Blog

by Kirsten Eldridge, Jolkona Volunteer

 

Our 16 social entrepreneurs in the Jolkona Catalyst program, a three-week mentor driven accelerator for founders from developing countries, will come from Bangladesh and Indonesia to Seattle next month. This three-week intensive program will allow them to further hone their business plans, learn how to tell their story, and gain new insights. We can’t wait to welcome them to our offices on October 25th!

Our next feature is Radyum Ikono, Founder and COO of Nanocenter Indonesia, a company that conducts research and education in nanotechnology and incubates initiatives that uniquely apply nanotechnology to solve important national or global issues.  In addition to research, they are conducting educational workshops that will feed the public’s imagination.

Want to follow Radyum’s journey once our Catalysts arrive to Seattle? Be sure to Like Jolkona on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

You can also register for our Jolkona Catalyst Showcase on November 11th in the beautiful, new Galvanize co-working space in historic Pioneer Square. Click here to RSVP!

Outside of this project and work, what else do you do for fun in your home country? What other passions do you have?

I play and watch soccer/futsal. I am involved the society activity “Sahabat Beasiswa” which is a platform to share and educate people on scholarship and study abroad. I love to be dynamic, to create an idea, realize it with friends and to contribute to society with that.

What inspired you to start this venture?

First, I spent 6 years learning materials engineering and nanotechnology related subjects. I know and realize that this field is a very emerging field in developed nations, and not only emerging, but also a disruptive and game-changing field. But why in Indonesia do people not put any effort to excel in this field, let alone have an interest in this field?

Second reason, many Indonesians who study abroad, either do not come back, or come back to Indonesia but have not made any significant contributions.

I have a confidence that my venture would be the first of its kind to be able to tackle both issues and inspire others to form expertise-based initiatives managed by Indonesian diaspora alumni.

What is one obstacle you have faced in running your social business? How did you overcome this obstacle?

Convincing investors. Unlike other start-ups that are most likely digital based, we are a “conservative” business that needs to build factories, do physical activities, etc. And it has been quite difficult for us to pitch to most investors that usually look more for digital based start-ups.

What are you looking forward to when you come to the United States for the Jolkona Catalyst program? 

Experience. Network. Investment.

by Kirsten Eldridge, Jolkona Volunteer

 

Our 16 social entrepreneurs in the Jolkona Catalyst program, a three-week mentor driven accelerator for founders from developing countries, will come from Bangladesh and Indonesia to Seattle next month. This three-week intensive program will allow them to further hone their business plans, learn how to tell their story, and gain new insights. We can’t wait to welcome them to our offices on October 25th!

Today’s feature is Hayyu Widiatma Sakya, Business Director of ADHMORA ABHINAYA PRANA.  Adhmora provides energy solutions from energy monitoring to financing energy conservation program.  To reach the goal of energy conservation, Admora educates people about the importance of wise energy consumption and even makes energy saving fun through their championship program.

Want to follow Hayyu’s journey once our Catalysts arrive to Seattle? Be sure to Like Jolkona on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

You can also register for our Jolkona Catalyst Showcase on November 11th in the beautiful, new Galvanize co-working space in historic Pioneer Square. Click here to RSVP!

Outside of this project and work, what else do you do for fun in your home country? What other passions do you have?

Outside of my project and work, I love to meet and discuss issues with a lot of people, that’s why I love to join new communities, like Global Shapers Community Bandung Hub and Jaringan Komunikasi Bandung Bijak Energi (Bandung Smart Energy Forum).

Also, I enjoy reading books, watching movies, and playing chess in my free time. Usually once a week I meet with my old friends from college to play chess or just hang out together.

What inspired you to start this venture?

When studying my bachelor degree, I started to learn about energy conservation issues in Indonesia. The main problem of energy conservation in Indonesia is always the same, that the people in Indonesia are never aware about their energy use and are using it excessively, due to the cheap price of electricity in Indonesia. If this situation left untouched, this will affect the economic competitiveness and energy sustainability of Indonesia. But there are still only a few organizations concerned with this and mostly they are only doing campaigns for it. It excited me to form a new organization that brings a more precise technological method to educate people about energy usage awareness. That’s why Adhmora was established.  With our initiatives we believe we can bring a big change to the energy conservation paradigm in Indonesia.

What is one obstacle you have faced in running your social business? How did you overcome this obstacle?

What we bring is a totally a new model and approach in Indonesia. To make people understand and embrace in our idea is rather difficult. We need a mentor who also has experience in developing a new and disruptive idea like what we are developing right now, so we can create a more strategic plan to create a bigger impact in society.

What are you looking forward to when you come to the United States for the Jolkona Catalyst program? 

I’m looking for a suitable mentor, an investor to support our initiative in Indonesia, and an entrepreneur community to collaborate and connect with. Also, I want to learn a lot about the start-up environment in the US and discuss with a lot of entrepreneurs that are also working in the energy efficiency sector. Especially there is one company in the US that has become our benchmark: OPOWER.

by Kirsten Eldridge, Jolkona Volunteer

 

Our 16 social entrepreneurs in the Jolkona Catalyst program, a three-week mentor driven accelerator for founders from developing countries, will come from Bangladesh and Indonesia to Seattle next month. This three-week intensive program will allow them to further hone their business plans, learn how to tell their story, and gain new insights. We can’t wait to welcome them to our offices on October 25th!

Today’s feature is Marsya Anggia, Director of Indorelawan, an online platform that connects people looking for meaningful activities with nonprofit organizations and communities that are searching for volunteers to help them achieve their social missions.

