Blog

It’s been nearly a month since our first cohort of Project Catalyst presented their business pitches after two weeks of hard work. And, in another several weeks, the Jolkona office will be busy sorting applications to select our next Project Catalyst cohort. What else to do in this down time, but reflect? Especially for a pilot project, the first session of Project Catalyst was a success. Not only did we experience overwhelming support from our community, but we also provided a positive experience for our cohort, and learned a lot about how we can improve our program for future sessions.

First of all, we would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to everyone who was involved in making Project Catalyst a success. From providing tours for Seattle’s businesses and nonprofits, to teaching workshops, providing valuable mentorship and welcoming home-stays, Jolkona asked over ninety people to help us with this program. Not a single person turned us down, and for that we are immensely thankful. In addition, we would also like to thank those who were able to attend the June 19th Showcase event. The support and donations you provided to our entrepreneurs, and to the Investor’s Choice winner, Mirah, helped Project Catalyst close on a high note.

Of course, we would like to thank the heart of this first session of Project Catalyst – our entrepreneurs. It wouldn’t have been nearly the same without the drive and enthusiasm of Nadine, Nadya, Dino, Hendriyadi and Mirah. Each brought a passion for social innovation, a clear sense of purpose, and an excitement for exploration. It was an honor to launch this exciting program with them, and spend two weeks exploring Seattle with them! According to Nadine, “Project Catalyst truly lived up to its name. I feel catalyzed to take my business and social impact to the next level.” If you would like to the perspective of a cohort member, check out Nadya’s blog post reflecting on her Project Catalyst experience.

If you would like to get involved in Project Catalyst, there are a number of ways you can make a difference:

  • Become a mentor, coach, teacher or sponsor.
  • Become a homestay host if you are in Seattle, WA.
  • Attend the Final Showcase where the participants pitch their business.
  • Support these social entrepreneurs fulfill their mission after they get back home.
  • Share Project Catalyst on your network; like us onFacebook and follow us on Twitter.

Be sure to volunteer by the application deadline on August 7th!

We are excited to see how Project Catalyst will progress, and we are so pleased that our first session went so well. Thank you again, to all who made it a success!

Project Catalyst is an accelerator for international social ventures. This 2-week intensive workshop brings social entrepreneurs from developing countries to Seattle, where they can hone their business plans, gain valuable insights, and meet prospective investors and funders.

Keep up with everything Jolkona by following us on Facebook and Twitter

During Jolkona’s Project Catalyst Showcase on Thursday, June 19, our five Indonesian social entrepreneurs gave their five-minute business pitches to a public audience of supporters and investors. Funded by the U.S. State Department, Project Catalyst had selected them out of 200 applicants. And after two weeks of intense training in Seattle–which included workshops, field trips, mentoring, coaching, and coffee chats–the participants presented their social enterprise projects to sixty people at the University of Washington.

“I was so excited to do the pitch, especially doing it in a foreign language with an international sphere,” Mirah Mahaswari, one of the participants who was giving her pitch for the first time, said.

While Nadya Saib has pitched before, she said this time was different: “This past Thursday is slightly different though, because I didn’t know anyone from the audience in person. The last time I pitched, I was accompanied with my team.”

The social entrepreneurs spent much of the week leading up to the presentation preparing it. They received feedback from mentors and coaches, and they practiced on each other for hours. Nadine Zamira said, “I was most excited to see the other’s pitch decks. We have been practicing with each other and was really looking forward to seeing the final product. I think everyone did amazing! So proud!”

Nadya added, “I was nervous about being the first in giving the presentation. But that actually excites me too. And I was also excited to talk in front of some coaches whom had given me loads of insights. I wanted them to know that their feedback had been useful for me.”

Nadine also said of the audience, “I loved seeing all the wonderful people who have been generous with us through out the program in one room.”

At the end of the presentations, the members of the audience voted for the recipient of a $500 grant. As the audience could buy more votes–at $5 per vote–the pool was increased to $700 by the end of the night. Mirah, whose Pack Your Spirit program promotes literacy and instills passion for reading in Indonesia, won the grant.

She said, “I am soooooo glad that my project got the grant! I can’t believe it, since the others were amazing during their pitch!”

