she is selling, luwak lanang coffee is the most popular in the foreign markets, including Taiwan, South Korea, China, Malaysia, Japan and Poland. Further, she stated that her fourhectare coffee plantation was able to produce 1.6 tons of Luwak Lanang annually. In addition to her own coffee, she also purchases dozens of tons of coffee from other farmers in Bondowoso and Malang.

What started from sheer determination and hard work to start a coffee business has turned into a company with dozens of employees. Although she no longer visits coffee shops to sell her coffee products, Putri still has a desire to introduce her coffee business to other people, including youth. For the coming year, she plans to start a coffee tourism spot in one of her new coffee plantations. This will be a separate coffee plantation from her other production plantations, which are kept free of tourists to protect the civets that roam the plantation land.

Starting from using the manual grinding, or traditional tools, now Putri has an electric coffee grinder tool for her cafĂŠ.


Rumah Sampah Tapi Indah: Empowering the Deaf with Garbage

15 Women Social Entrepreneurs


Inspiring Indonesia

Photos: Stella Yovita Arya Puter for Oxfam in Indonesia.


Business Profile Company Name:

Rumah Sampah Tapi Indah

Field of Business: Variety of recycled products ____________________ Type of products: Rag dolls, bags, towels, costumes (vests, skirts, hats), and others _________ Gross Revenue:

Âą IDR15,000,000.00 ___________________________ Employee:

People with disability of hearing and elders

15 Women Social Entrepreneurs

Established since:



Price range:

IDR10,000.00 IDR400,000.00

_____________________ Provide to: hotels and offices ___________________ Sales and Marketing: Outlet in production house, exhibition (domestic and international)


Inspiring Indonesia

Location: Jl. SD Inpres, Pisangan Barat Cirendeu, Ciputat, West Tangerang, Banten


“We lost quite a bit of money in the beginning, but we had no choice but to keep on trying. It was a business after all. Luckily, the children’s spirit, was my constant motivator. It was great to see that they were learning this skill for their future.” Sunarni

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Inspiring Indonesia


ottage industries in recycling garbage have skyrocketed as a new form of business in the past few years. Different individuals and communities have competed in creating various innovations in recycled products, ranging from small-time hobbyists to profitoriented business owners. Sunarni, on the other hand, owner of “Rumah Sampah Tapi Indah” (which translates to “The Beautiful House of Garbage”), has worked with recycled materials since 1995, long before it became the trend that it is now. Sunarni, 37, who hails from Jakarta and manages the House of Garbage, says that the revenue from this business is not only able to provide for her family’s daily

needs, but also provide valuable skills for children with special needs, particularly deaf children. The House of Garbage is located in a small alley in the Cireundu, Ciputat area in South Tangerang. This is where Sunarni and a small group of her workers of deaf teenagers work to transform refuse into a variety of products. These hand-made goods are neatly displayed in the living area of the house: dolls made of recycled fabrics, bags made of recycled toothpaste tubes, tissue boxes made of recycled coffee containers, costumes from recycled materials, like vests and belts, as well as coffee bags. “My mother, Kasmi, taught me these skills, which I have now passed on to other people. We had previously only been able to afford a rented house. But since I started my business, my husband and I were able to build our own house, even with a second floor for my sewing activities,” explained this mother of two, and soon-to-be mother of three.

Name: Sunarni Place, Date of birth: 5 Juni 1978 Address: Pisangan Barat, Cirendeu, Ciputat, Tangerang Selatan, Banten Education: D3 Tourism Occupation: Founder of Rumah Sampah Tapi Indah Contact: +62812 1811 8683 191

The Pioneering Mother Up until Sunarni was in high school, her mother, Kasmi, had worked as a housemaid of a Dutch family. During that time, her mother was able to take sewing lessons on the side, so when the family returned to the Netherlands, Kasmi started her own sewing business. In 1995, Kasmi started to make and sell dolls made of recycled fabrics. With minimal capital on hand and extra/unused fabrics from nearby tailors, Kasmi opened her own business. Friends of her former employer would come to her shop and buy some of the dolls she created, sometimes in large quantities. Kasmi, who was originally from Wonogiri and mother of three, taught Sunarni how to sew. Sunarni had always enjoyed watching her mother sew and gradually began to make some of her own creations. After she graduated from college, Sunarni worked for about a year in the Department of Justice as an archival staff person in 2000-2001.