Want to follow Marsya’s journey once our Catalysts arrive to Seattle? Be sure to Like Jolkona on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

You can also register for our Jolkona Catalyst Showcase on November 11th in the beautiful, new Galvanize co-working space in historic Pioneer Square. Click here to RSVP!

Outside of this project and work, what else do you do for fun in your home country? What other passions do you have?

Being a writer is something that I always put in the back of my mind. I haven’t started anything serious but I tried my best to write in my blog once a week. I also love to travel and go to the movies.

What inspired you to start this venture?

I start volunteering during my college years so I really understand how hard it is to find volunteering opportunities, let alone the ‘right’ one for you. Information is scattered and volunteers are usually treated as a someone who do the technical work for NGOs. NGOs are tired with non-commited volunteers but they also don’t invest their time to manage them. So, I was immediately sold when I first heard about this venture from the other founders.

What is one obstacle you have faced in running your social business? How did you overcome this obstacle?

As a nation that was build in the spirit of “gotong-royong” (collaboration work towards a certain goal), surprisingly volunteering is not a culture in Indonesia. In the eyes of volunteers, being ‘relawan’ (volunteer) is identical with natural disasters or political party (thanks to the latest presidential election). While for NGOs, the idea of managing volunteers is something new so it took a lot of convincing for them to see the benefits of our platform.

Without any predecessor in the market, we did a lot of trial and error in the beginning of our venture. We are spending a lot of time with NGOs to develop their volunteer management and using our personal network to capture volunteers needed. Over time, NGOs are starting to share about Indorelawan to the public. We also find success stories from people who start their journey in volunteering through our platform. At the end of the day, what makes us grow is being open to ideas and collaborations.

What are you looking forward to when you come to the United States for the Jolkona Catalyst program? 

I am looking forward to mentorship on how to develop the business unit of Indorelawan – what are the tools, how I can attract companies to invest in us, etc. Our core team is very strong in the operational department however we definitely need help in expanding our business strategy.

Also, I have to say that I am very excited to visit the USA for the first time! See you soon, Seattle!

by Kirsten Eldridge, Jolkona Volunteer

 

Our 16 social entrepreneurs in the Jolkona Catalyst program, a three-week mentor driven accelerator for founders from developing countries, will come from Bangladesh and Indonesia to Seattle next month. This three-week intensive program will allow them to further hone their business plans, learn how to tell their story, and gain new insights. We can’t wait to welcome them to our offices on October 25th!

Our next feature is Neng Niawati, CEO of Limbahagia.  Limbahagia encourages people to view waste in a new way. Pollution in the form of plastic is a major problem in the cities of Indonesia. Limbahagia is currently developing a mobile application and system to facilitate the recycling process.

Want to follow Neng’s journey once our Catalysts arrive to Seattle? Be sure to Like Jolkona on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

You can also register for our Jolkona Catalyst Showcase on November 11th in the beautiful, new Galvanize co-working space in historic Pioneer Square. Click here to RSVP!

Outside of this project and work, what else do you do for fun in your home country? What other passions do you have?

Enjoying making tasty cakes and garnishing them has driven me to build Ammar Cake. It is truly satisfying when I see the happiness in my customers’ eyes. Each cake is customized based on what they wish. In every cake, there is love.

What inspired you to start this venture?

Everyday I see huge piles of trash. It reaches 6 meters high in Batulayang’s landfill. Kapuas river, that we use as the source of water, is no longer clean because trash is dumped in that river. From that moment, I have been thinking how to absorb the trash. The people must be encouraged to separate their trash and they must be encouraged not to dump the trash but utilize it. The founder are I are trying to give economic value to the trash. We buy their trash to be recycled then sell the production. We keep trying to make trash trading accessible for everyone, so we also created a mobile application.

What is one obstacle you have faced in running your social business? How did you overcome this obstacle?

We must convince people to join our movement.  People’s beliefs and habits are so hard to change. We are trying to arouse people’s awareness to start caring about waste contamination in the water that they consume.

What are you looking forward to when you come to the United States for the Jolkona Catalyst program? 

I want to learn, get more knowledge and skills that I can use to cope with the situation that our enterprise is facing.

by Kirsten Eldridge, Jolkona Volunteer

 

Our 16 social entrepreneurs in the Jolkona Catalyst program, a three-week mentor driven accelerator for founders from developing countries, will come from Bangladesh and Indonesia to Seattle next month. This three-week intensive program will allow them to further hone their business plans, learn how to tell their story, and gain new insights. We can’t wait to welcome them to our offices on October 25th!

Our next feature is Zia Hassan Siddique, Director and CEO of Greenergy Solutions, an engineering and consulting firm that supports and incubates energy efficiency and renewable energy initiatives that leverage solar, wind, or hybrid energy to create solutions for agriculture communities.

Want to follow Zia’s journey once our Catalysts arrive to Seattle? Be sure to Like Jolkona on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

You can also register for our Jolkona Catalyst Showcase on November 11th in the beautiful, new Galvanize co-working space in historic Pioneer Square. Click here to RSVP!

Outside of this project and work, what else do you do for fun in your home country? What other passions do you have?

I am very lucky to have the opportunity to work on something that is my passion. I am very passionate about nature and technology. Another great aspect of my work is that I have to travel a lot, mostly in villages and remote areas. My work is my passion.

Also, I am very fond of watching movies and reading books, especially science fiction and history. I also take a lot of interest in machines and evolving technology.

What inspired you to start this venture?

I have always wanted to do something that would add value to the people and at the same time helps to achieve sustainable growth. I’ve been active in environmental causes for a long time and I’ve always wanted to be a part of something that combines nature and technology. My passion for renewable energy and the growth potential of the agricultural sector of Bangladesh have inspired me to start this venture.