The award was presented to her during a catered Indonesian dinner.

The audience was also asked to write notes on the back of their votes, and for many of the participants, that was valuable. Nadine said, “I really liked hearing the audience’s feedback – praise, encouragement, constructive input and new networking opportunities. The input box was a really nice touch. It’s always great to know when people understand or can relate to your message.” 

While the first program of Project Catalyst came to a close and the participants have all gone home to Indonesia, it is only the beginning for their projects. Nadya said her biggest take away was, “What Adnan told us–that it’s actually just the beginning that may spark more connections with the audience. Our next job is to follow up.”

Project Catalyst is an accelerator for international social ventures. This 2-week intensive workshop brings social entrepreneurs from developing countries to Seattle, where they can hone their business plans, gain valuable insights, and meet prospective investors and funders.

Keep up with everything Jolkona by following us on Facebook and Twitter

By 9am last Friday morning, our Project Catalyst entrepreneurs were already hard at work prepping their business pitches with leadership coach Susan Bloch. For the past week and a half, our first cohort have been learning, practicing, and networking in preparation for the final Project Catalyst showcase on Thursday evening.

Nadine draws shield

Nadine Zamira designs her shield

A key part of all of this preparation was defining a personal brand and getting feedback from the Tell Your Story workshop with Susan Bloch. Susan’s illustrious background includes coaching senior executives and their boardroom teams, including those at Fortune 500 companies around the world, to enhance their leadership skills. She has authored four books on leadership, such as The Global You, which she gifted to each of our entrepreneurs. She dedicates much of her time consulting with Seattle area non-profits, and has focused much of her research on helping women reach the boardroom.

The morning began with creating a hypothetical design for a shield – essentially a sigil that would project an important visual message about each person. After creating their illustrations, our entrepreneurs shared their designs, and got feedback on the impact of their message. After this, Susan led a discussion on the aspects of a successful pitch, including the importance of the first impression, and the entrepreneurs were left with just ten minutes to develop the first five minutes of their pitch.

The last hour of the workshop was where a great deal of the prep work for Thursday’s event took place. Each entrepreneur took turns presenting the first five minutes of their pitch, and in turn received in-depth feedback from Susan, who was hearing their pitches for the first time, and from their team mates, who have heard each pitch develop throughout the week.

dino gives feedback

Dino Fitriza gives feedback on a pitch

This workshop was just one of many preparing our Project Catalyst entrepreneurs for their showcase on Thursday, June 19th, at 6pm at the University of Washington. This event is public, and Jolkona invites you to come and support Nadine Zamira’s communications agency, LeafPlus, Dino Fitriza’s reusable bag venture Vertesac, Nadya Saib’s natural toiletries company, Wangsa Jelita, Mirah Mahaswari’s book distribution organization Pack Your Spirit, and Hendriyadi Bahtiar’s Healthy Shredded Fish, which provides business opportunities for fishermen’s wives and other women.

If you would like to join Jolkona in celebrating the innovation and hard work these entrepreneurs have put into developing their social enterprises, head over to Eventbrite and grab a free ticket. Spaces are limited, so don’t delay! There will be light h’ordeuvres, followed by an Indonesian dinner. We would love to see you there!

Project Catalyst is an accelerator for international social ventures. This 2-week intensive workshop brings social entrepreneurs from developing countries to Seattle, where they can hone their business plans, gain valuable insights, and meet prospective investors and funders.

Keep up with everything Jolkona by following us on Facebook and Twitter

IMG_2469

Yesterday, day 3 of Project Catalyst, Jolkona’s Indonesian social entrepreneurs went on a tour of Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation: its campus and museum.

Our guide, Gillian LaFond, began the tour with a presentation about the Foundation’s beginnings and goals. In 1998, she said, Bill and Melinda were on the road when they heard about rotavirus–a virus neither of them had heard of before–and it was killing 500 million people in Africa. Two years later, the married couple began the Foundation to tackle largely neglected challenges that impact the most people in the world. In 2008, Bill Gates resigned from Microsoft and joined Melinda as full-time co-chairs at the Foundation.