15 Women Social Entrepreneurs

She realized that office work was not for her, so she quit her job and joined her mother’s tailoring business. “Since she passed away on February 10, 2012, I took over the business at 33. Thank God, my husband’s continued support became my strength,” she explained. Sunarni’s husband, Misno, gave her the support she needed to help her run the business. He started out with merely motivating her with her work, but then continued to support each activity and even quit his bank job to fully support her business, especially after Kasmi passed away.


Inspiring Indonesia

A Sister’s Inspiration While her mother’s guidance provided the impetus to start her business, Sunarni’s sister, Nining, 33, was a major inspiration to further develop the House of Garbage.

“We lost quite a bit of money in the beginning, but we had no choice but to keep on trying. It was a business after all. Luckily, the children’s spirit, was my constant motivator. It was great to see that they were learning this skill for their future,” she said. Nining grew up as a deaf child. Day after day, she worked patiently “When mother started her business, with a small group of three deaf she had always dreamt of children in creating these dolls. children like Nining to take advantage of recycled goods,” The dolls became more popular explained Sunarni. when a friend invited Sunarni to participate at an expo at the As such, Sunarni went to Ritz Carlton Hotel in Jakarta the Special Needs School in 1997. She brought a group of where Nining went and the deaf children along with invited some of the students their dolls. “I didn’t expect that to come to her house to learn the dolls would be so popular. how to sew. Nining and her friends There were a lot of people were excited to learn a new skill. buying them, who also gave us After school, they would come over some inputs on making the products to Sunarni’s house and learned more creative and innovative,” how to sew recycled fabrics into she explained. a doll. Some of their finished products were displayed at This experience led Sunarni various events around the city to look into plastic waste as and in city hall, while others another material option. At the time, were bought by foreigners. plastic waste was not as popular as it is currently, so because it was such a novelty, there was such a great demand for it. Expats and foreign tourists, in particular, were the main clientele for these products.


Sunarni devised various strategies to ensure that the deaf children could continue to develop their creativity. She partnered with a number of hotels and offices around her house to have them send their plastic waste to her house, which would then be used to create various bags and tissue holders. She also continued to invite more students from the special needs school to learn how to make these recycled items at her home. Students majoring in handicraft artistry at vocational special needs schools were also given the opportunity to do their practicum at Sunarni’s home/ workshop. The final products were either sold at the trade expos that Sunarni attended or directly at the workshop. She would then redistribute the profits back to the workers.

She further stated that there have been many deaf children and teenagers who have spared their extra time to develop their skills at her workshop, some of them have left, while others have stayed. Currently, there are 11 people working at her workshop, including Nining, who looks after the finances of the “House of Garbage”.

In 2000, Sunarni, who also holds an associate’s degree in tourism, was able to build a house from her recycled business, which provided a better space for the teenagers to work on their creations. “The second floor of my house is where they come to sew and make their recycled products,” she said enthusiastically.

One of the machines used by the community sewing Rumah Sampah Tapi Indah to produce products that are now increasingly known in international exhibitions. There are at least 11 children with disabilities doing activities at Sumarni’s house.

15 Women Social Entrepreneurs


Inspiring Indonesia

Making a Living from Garbage As it turns out, the name “Beautiful House of Garbage”, which is featured on the banner placed on her front porch, was not created by design from the very beginning. In 2005, one of Sunarni’s regular client from Germany, Lizeet, visited her house every month to buy 200 mediumsized recycled bags to be re-distributed in Australia through her daughter. It was Lizeet who coined the name the “Beautiful House of Garbage”, which Sunarni liked and continued to use from then on. “I make my living from garbage, not from an office-worker salary. At the same time, most of my expenses are also related to my garbage business. Slowly, but surely, these small gains add up to bigger ones. I’m committed to see this through and will continue to advance the House of Garbage, if possible to the next generation,” she explained.