What is one obstacle you have faced in running your social business? How did you overcome this obstacle?

I wouldn’t say that I’ve been able to completely overcome the obstacle. The major obstacle is the mindset of people. And it is quite understandable that people tend to resist change. So, when we talk to people about new energy sources and new technology it is very difficult to convince them. Moreover, since initial investment of renewable energy is high, the resistance tends to be even more. So, we are giving our best effort to establish some success stories which will be the evidence of success and so far we have been able to do that to some extent. However, we have long way to go in making people believe in integration of renewable energy in the agricultural value chain.

What are you looking forward to when you come to the United States for the Jolkona Catalyst program? 

To be very specific about my goals to achieve from this visit to the USA, I am looking forward to gaining:

  • Better knowledge on market access
  • Access to investment
  • Knowledge to integrate Renewable Energy and IT in agriculture value chain and/or in any other sector

I want to expand my business operations both geographically and solution wise. With the knowledge and investment, I’ll scale up the capacity of my organization. Bring in more resources, move aggressively to gain more market access. I’ll introduce better and sustainable technologies ahead of my competitors. Migrate good practices from developed world, start working with multilateral development partners to explore the export market of our agricultural products. I’ll diversify my solutions and will grow my customer base by providing different solutions and increase product/solution per customer.

The potential is huge and I would look forward to a partner, not only investor, with whom we will take the first move advantage and achieve sustainable growth for the farmers, customer and ourselves.

by Kirsten Eldridge, Jolkona Volunteer

 

Our 16 social entrepreneurs in the Jolkona Catalyst program, a three-week mentor driven accelerator for founders from developing countries, will come from Bangladesh and Indonesia to Seattle next month. This three-week intensive program will allow them to further hone their business plans, learn how to tell their story, and gain new insights. We can’t wait to welcome them to our offices on October 25th!

Today’s feature is Souvik Aswad, Chief Growth Officer of Panacea, a venture that fights counterfeit prescription crime.  Panacea prints a unique alphanumeric code on every medicine strip of a pharmaceutical brand, which consumers can check with an SMS, mobile app or website. This limits a counterfeiters’ ability to mass copy medicine packaging and puts the power of verification in the hands of the consumers.

Want to follow Souvik’s journey once our Catalysts arrive to Seattle? Be sure to Like Jolkona on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

You can also register for our Jolkona Catalyst Showcase on November 11th in the beautiful, new Galvanize co-working space in historic Pioneer Square. Click here to RSVP!

Outside of this project and work, what else do you do for fun in your home country? What other passions do you have?

I’m an avid reader of Quora & Medium. And sometimes I spend hours on Dribble or Codepen. I like to learn new stuff, right now I’m teaching myself HTML/CSS, Gamification and French. And I love listening to audiobooks, I just finished Zero to One, by Peter Thiel & Blake Masters.

What inspired you to start this venture?

I am a firm believer in the First Principles. I prefer to solve a problem at its core, fundamentally, which wasn’t being done to stop counterfeit medicines. And that bugged me.

What is one obstacle you have faced in running your social business? How did you overcome this obstacle?

For us, getting proper attention from our suppliers for our atypical requirements was a challenge. However, we are teaching ourselves to perform most of what our suppliers used to do for us.

What are you looking forward to when you come to the United States for the Jolkona Catalyst program? 

I like to make connections before I need them, so that’s one goal. But just as delightful is to experience newer ways of doing things, which is very well gleaned from visiting new places and interacting with the people there.

by Kirsten Eldridge, Jolkona Volunteer

 

Our 16 social entrepreneurs in the Jolkona Catalyst program, a three-week mentor driven accelerator for founders from developing countries, will come from Bangladesh and Indonesia to Seattle next month. This three-week intensive program will allow them to further hone their business plans, learn how to tell their story, and gain new insights. We can’t wait to welcome them to our offices on October 25th!

Our next feature is Faraiba Farnan, Co-Founder of Sneho.  Sneho is focused on reducing school drop-out rates in the urban slums of Bangladesh. Sneho’s field tested solution involves distributing the ‘Durable Learning Mat’ and donated books and toys to families.

Want to follow Faraiba’s journey once our Catalysts arrive to Seattle? Be sure to Like Jolkona on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

You can also register for our Jolkona Catalyst Showcase on November 11th in the beautiful, new Galvanize co-working space in historic Pioneer Square. Click here to RSVP!

Outside of this project and work, what else do you do for fun in your home country? What other passions do you have?

I am a friendly person and like to hang out with close friends, go to movies and have fun. In spare time, I like to watch movies and have a relaxing day at home. I also have passion for traveling and trying different kinds of food.  

What inspired you to start this venture?

I come from a developing country where the living standards of people vary a lot and a great percentage of the population lives under the poverty line. The daily struggles and hardship of the people in my surroundings intrigued me and gave me an urge to bring a change in the society for the upcoming generations to have a better life.

What is one obstacle you have faced in running your social business? How did you overcome this obstacle?

One of the main obstacles we faced was to pilot the project and market our model. We faced a lot of questions and criticisms because trust is a crucial issue when people look at social ventures. We overcame the obstacle by being active in social media and publicizing our activities in the most transparent form possible. We answered every question with patience and have done every transaction with proper documentation.

What are you looking forward to when you come to the United States for the Jolkona Catalyst program? 