Mirah Mahaswari, one of our Project Catalyst participants, said of the message from Bill and Melinda Gates: “They told us not just to be great businessmen, but to be people who care about others. Whoever and wherever we are, we can work together to help our communities and be impactful to our surroundings.” Mirah’s organization in Indonesia, Pack Your Spirit, collects children’s used-books for villages of east Borneo.

IMG_2482

Gillian then walked us around one of the most sustainable campuses in the Seattle. Built in 2011, the Foundation’s campus boasts an outdoor sitting area, countless species of plants, living roofs, ample natural light, and solar panels. Our Project Catalyst participant, Nadine Zamira, was impressed: “I was AMAZED at the building structure. When she said it was lead platinum certified, I wasn’t surprised. It is the greenest of the green and has an extremely low impact on the environment.”

In Indonesia, Nadine’s communications agency, LeafPlus, has sustainability at the heart of their work. She works with government agencies, businesses, NGO’s, schools and communities to identify their sustainability objectives and translate complex concepts into creative, engaging and easily shared stories. She delivers messages about environment issues. She said, “We don’t have buildings like that in Indonesia. We’re working on it, but we don’t have buildings that’re the best of the best. It’s nice to see that it is possible.”

IMG_2483Afterwards, the Project Catalyst cohort spent an hour in the informational and interactive visitor center, where they tried to carry 16 pounds of water (the amount people in many parts of the world must carry for three miles). They read about the projects happening all over the world, and joined the conversations with the countless do-gooders that have visited the museum.

Dino Fitriza, whose social enterprise Vertesac reduces the number of plastic bags used in Indonesia, said, “It is very inspiring, because you can see a lot of people’s projects in countries all over the world.”

What impressed Nadya Saib, the founder of Wangsa Jelita, was the toilets. On the doors of the stalls were photographs of the various unsanitary “toilets” across the world. Once visitors to the museum open its doors, they are relieved to find a clean latrine. Of the whole visitor center, Nadya said, “I like how they present the stories.”

Finally, Hendriyadi Bahtiar, whose Healthy Shredded Fish not only promotes a healthy national snack but provides job opportunities for fishermen’s wives, said of the entire visit: “It inspired me to take action to change the world and to influence the people all around us.”

 

Project Catalyst is an accelerator for international social ventures. This 2-week intensive workshop brings social entrepreneurs from developing countries to Seattle, where they can hone their business plans, gain valuable insights, and meet prospective investors and funders.

Keep up with everything Jolkona by following us on Facebook and Twitter

Our first five participants in Project Catalyst, Jolkona’s new accelerator for social entrepreneurs from developing countries, will come from Indonesia to Seattle in the next couple weeks. This 2-week intensive workshop will allow them to further hone their business plans, meet prospective investors and gain new insights. We can’t wait to welcome them to our offices on June 8!

Both of Dino’s projects, Claps and Vertesac, work toward raising awareness of climate change and natural disasters, and encouraging people to modify their behaviors to improve our shared environment. A mobile photo sharing app for pictures and videos of the “real” impact of climate change, Claps aims to document and educate civilians about natural disasters. Meanwhile, Vertesac is a smart shopping bag system designed to track consumer use of reusable bags and offer discounts to users. Vertesac aims to reduce the excessive use of plastic bags through these economic incentives.

Q: Outside of this project and work, what else do you do for fun in Indonesia? What other passions do you have?

I also write a series of books called Books of Light. I call the  genre of the book “Science Mythology” or “SciMyth.” Simply said, science mythology is a story based on scientific fact about some event or natural phenomenon. Imagine Terminator meets The Lord of the Rings. I also create game boards, and take pictures as photographer. My passions are technology, environment, and art. I like to think about the problems that we have in our society and the opportunities that our technology offer.

Dino Fitriza (3)Q: So, what inspired you to start this venture?

The idea of Vertesac started in October 2011. In my city, Bandung, Indonesia, like other big cities, there are big problems with excessive plastic bag usage. Campaigns that encourage people to stop using plastic bag or to pay for plastics or to use your own bag have risen  all over the world. But, I found out that, when consumers buy some products, they think about their own “economy” first, and “ecology” second. Customers will look for direct benefits or incentives such as a cheaper price, discount, bonus, etc. So, I thought why don’t we create a system where each time users bring reusable shopping bag, they will get direct economic incentives? And so, Vertesac was born.

