On the evening of 20 February 2017, groups of people varying in age and backgrounds, from millennial farmers to coffee entrepreneurs filled the discussion lounge at Coworkinc. They excitedly waited for the first episode of Idea Jam. Hosted by Hivos and Coworkinc, this episode is titled “Providing Food for The Hunger: Agrifood Issues and Solving Ideas” and conducted in collaboration with Agriprofocus Indonesia.
Idea Jam is an integral part of the Social Entrepreneurship Support Initiative, a 6-month pilot project spearheaded by Hivos and Coworkinc aiming to support social entrepreneurs through provision of capacity building. Started in February, Hivos and Coworkinc are committed to conduct Idea Jam and pop-up consultation hours at Coworkinc on a monthly basis.
Hivos’ decision to start a collaboration with coworking spaces in Indonesia is based on the belief that coworking spaces, currently vastly growing, is the space for development which various communities work from and where innovative ideas collide. Coworkinc, which will become part of Impact Hub Jakarta in the upcoming months, is home to many communities and social entrepreneurs. Its keenness to support the growth of social entrepreneurs in Indonesia aligns with Hivos’ vision to innovate for social change through supporting frontrunners (among them is social entrepreneurs) and develop ideas. This joint effort connects the knowledge and resources of Hivos to the wide network of social entrepreneurs as well as opens the opportunity for Hivos to reach out to innovative social entrepreneurs to nurture or be potential local partner in co-creating solution to global and local problems.
Unlike the common (and tend to be boring) workshop discussions, Idea Jam seeks to ignite the entrepreneurial spirit of participants which requires them to quickly design innovative and impactful business idea to solve various problems. Each month brings along a different theme. As the theme for February was agriculture and food, Tina Napitupulu from Agriprofocus Indonesia was invited to guide the session. Three panels were present as well: Silvana Paath from Hivos, Taufiqul Mujib from Oxfam in Indonesia and Walesa Danto, the founder of limakilo.id. Facilitator and panels had already prepared six agriculture- and food-related issues: price volatility, world hunger, food waste, malnutrition, food crisis and food diversity. Participants were instructed to form groups and pick one topic each, and then design impactful business idea as a solution to the selected topic and present the concept using problem tree methodology. Other teams played the role of evil or devil advocates (agree or disagree) and offered feedback to improve the proposed idea.
The cozy ambience of Coworkinc, nice music, compelling topics and lively discussion significantly boosted participants’ vibrancy during the whole session. In the final stage, panels offered input and constructive feedback based on their expertise to all the presented ideas and chose the best business idea.
Although the event only ran for 2 hours, the results were impressive. Three innovative and impactful business ideas emerged: an “Earn Waste” app, functioning as a sharing platform for people to share their excess food where in exchange they will get enticing rewards for their contribution in reducing food waste, a set of educative information presenting alternative healthy food to public and a farming-themed gaming app “Finding WeMo” to counter price volatility where it enables urban dweller to directly interact with farmers in villages to conduct joint planting on a request basis.
Panels chose “Earn Waste” app as the best business idea due to its clarity and viability. Not only the event brought new knowledge, but was also proven to be resourceful in networking people. Case in point: a young woman whose boyfriend is a shallot farmer in West Nusa Tenggara linked with Tangerang-based shallot millennial farmer and Agriprofocus, a maker connected with coffee entrepreneur and many more.
To complete the Idea Jam, Hivos follows it through with one-day free consultation on the monthly theme to relevant social entrepreneur or community who require support. Participants who attend the Idea Jam are free to register to this session and if chosen, based on available time slot, will get personal capacity building from Hivos and partners. In conclusion, through this initiative, Hivos supported by Coworkinc had and will continue to deliver the valuable knowledge, in particular the impact issue, in accordance with Hivos’ strong track record in managing developmental programs. Hopefully it is applicable to help community and social entrepreneur in making their business more impactful. At the end, Hivos and Coworkinc believes that good social entrepreneurs are those who are not only genius in generating profit but also ensuring the impact hits the right people.
The next Idea Jam will take place on March 21 and in conjunction with women’s international month, it will speak the issue of women empowerment. It aims to discuss and build the right tool for everyone (in particular early entrepreneurs) to develop a gender sensitive environment for workplace and business.
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contributed by: Queentries Regar (Hivos)