I expect to find out what is lacking in the model of my venture and also a solution to this. I also expect to come back with a well-drawn long term plan for taking my venture ahead successfully. I hope the limitation we have regarding funds will also be met through the opportunities offered by this program. And above all, I expect to gain professional experience which will increase my proficiency to run a social venture.

by Kirsten Eldridge, Jolkona Volunteer

 

Our 16 social entrepreneurs in the Jolkona Catalyst program, a three-week mentor driven accelerator for founders from developing countries, will come from Bangladesh and Indonesia to Seattle next month. This three-week intensive program will allow them to further hone their business plans, learn how to tell their story, and gain new insights. We can’t wait to welcome them to our offices on October 25th!

Today’s feature is Arif Md. Waliullah Bhiyan (Wali), CEO of Light of Hope, a tech-based non-profit delivering innovative and sustainable solutions for rural schools in Bangladesh. Light of Hope aims to improve the quality of primary education in Bangladesh through innovative technology projects.

Want to follow Wali’s journey once our Catalysts arrive to Seattle? Be sure to Like Jolkona on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

You can also register for our Jolkona Catalyst Showcase on November 11th in the beautiful, new Galvanize co-working space in historic Pioneer Square. Click here to RSVP!

Outside of this project and work, what else do you do for fun in your home country? What other passions do you have?

I’m a crazy book lover. I also watch lots (only good ones) of movies and love travelling. I’m passionate about drawing, designing and using these skills for branding and marketing of Light of Hope.

What inspired you to start this venture?

I wanted to use my engineering and problem solving skills to change people’s lives and make a social impact which encouraged me to join in BRAC – the largest non-profit organization in the world after completing my graduation in EEE. The inspiration to develop a solar school came from a local woman from a remote Bangladeshi village, when I saw how she used a solar energy system to provide mobile charging services to her neighbors, earning money and also providing lighting to her children so that they can study longer hours.

What is one obstacle you have faced in running your social business? How did you overcome this obstacle?

In order to get initial seed funding to run any social business, one needs a very good network from where he/she can manage to raise that money. Many entrepreneurs talk about ‘lack of funding’ is the major obstacle. But I found it’s the ‘lack of network’ that leads to ‘lack of funding’ for any venture. I will not say we have fully overcome this obstacle as we are still facing this challenge. But we are now focusing more on building our own networks by meeting people from different backgrounds, developing relationships, trying to help each other with our own skills. We are applying in different competitions, small grant opportunities etc. to expand our project.

What are you looking forward to when you come to the United States for the Jolkona Catalyst program? 

I will definitely look forward to more opportunities for networking and developing my own skills in pitching and negotiation.  I also look forward to any angel investment for Light of Hope.

by Kirsten Eldridge, Jolkona Volunteer

 

Our 16 social entrepreneurs in the Jolkona Catalyst program, a three-week mentor driven accelerator for founders from developing countries, will come from Bangladesh and Indonesia to Seattle next month. This three-week intensive program will allow them to further hone their business plans, learn how to tell their story, and gain new insights. We can’t wait to welcome them to our offices on October 25th!

Today’s feature is Ronaldiaz Hartantyo, Founder of Ideas Indonesia.  Ideas Indonesia partners with local farmers to change the perception of Indonesian agriculture by transforming rural communities into eco-tourism destinations.  Ideas Indonesia’s mission comes from the simple idea of trying to make agriculture cool for a new generation.

Want to follow Ronaldiaz’s journey once our Catalysts arrive to Seattle? Be sure to Like Jolkona on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

You can also register for our Jolkona Catalyst Showcase on November 11th in the beautiful, new Galvanize co-working space in historic Pioneer Square. Click here to RSVP!

Outside of this project and work, what else do you do for fun in your home country? What other passions do you have?

I am also an architect, designer, and a videographer. I love to read books and watch movies. It’s okay for me to go to the cinema alone.

What inspired you to start this venture?

I used to intern on Flores Island in the off-the-grid village named Wae Rebo. I spent 3 months building and learning vernacular architecture with the local community. After my project, the village got selected and won UNESCO Heritage Award. During the project I learned about eco-tourism and its potential to support agricultural sector.

What is one obstacle you have faced in running your social business? How did you overcome this obstacle?

Ignorance from the society we’d like to approach. Integrity and trust are also some of the things to be concerned about when dealing with and facing several communities. Some of our communities in Indonesia have this mindset of relying on government support, which makes them unproductive.

What are you looking forward to when you come to the United States for the Jolkona Catalyst program? 

Benchmarking and trying to learn as many things as I can. Gaining a network and collaborating with others. And of course widening my horizons and experiencing new things. After all, to travel is to live!

by Kirsten Eldridge, Jolkona Volunteer

 

Our 16 social entrepreneurs in the Jolkona Catalyst program, a three-week mentor driven accelerator for founders from developing countries, will come from Bangladesh and Indonesia to Seattle next month. This three-week intensive program will allow them to further hone their business plans, learn how to tell their story, and gain new insights. We can’t wait to welcome them to our offices on October 25th!

Our next feature is Eve Karim, Founder and Director of Authentic Method of Alternative Learning (AMAL).  AMAL has been running for the past four years and have supported more than 350 underprivileged children. Through focused projects they have worked with children rescued from brothels, children who have not benefitted from even the most basic education, and children who don’t have access to basic health services.

Want to follow Eve’s journey once our Catalysts arrive to Seattle? Be sure to Like Jolkona on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

You can also register for our Jolkona Catalyst Showcase on November 11th in the beautiful, new Galvanize co-working space in historic Pioneer Square. Click here to RSVP!

Outside of this project and work, what else do you do for fun in your home country? What other passions do you have?

I love travelling. Whenever I get time, I travel around the countryside.  I am a classical dancer; therefore I love dancing as well as painting on the weekends. Apart from that I also enjoy my free time by having coffee chat with my friends.