Q: Tell us a story of a person who has benefited from your program.

I can divide the people who have benefitted from this program into three categories. The first one, of course, are people all around the world who will keep a healthy environment with the reduction of plastic bags in circulation. The second are the customers who get better prices and discounts and the stores also reduce the cost of plastic or paper bags. Lastly, are the people who produce our reusable bags. Through the project, we have also created jobs. Our bags are made in Cimareme Village in Bandung by local women.

Q: What is one obstacle you have faced in running the program? How did you overcome it?

Our main obstacle is that we’re short on cash. Sometimes we run out “Fuel of Cash” so we can’t produce more bags to expand our market and get more store connections at the levels we want. Some stores also want us to pay them to accept Vertesac program. We try to overcome this by bootstrapping, getting investment from family and friends and by winning some competitions for cash.

Q: What are you looking forward to when you come to the United States as a part of Project Catalyst?

We are looking for strategic partners that can help us with fundraising, so we can expand our impact on the market. We are also looking for mentors or investors that can bring Vertesac to the next level as a world class social venture.

We are very excited to have Dino Fitriza here in Seattle! If you are interested in helping these amazing entrepreneurs, Project Catalyst is recruiting for mentors, coaches and hosts! If you are available between June 8 and 22, please contact catalyst@jolkona.org.

Keep up with everything Jolkona by following us on Facebook and Twitter

Our first five participants in Project Catalyst, Jolkona’s new accelerator for social entrepreneurs from developing countries, will come from Indonesia to Seattle in the next couple weeks. This 2-week intensive workshop will allow them to further hone their business plans, meet prospective investors and gain new insights. We can’t wait to welcome them to our offices on June 8!

Our fourth feature is Mirah Mahaswari, whose Pack Your Spirit program promotes literacy and instills passion for reading in Indonesia. Pack Your Spirit collects children’s used-books, hosts community events, and coordinates their transportation to remote schools in the villages of east Borneo.

Q: Outside of this project and work, what else do you do for fun in Indonesia? What other passions do you have?

I love traveling! I usually spend my leisure time traveling around Indonesia. Last time, my husband and I stayed for almost three days in a beautiful island called Derawan in East Kalimantan. We snorkeled and enjoyed the underwater view so much!

Q: So, what inspired you to start this venture?

Balikpapan Menyala was already established by the time I moved here. As volunteers, we try to create social activities to solve problems in our community. Here, we face an illiteracy issue and low passion in reading. Because of those, we inspired to organize an event to pack and share books in Balikpapan.

Q: What is one obstacle you have faced in running the program? How did you overcome it?

Asking the public for book donation was quite hard. It wasn’t to promote the cause by social media and posters. We overcame this by doing roadshow to schools and coordinated with the student council and headmasters. Then, we promoted a “one man, one book” donation program to every school. Within a month, around 4,000 books were collected from 11 primary schools, 7 junior high, and 5 senior high schools.

Q: What are you looking forward to when you come to the United States as a part of Project Catalyst?

It such a tremendous benefit for me to get connected to a global network in the U.S. I’m looking forward to learning about funding and program sustainability from the mentors and social enterprise practitioners in Seattle. I hope to take the project into a bigger scale and impact 🙂

We are very excited to have Mirah Mahaswari here in Seattle! If you are interested in helping these amazing entrepreneurs, Project Catalyst is recruiting for mentors, coaches and hosts! If you are available between June 8 and 22, please contact catalyst@jolkona.org.

Keep up with everything Jolkona by following us on Facebook and Twitter

Our first five participants in Project Catalyst, Jolkona’s new accelerator for social entrepreneurs from developing countries, will come from Indonesia to Seattle in the next couple weeks. This 2-week intensive workshop will allow them to further hone their business plans, meet prospective investors and gain new insights. We can’t wait to welcome them to our offices on June 8!