“What we consider as normal tasks are often much more challenging for people with disabilities, like my sister and her friends. That is why I want to be able to give them hope. Their families are often ashamed that they cannot do anything. On the other hand, if they have some skill or are able to make something out of their lives, their parents and families will also be proud of them,” she said. Sunarni’s business garnered popularity through her participation in various trade expos, particularly in international ones. Tirelessly, she worked to establish partnerships with various people and communities to optimise her marketing. In addition to her partnership with the hotels and offices for the plastic waste, she also contacted retirement communities and local artists.

The youth are taught how to sew and work independently in crafting recycled materials. Sunarni taught them to perfect their skills and eventually go out to teach other children the same skills.


One time, a British painter who worked at the Jakarta International School (JIS) had expressed some interest in helping Sunarni’s community. However, when his contract in Indonesia had expired, he had to leave and left her with electronic copies of a painting he had made of the Jakarta cityscape. “I tried to make prints of the painting and sewed it with some other materials. The painting was a hit, probably because it featured a cityscape of Jakarta. So I made other paintings and they, too also sold well as souvenirs. They even made it to the stalls at the Soekarno Hatta airport,” she recalled.

After successfully working with the deaf community, Sunarni turned her attention to the elderly community. This group made woven wallets and bags from recycled materials and fabrics. Sunarni believes that partnership with other groups is the key to her success.

Mixing Business and Social Issues After years of running her business based on her good intentions of helping the deaf children build their skills and hope, several media outlets came to see her and cover her story. Furthermore, she learned that she received a Danamon Award in the Social Entrepreneur category in 2013. The Beautiful House of Garbage had led her to win the 40 million Rupiahs prize money.

15 Women Social Entrepreneurs

“I did not start this business for the glory. That was never the intention, and neither was getting media coverage. I just went with the flow, as long as it was consistent,” she stated humbly. Sunarni has garnered four awards so far. “This was quite unexpected, as our goal was never to run such a commercial business,


Inspiring Indonesia

let alone to win awards. I never even put up any advertisements. I was very relaxed in how I ran the business. All of a sudden, I won an award and prize money. Of course I shared this with the deaf children as well,” she said with a smile. In addition to winning awards, Sunarni was often invited to different cities to talk about her skills. Between 2010 and 2013, Sunarni signed a contract with Sampoerna Foundation to visit their target villages and teach the local communities, particularly the women, on how to create recycled handicrafts. The company envisioned that it would be good to improve their skills, as well as help improve the family income. She travels the country not only to deliver trainings, but also to share her success stories at various events. Consistency, humility, confidence and perseverance were the key values to Sunarni’s success. She went through every up and down with patience and humility.

Although the handicrafts that Sunarni and the group of deaf children have reached the airport and the Ranch Market chain stores, Sunarni continues to hope that her children will be able to grow the business of the Beautiful Garbage House and eventually have several shops of recycled goods. Sunarni estimates that her workshop produces about 300 products per month. “It really depends on how big the order is. I think on average we are able to make about 15 million Rupiahs per month,” she stated. The profits mainly go into paying the workers’ wages and their weekly bonuses, as well as to put towards the end-of-year bonus. “When I worked in the office, my wages and work depended on other people. But in this type of business, I could arrange my schedule as I pleased. It is much more relaxing and profitable, and I’m also able to help other people. Kind of like saving for the afterlife in heaven,” Sunarni said confidently.

197 Oxfam in Indonesia @OxfamIndonesia @oxfamdiindonesia

Oxfam is an international confederation of 17 organizations networked together in more than 90 countries, as part of a global movement for change, to build a future freefrom injustice of poverty.

15 Women Social Entrepreneurs  

15 Women Social Entrepreneurs: Inspiring Indonesia This book contains the stories of 15 women of different backgrounds, who have lived the...

15 Women Social Entrepreneurs  

15 Women Social Entrepreneurs: Inspiring Indonesia This book contains the stories of 15 women of different backgrounds, who have lived the...