 What inspired you to start this venture?

I was a freshman at my university. One day I saw a little girl get kicked by a man without any particular reason at my university campus. My heart dropped, witnessing the real scenario of how street children are treated in our society.  After that I took a stand and started going to the slums with an intention to support them as well as empower them. That was my story of being inspired.

What is one obstacle you have faced in running your social business? How did you overcome this obstacle?

I have faced different obstacles throughout my development work career. The one I remember most is getting confronted by the slumlords. Those slumlords were using the children for begging purposes and they think of AMAL as a threat as we are providing education to them. We talked with them and made them understand the needs of education as well.  We took the help of local security. It was very challenging but we were unstoppable. Finally, we got success through our devotion.

What are you looking forward to when you come to the United States for the Jolkona Catalyst program? 

I am looking for a supportive community where I can get the support to grow myself as well my organization. I am looking to learn more about funding and partnership opportunities from the mentors and the social enterprise practitioners in Seattle.

by Kirsten Eldridge, Jolkona Volunteer

 

Our 16 social entrepreneurs in the Jolkona Catalyst program, a three-week mentor driven accelerator for founders from developing countries, will come from Bangladesh and Indonesia to Seattle next month. This three-week intensive program will allow them to further hone their business plans, learn how to tell their story, and gain new insights. We can’t wait to welcome them to our offices on October 25th!

Our next feature is Timotius Wong, CEO of Synergy Academy.  Since 2013, Synergy Entrepreneur Academy has inspired thousands of Indonesian youths.  Through the education and motivation provided in their overnight boot-camps, youths gain a better understanding of what it takes to get started.

Want to follow Timotius’s journey once our Catalysts arrive to Seattle? Be sure to Like Jolkona on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

You can also register for our Jolkona Catalyst Showcase on November 11th in the beautiful, new Galvanize co-working space in historic Pioneer Square. Click here to RSVP!

Outside of this project and work, what else do you do for fun in your home country? What other passions do you have?

I’m a property developer and a pathfinder. I find it fun as a property developer because we are not just building houses, but homes; we are not just developing buildings but developing masterpieces. While as the pathfinder, I enjoy opening ways for people in many aspects of life: I enjoy helping local businesses to go international, helping students or professionals to start up a business, helping people to find their life purpose.

I have also been invited to deliver many seminars about entrepreneurship, motivation, personal development, public speaking, personal finance, marketing strategy, etc.  Beside business and philosophy, my other passions are in music and culinary arts.

What inspired you to start this venture?

My family happened to face a financial crisis while I was still in my second year in university. However, thank God that He used entrepreneurship to save my life so that I could still survive and even finished my education through a master degree. I opened a restaurant of my own by that time.

When I ran into several friends that share the similar experience with me, we started to ponder: “What if there are somebody out there that might be facing the same struggle like us? What if their parents’ business went bankrupt? What if their parents happened to get a sudden deadly accident? What if their parents got fired? What if they come from a poor family? Would they still be able to survive? Or what if their parents might still be fine, but they just want to anticipate in case of something bad occurs?” They need entrepreneurship.

But how could they become one (an entrepreneur) if they don’t understand entrepreneurship? How could they understand about it if they have never learned about it? How could they be able to learn if there is no one to teach them, show them, guide them, train them, and educate them?

To really help someone to start up a business, it requires an intense practical learning. Two hours or one day business seminar is never enough. That’s why we started our first project by organizing Start Up Business Camp, 5 days and nights of intensive training and workshops to start up your own business. And even after the camp is over, we are still providing life-time coaching to maintain their business and help it grow.

What is one obstacle you have faced in running your social business? How did you overcome this obstacle?

When we promoted our very first Business Camp, we were still short of reputation. But then we solved it by having a partnership with a well-known business school in Indonesia to leverage their reputation, and we provide a 100% money back guarantee to our participants in order to overcome their doubts.

What are you looking forward to when you come to the United States for the Jolkona Catalyst program? 

Network and partners.  Synergy Entrepreneur Academy is just one of my social enterprises, I still have a Real Estate Developer Enterprise which one of its focus is also on providing homes for low class economic citizens, It is in accordance with the one-million-houses movement that promoted by our government where these citizens would only need to pay 1% for the Down Payment and they can have their own house, while government would cover the rest by paying the 99% to us, the developer. It is very profitable yet contributes a very huge impact in decreasing the rate of homeless people in Indonesia.

In helping local businesses to go international, I am also about to start preparing an online platform to promote Indonesian products to the world. Indonesia is very rich of natural resources: from the sea, forests, mines, to the agriculture, art, etc. However our farmers, fishermen, etc. still could be considered poor because they don’t have the direct access to the market, the international market. To put it in simple, it’s going to be like alibaba.com of Indonesia. Our focus is not just on manufactured products that could be produced in China, our focus in on resources that could only be produced by the nature in Indonesia.

To expand, execute, grow, and scale up my enterprises I will need expertise, advisors, partners, investors, supporters, and visionaries. I hope there could be some mutual benefit relations in the future, because I hold on this principle: “I know that some of you might have a clear conscience and sincerely want to help the social enterprises in developing countries, that profit might not be your top priority while social impact is the one. But I do think that if some reckless enterprises could generate a huge profit from their business, don’t people like you who care so much about humanity and  the environment deserve an even better benefit and profit than them? The triple bottom line of social entrepreneurship would always be people, planet, and profit.”

by Kirsten Eldridge, Jolkona Volunteer

 

Our 16 social entrepreneurs in the Jolkona Catalyst program, a three-week mentor driven accelerator for founders from developing countries, will come from Bangladesh and Indonesia to Seattle next month. This three-week intensive program will allow them to further hone their business plans, learn how to tell their story, and gain new insights. We can’t wait to welcome them to our offices on October 25th!