Our third feature is Nadine Zamira, whose communications agency, LeafPlus, focuses on sustainability projects through inspiring perceptions, emotions and actions. LeafPlus works with government agencies, businesses, NGO’s, schools and communities to identify their sustainability objectives and translate complex concepts into creative, engaging and easily shared stories.

Q: Outside of this project and work, what else do you do for fun in Indonesia? What other passions do you have? 

Nothing makes me happier than to travel to exotic natural destinations around Indonesia. I feel happiest in nature and blessed to be living in a country with such amazing landscapes and people. I’ve also recently discovered diving and am quickly becoming addicted to it. My travels also remind me constantly of my mission and the people that it touches. Other than that I can easily get lost in books and movies.

GUG3Q: So, what inspired you to start this venture? 

I saw a very urgent issue, but, at the same time, I saw how disconnected people were from it. I became frustrated by the way nature and its relationship with humans were being represented in our communications. Campaigns were intimidating, badly designed, and full of information the audience can’t process. They did not inspire love or empowerment to take action. We quickly learned that the uncharted field of sustainability communications translates into many things we did not project. Which is great, we get a kick from the adventure!

Q: Tell us a story of a person who has benefited from your program. 

First and foremost may I say my employees? 🙂 They are an enthusiastic and passionate group of people who want to work for change. Traditionally fighting for ‘a cause’ was seen as falling into the domain of ‘charity’ and ‘pro-bono’ work. But now with social entrepreneurship, the economic wheels are also an important element in forwarding change. I take joy and pride in knowing that LeafPlus has provided an opportunity for a people to do what they love and sustain themselves financially too.

Q: What is one obstacle you have faced in running the program? How did you overcome it? 

In the first few years of the venture, it was about convincing people that our service was needed, and what exactly it was that we had to offer. It was kind of tough as we were still defining and redefining ourselves, and still had limited resources. We figured out that the best strategy was to work with what we had, and that meant using our personal networks and implementing programs with next to nothing profit just to build our portfolio. Over time we slowly started to build trust and reputation, and people started to understand how we were different. I can’t stress enough how powerful persistence is, and just to START. Waiting until all the stars align won’t get you anywhere.

Q: What are you looking forward to when you come to the United States as a part of Project Catalyst?  I’m looking forward for mentorship on how to grow my business — what I need to fine tune and identify, what tools to build, how I can attract investors to grow further, etc. I think since the get-go, my partners and I had little time to focus on business strategy. But I must say I am personally very excited about visiting Seattle, being one of America’s greenest cities. Many of my projects are tied to urban environments, and I hope to absorb as much as I can from the sustainable-savvy Seattle. Very excited!

We are very excited to have Nadine Zamira here in Seattle! If you are interested in helping these amazing entrepreneurs, Project Catalyst is recruiting for mentors, coaches and hosts! If you are available between June 8 and 22, please contact catalyst@jolkona.org.

Keep up with everything Jolkona by following us on Facebook and Twitter

Our first five participants in Project Catalyst, Jolkona’s new accelerator for social entrepreneurs from developing countries, will come from Indonesia to Seattle in the next couple weeks. This 2-week intensive workshop will further hone their business plans, meet prospective investors and gain new insights. We can’t wait to welcome them to our offices on June 8!

Our second feature is Hendriyadi Bahtiar whose The Healthy Shredded Fish venture not only produces an Indonesian national snack, but is a campaign for healthier lifestyles. In addition, the project employs fishermen’s wives in coastal areas in South Sulawesi, increasing income and reducing poverty in the area.

Q: Outside of this project and work, what else do you do for fun in Indonesia? What other passions do you have?

Traveling and volunteering. When I was 18 years old, I decided to be a backpacker. Realizing the beautiful scene in Indonesia as archipelago country, I started to explore it: hiking, climbing, snorkeling and learning how to dive. In 2010, I had the chance to explore Indonesia through Sail Banda, a 30-days youth expedition with Indonesian Navy. This program gave me an enlightenment about the marine and coastal potential in Indonesia and it was a great chance to get a taste of our cultural diversity. In 2011, I chosen as facilitator for Sail Belitung to explore Sumatra Island for a month. Moreover, I love playing with kids and volunteering to raise update books for them. I enjoy writing and playing table tennis.