Our next feature is Felecia, Co-founder of Marici, a company that is introducing the world to the beauty and sophistication of Indonesian designs in the form of handcrafted fashion accessories.  Marici is fueled by a powerful mission to empower Indonesian women with new job skills and with safe and sustainable employment.

Want to follow Felecia’s journey once our Catalysts arrive to Seattle? Be sure to Like Jolkona on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

You can also register for our Jolkona Catalyst Showcase on November 11th in the beautiful, new Galvanize co-working space in historic Pioneer Square. Click here to RSVP!

Outside of this project and work, what else do you do for fun in your home country? What other passions do you have?

I enjoy traveling, reading books, and handcrafting.  My passion is crafting—my mother taught me to make handcrafts when I was very young.  I love to create beautiful things.  I am also a part-time lectutrer in the Industrial Engineering Department at Petra Christian University Surabaya.

What inspired you to start this venture?

When we started 10 years ago, many Indonesian families lived marginally or even below poverty level. These economic conditions force families to live in bad conditions (malnutrition, children cannot go to school, bad health, non-hygienic housing, etc.). Women are forced to work to support their family’s needs because their husband’s income is not enough. Jobs in offices and factories also are not always available for women, therefore they are lured to work in prostitution (Surabaya has the biggest prostitution area in South East Asia) because it’s easier to get lots of money. But not all women want to do this, if they are given the chance they prefer to work from home while they educate their children and care for their family.

We (founder and co-founder) also have experienced our mothers having to work to support our family. It is difficult for the family but they manage to do it, therefore we want to help other women through our business. We want to give a chance for other women to earn extra income for the family, to be able to work from home while educating their children.

What is one obstacle you have faced in running your social business? How did you overcome this obstacle?

Finding women who want to work in the handcraft business, because these days people are looking for easy money. Handcrafting requires them to have the skill to work with details. We overcome this by giving them basic handcrafting skill training.

What are you looking forward to when you come to the United States for the Jolkona Catalyst program? 

We are looking forward to learning how to have access and a network to reach more women, learning how to have a good system inside our business so it can support more women, and seeing other social venture programs which might be applicable in Indonesia.

by Kirsten Eldridge, Jolkona Volunteer

 

Our 16 social entrepreneurs in the Jolkona Catalyst program, a three-week mentor driven accelerator for founders from developing countries, will come from Bangladesh and Indonesia to Seattle next month. This three-week intensive program will allow them to further hone their business plans, learn how to tell their story, and gain new insights. We can’t wait to welcome them to our offices on October 25th!

Today’s feature is Abdullah Al Mahmud, Editor of Zero to Infinity, Bangladesh’s largest scientific community. Zero to Infinity now publishes the only monthly Bengali science magazine in Bangladesh with a readership of over 100k readers.

Want to follow Abdullah’s journey once our Catalysts arrive to Seattle? Be sure to Like Jolkona on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

You can also register for our Jolkona Catalyst Showcase on November 11th in the beautiful, new Galvanize co-working space in historic Pioneer Square. Click here to RSVP!

Outside of this project and work, what else do you do for fun in your home country? What other passions do you have?

I love visiting places. Almost every weekend I leave the capital, explore beautiful rural areas of Bangladesh. I enjoy the diversity of language and culture in these areas. The way people live, the variety of their social and technological infrastructure attract me so much.

Though I am from engineering background, my passion is astronomy. My life long quest is knowing the governing laws of nature and understanding the basic fabric of the universe. I have written a couple of books on this area.

What inspired you to start this venture?

Actually, from a problem I got the inspiration of doing something. Back in 2012, there was not a single science monthly for the whole country with 160+ million people in it. That sounded like a problem to me. And I know that where there is a problem, there is an opportunity of doing something. This is where Zero to Infinity came into being.

In depth there was a bigger problem too. In 1990 students conversion rate to science was 42%. In 2015 it’s only 22%. And Zero to Infinity is up to fix this. We are publishing science and mathematics monthly magazines, books on different fields. We arrange workshops, public talks and science camps. We work with the ministry. We discuss with policy makers, private companies, NGOs and journalists. And now we look forward to expanding our reach beyond Bangladesh, to fight the same problem the whole world is facing.

What is one obstacle you have faced in running your social business? How did you overcome this obstacle?

The most annoying problem every entrepreneur faces here are questions. ‘Why you are not doing a job, why risk your life doing something on your own?’ I’ve overcome it through gaining their confidence by financial success. For me the next challenge was to build a market that never existed before. As there were no science magazines for the last 7/8 years before ‘Zero to Infinity’, we had to build and grow the market on our own. We did it by arranging workshops, Olympiads, camps at schools and colleges.

Convincing people to invest here in science is another problem. People aren’t convinced enough to advertise here, or make donation for science. Moreover, easier and less conditional finance policy is rare in Bangladesh. We are dealing it with the revenue generated from our gradually growing customer base.

What are you looking forward to when you come to the United States for the Jolkona Catalyst program? 

As Zero to Infinity is growing, I need to develop an analytical eye on organizational behavior. Learning the corporate culture of engaging with investors would be a vital point for me. And I want to learn to visualize the whole process from generating ideas to building viable global businesses from our leading mentors.

by Kirsten Eldridge, Jolkona Volunteer

 

Our 16 social entrepreneurs in the Jolkona Catalyst program, a three-week mentor driven accelerator for founders from developing countries, will come from Bangladesh and Indonesia to Seattle next month. This three-week intensive program will allow them to further hone their business plans, learn how to tell their story, and gain new insights. We can’t wait to welcome them to our offices on October 25th!

Today’s feature is Armin Khan, Founder of ZappyUp, an e-commerce platform that connects skilled women who provide beauty and wellness services to customers. ZappyUp seeks to empower women to be successful entrepreneurs by making it easy for customers to book appointments with them for beauty and wellness services.

Want to follow Armin’s journey once our Catalysts arrive to Seattle? Be sure to Like Jolkona on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

You can also register for our Jolkona Catalyst Showcase on November 11th in the beautiful, new Galvanize co-working space in historic Pioneer Square. Click here to RSVP!

Outside of this project and work, what else do you do for fun in your home country? What other passions do you have?

I am an avid traveler and writer. I have trekked to several mountains, in home and abroad, and came back alive to write about them in my blog sleepydoodles.com.  Apart from that, I love cooking, dancing and having a good time with the few special people in my life.

What inspired you to start this venture?

Indigenous girls: their life stories and their tenacity.

What is obstacle you have faced in running your social business? How did you overcome this obstacle?

Making people understand the concept of the business: booking service and ecommerce in the personal services industry is a completely new concept in Bangladesh, and it’s quite challenging to make people understand the purpose behind such a business

To overcome this: we understand that the market and the target customer for this industry are not yet ready for a service as such, as hence we are building this market on the ground, taking one step at a time. We are firstly making people aware of the possibilities, potential and need for such a business, and later, when the demand is created, we will offer them the full-fledged booking service.

What are you looking forward to when you come to the United States for the Jolkona Catalyst program? 

Opportunities to network, collaborate with and learn from a wonderful group of people willing to risk everything to contribute to a better world.

Meet the Social Entrepreneurs of Cohort 4 (Fall’15)

We are so thrilled to welcome our first multi-country cohort of inspiring social leaders this fall! Please join us in welcoming this diverse group of 16 talented individuals!

Join us on Wednesday, November 11th to hear inspiring presentations from each of these entrepreneurs. Reserve your space now for the Fall’15 Jolkona Catalyst Showcase! Our Catalysts will tell their inspiring stories to the Seattle nonprofit and startup community. Register here.

Bangladesh Catalysts

 

Souvik Aswad, Chief Growth Officer, Panacea Souvik Aswad, Headshot

Websitewww.panacealive.xyz

Twitter@souvikaswad

LinkedInbd.linkedin.com/in/souvikaswad

Counterfeit prescription are a big problem in Bangladesh. The World Health Organization estimates that nearly 10 percent of all drugs sold worldwide are fake. And a recent study says 100,000 people die each year from taking fake medicine. Bangladesh’s government says at least ten percent of the medicine sold in pharmacies across the country are fake. That’s 1 in every 20 prescriptions.

Panacea prints a unique alphanumeric code on every medicine strip of a pharmaceutical brand, which consumers can check with an SMS, mobile app or website. With Panacea every medicine strip is unique and accounted for. This limits a counterfeiters’ ability to mass copy medicine packaging and puts the power of verification in the hands of the consumers.

 

Arif Md. Waliullah Bhiyan (Wali), CEO, Light of Hope Arif Wali, Photo

Websitewww.lightofhopebd.org

Twitter@wali1929

Light of Hope is a tech-based non-profit delivering innovative & sustainable solutions for rural schools in Bangladesh. ‘Light of Hope’ aims to improve the quality of primary education in Bangladesh through innovative technology projects. They currently have set up four “Digital Schools” – low cost, solar run classrooms with laptops in rural parts of Bangladesh.

 

Zia Hassan Siddique, Director and CEO, Green Energy Solutions Zia Hassan Siddique Photo

Websitewww.greenergy.com.bd

LinkedInbd.linkedin.com/pub/zia-hassan-siddique/

Greenergy Solutions Limited supports and incubates energy efficiency and renewable energy initiatives that leverage solar, wind, or hybrid to create solutions for agriculture communities.

As an engineering and consulting firm they are designing solar powered irrigations systems, solar powered refrigeration solutions and solar powered mini-grids. These solutions are designed to be low cost and accessible to members of the rural communities they serve.

 

Faraiba Farnan, Co-Founder, Sneho Faraiba Farnan

Websitehttp://www.sneho.org

Twitter@faraiba_farnan

LinkedInwww.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=312310186

Sneho is focused on reducing school drop-out rates in the urban slums of Bangladesh. Sneho’s field tested solution involves distributing ‘Durable Learning Mat’ and donated books and toys to families. For parents in these urban slums, the education of their children often is not viewed as non-negotiable. By incorporating regular sessions with the parents alongside the use of the learning mat Sneho hopes to shape the mindset of parents showing them how even a small amount of learning can impact the future of their children. The Sneho learning mat is a simple but powerful solution that will excite children about learning. Sneho is securing partnerships with key organizations and corporations that will sponsor the mats and their distribution.

 

Armin Khan, Founder, ZappyUparmin

Websitewww.zappyup.com

ZappyUp is an e-commerce platform that connects skilled women who provide beauty and wellness services to customers. ZappyUp seeks to empower women to be successful entrepreneurs by making it easy for customers to book appointments with them for beauty and wellness services. Each year, a large number of women, mainly from the low-middle to middle income bracket, enroll in beauty and wellness training programs such as hairdressing, make up art, yoga, and physical training. These skills can increase their income so they can earn a living wage. Unfortunately, finding employment or clients is difficult and many “drop out” of their dreams. ZappyUp will give women the tools to become independent and successful business women who are able to earn a living doing what they love.