Q: So, what inspired you to start this venture?

Traveling taught me a lot and opened my mind act after seeing the coastal condition in all over Indonesia. Many people who live in coastal areas have a lot local resources but have poor education and economy. They have limited access to books and school facilities; they don’t have good packaging for products and they have limited market. So, after getting a scholarship for a short course in Iowa State University and joining Indonesia Canada Youth Exchange program, it motivated me and other alumni to take action. In 2012, we launched education program for the children through providing mini library named Sahabat Pulau and collaborate with Econantural Foundation to empower their mothers (fisherman’s wives) to create economic value through product diversification from fish such Shredded Fish, Snack Fish and Seaweed Snack.

hendriyadiQ: Tell us a story of a person who has benefited from your program.

Running the program really helped women in coastal areas to increase their quality of life. They are really happy because can help their husband to increase their family income. Beside that, they learned how to manage their money through financial literacy from the volunteers. In addition, while they work, their children have the chance to learn and play in mini library. We provide spot for children books and children games in production house and assist with volunteers. Some of their children get scholarship from our partners such Not Another Child scholarship program.

Q: What is one obstacle you have faced in running the program? How did you overcome it?

The main obstacle is volunteer management. In the first year, we have difficulties to find loyal and committed volunteers and staff. After a discussion with the board, we initiated Youth Volunteer Camp to spread the volunteerism virus and motivate them through sharing from experts. In this program, we talk about volunteerism, community empowerment, project management, social entrepreneurship, and fundraising. This was really effective and helped us sustain our venture.

Q: What are you looking forward to when you come to the United States as a part of Project Catalyst?

I would like to share the potential of people (women and youth) and local resources in coastal area in Indonesia. We need more youth that can be involved to maximize those potentials, especially in packaging, marketing and financial literacy. Furthermore, I am looking for a mentor that can help us improve the quality or level our ventures. Networking with social entrepreneurs, NGOs, donors will be valuable to accelarate the project and I hope those networks can help to give more impactful to the community after going back to Indonesia.

We are very excited to have Hendriyadi Bahtiar here in Seattle! If you are interested in helping these amazing entrepreneurs, Project Catalyst is recruiting for mentors, coaches and hosts! If you are available between June 8 and 22, please contact catalyst@jolkona.org.

Keep up with everything Jolkona by following us on Facebook and Twitter

Our first five participants in Project Catalyst, Jolkona’s new accelerator for social entrepreneurs from developing countries, will come from Indonesia to Seattle. This 2-week intensive workshop will further hone their business plans, gain valuable insights, and meet prospective investors. We can’t wait to welcome them to our offices on June 8!

Over the next three weeks, we will profile each entrepreneur. Our first feature is Nadya Saib, 27, whose project, Wangsa Jelita, produces non-toxic, natural personal care products to address environmental issues of waste while empowering local farmers and artisans. Read below to see what Nadya has to say about her nephews, about entrepreneurship, about rose farmers, and more.

Q: Outside of this project and work, what else do you do for fun in Indonesia? What other passions do you have?

I think everyone has their own definition of fun. For me, playing with and poking fun at my nephews is so much fun. I consider my family as one of the most significant elements in my life, so spending quality time with them, whenever possible, is one of the best ways to spend my time outside of work. Once in a while, I speak about entrepreneurship to youth, students, and other fellow entrepreneurs. I find sharing as a good reminder for me. I’m also part of the Global Shapers Jakarta Hub, an initiative under the World Economic Forum. Being part of this group gives me the chance to meet like-minded people, which triggers an inspirational jolt in me. For me, that is fun too.

Wangsa Jelita slide campaignQ: So, what inspired you to start this venture?

The fact that there is no pharmaceutical regulation of the word “natural” encouraged my two friends and me to create something that would embody the true concept of “natural.” That was the initial idea. So right after we got our bachelor degrees back in 2008, the three of us, pharmacists by training, started “Wangsa Jelita”–which means “Beautiful Dynasty.” We carefully chose only “good” ingredients to put in our formulation of personal care products and picked out the best processes to make them. It was a kind of hobby at first, something we enjoyed doing, something we were excited about. About a year after that, we met local farmers by chance, and we were inspired to expand Wangsa Jelita. The spirit of introducing and producing truly natural personal care products remains the same, but the way we conduct our business has evolved–from a traditional profit maximizing business to a social enterprise that empowers local communities.