 

Eve Karim, Founder and Director, Authentic Method of Alternative Learning (AMAL) 

Websitehttp://amalbd.org/

eveAMAL has been running for the past four years and have supported more than 350 underprivileged children. Through focused projects they have worked with children rescued from brothels, children who have not benefitted from even the most basic education, and children who don’t have access to basic health services. AMAL has been able to earn the trust of families and have trained a number of volunteers to work directly with them. Children are learning skills to make handmade crafts that can in turn provide a small income that AMAL hopes will be enough to keep them from illegal or dangerous forms of earning money. AMAL has set up a few production centers that also offer children the opportunity to be part of a caring community that encourages them to set their sights on a better future.

 

Abdullah Al Mahmud, Editor, Zero to Infinity Abdullah Al Mahmud, Photo

Website: http://z2i.org/

Twitter: @mahmudzero2inf

From a simple Facebook group, Zero to Infinity grew into Bangladesh’s largest scientific community. Zero to Infinity now publishes the only monthly Bengali science magazine in Bangladesh with a readership of over 100k readers.

Their success led to the creation of a math based publication. Zero to Infinity is making math and science exciting and hopes to encourage students to enroll in more science and math classes. They have partnered with the Information Ministry and Ministry of Science & Technology in Bangladesh to serve as knowledge partner or to arrange science, math and coding workshops and camps that encourages both boys and girls to join.

Indonesia Catalysts

Felecia, Co-Founder, Makarios Kreasindo felecia

Websitewww.maricibymarici.com

Marici is introducing the world to the beauty and sophistication of Indonesian designs in the form of handcrafted fashion accessories. Marici is fueled by a powerful mission to empower Indonesian women with new job skills and with safe and sustainable employment.

Marici is optimistic about the long term effects they will have in paving the way for a better quality of life for these women and their families.

 

Radyum Ikono, Founder and COO, Nanocenter Indonesia 

 

radyumWebsitecenter.nano.or.id

Twitter@radyum

LinkedInwww.linkedin.com/pub/radyum-ikono/13/b22/894

Nano Center Indonesia conducts research and education in nanotechnology and incubate initiatives that uniquely apply nanotechnology to solve important national or global issues. For example, they have found a way to recycle industrial waste from steel mills using it to make an iron oxide pigments that can be used as a coloring agent in things like paint, fertilizer and ceramics. Nano Center Indonesia is embarking on an exciting journey to spark innovation in the creation of new products, medicines and materials. In addition to the research, they are conducting educational workshops that will feed the public’s imagination.

 

Marsya Anggia, Director, Indorelawan Marsya Anggia, Picture

Website: www.indorelawan.org

Twitter@marsyamars

Indorelawan is an online platform that connects people looking for meaningful activities with nonprofit organizations and communities that are searching for volunteers to help them achieve their social missions. Indorelawan raises awarness about the rewarding experiences that can be had by volunteers who share their talent and gives them the opportunity to transform goodwill into positive action at scale.

 

Taufik Hidayat, Vice CEO, Genteng Traditional Healthy Market 

taufikTwitter: @taufik10121989

Genteng traditional Healthy Market has helped more than 367 poor farmers and over 200 households in Genteng village (West Java Province, Indonesia) to have better options for the sale of their products. Rather than turning to third party sellers who charge steep fees and commissions to transport products to the larger city centers, Genteng Healthy Market gives farmers and households the chance to sell locally and increase their income creating more vibrant rural communities.

 

 

Neng Niawati, CEO, Limbahagia 

 

Websitewww.limbahagiacompany.blogspot.comnia

Twitter@novintt

Limbahagia encourages people to view waste in a new way. Pollution in the form of plastic is a major problem in the cities of Indonesia. Limbahagia are currently developing a mobile application and system to facilitate the recycling process. Individuals are trained to create recycling businesses leveraging these tools so that they may play an active role in cleaning up their cities in a sustainable way.

 

 

 

Timotius Wong, CEO, Synergy Academy 

timoWebsitehttp://www.synergy-academy.com

Twitter@timotiuswong

Since 2013, Synergy Entrepreneur Academy has inspired thousands of Indonesian youths and has helped hundreds of them to become the real entrepreneurs.

Through the education and motivation provided in their overnight boot-camps, youths gain a better understanding of what it takes to get started. Synergy Entrepreneur Academy provides continual support by organizing business camps where they share practical strategies that will help them be successful.

 

Hayyu Widiatma Sakya, Business Director, ADHMORA ABHINAYA PRANA 

Websitewww.adhmora.comhayyu

LinkedInid.linkedin.com/pub/hayyu-sakya/60/6bb/b70

Adhmora provides energy solutions from energy monitoring to financing energy conservation program. They have two main projects: Chiller Smart Management System and their Energy Saving Championship in Bandung, Indonesia.

They believe the hub to sustainable development is energy conservation. To reach the goal of energy conservation Admora educates people about the importance of wise energy consumption and even makes energy saving fun through their championship program.

 

Ronaldiaz Hartantyo, Founder, Ideas Indonesia

ronaldiazIdeas Indonesia partners with local farmers to change the perception of Indonesian agriculture by transforming rural communities into eco-tourism destinations. They collaborate with Indonesian farmers to make their farms not only a place of production, but also an eco-tourism and education destination. Ideas Indonesia’s mission comes from the simple idea of trying to make agriculture cool for a new generation.

Despite Indonesia having an abundance of natural potential with fertile soil and a great climate, agriculture seems to a business designated to poor communities. Ideas Indonesia wants to show the nation’s young people that there are many fun and engaging benefits that come with working in the agriculture sector.

 

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