Q: Tell us a story of a person who has benefited from your program.

I suppose I should tell you about the moment when my team told rose farmers about the idea of utilizing the roses to produce soaps. Some laughed, some asked whether we can make soap out of other kinds of flowers and/or veggies, some didn’t see the value in doing so. But the best thing was that most of them wanted to know more about our idea and wanted to take part. We held a year-long program to teach women farmers to add value to their roses by producing rose water extract and rose soaps. In an interview, a rose farmer said that she’s proud of herself for having new skill as well augmenting her family income.

Q: What is one obstacle you have faced in running the program? How did you overcome it?

I’ve learned to contend with my assumptions; may it be about how the business should be run, or how to maintain the relationships with the communities and customers, or even what kind of products should be developed. I think every leader has their own assumption and sometimes, they have the tendency to be very firm about it, and I’ve learned that this tendency has the potential to harm the company. The first step of how I overcame it was by acknowledging it. Our job is finding the best path should be taken so that the company can meet its goals, to serve more people. So the next step I took was teaching myself and my team to listen to our stakeholders more, and to listen carefully. And I found that this way has made a big difference to me and my team, particularly in our way to run the business.

Q: What are you looking forward to when you come to the United States as a part of Project Catalyst?

Foremost, meeting the mentors is what I’m very much looking forward to. It always excites me to meet people who have been there and done that. I really wish I can learn as much as possible from Project Catalyst, and hopefully, in one way or another, I, too, can benefit everyone I encounter in the program.

We are very excited to have Nadya Saib here in Seattle! If you are interested in helping these amazing entrepreneurs, Project Catalyst is recruiting for mentors, coaches and hosts! If you are available between June 8 and 22, please contact catalyst@jolkona.org.

Keep up with everything Jolkona by following us on Facebook and Twitter

We’re proud to introduce the first five participants in Project Catalyst, Jolkona’s new accelerator for social entrepreneurs from developing countries.

This 2-week intensive workshop will bring five candidates from Indonesia to Seattle, where they can hone their business plans, gain valuable insights, and meet prospective investors. We can’t wait to welcome them to our offices on June 8!

dino

Name: Dino Fitriza

Age: 31

Websites: http://www.turn8.co/teams/claps/ & http://vertesac.com/new/

Twitter: @dinolefty

Projects: Both of Dino Fitriza’s projects, Claps and Vertesac, work toward raising awareness of climate change and natural disasters, and encouraging people to modify their behaviors toward the environment. Claps is a mobile photo sharing app for pictures and videos of the “real” impact of climate change. While it aims to document and educate civilians about natural disaster, Claps also offers to help government, research institutions, and NGOs to develop new ways to educate people about climate change and natural disaster. Meanwhile Vertesac is a smart shopping bag system designed to track consumer use of reusable bags and offer discounts to users. By giving economic incentives to Vertesac bag users, the project aims to reduce the excessive use of plastic bags.

Name: Hendriyadi Bahtiar

Website: https://www.facebook.com/groups/471508396264995/

Twitter: @pelukislangit

Project: The Healthy Shredded Fish not only produces an Indonesian national snack, but is a campaign for healthier lifestyles, because the shredded fish does not contain MSG. In addition, the project employs fishermen’s wives in coastal areas in South Sulawesi, which helps increase income and to reduce poverty in the area.

mirahName: Mirah Mahaswari

Age: 24

Website: https://twitter.com/bpn_menyala

Twitter: @mirahmahaswari

Project: To promote literacy rate in Indonesia and instill passion for reading, Pack Your Spirit collects children’s used-books, host community events for packaging, and coordinates their transportation to remote schools in the villages of east Borneo. It is currently working on a project to assist Balikpapan’s Public Library with community development.

Nadine_ZamiraName: Nadine Zamira

Age: 30

Website: www.leaf-plus.com

Twitter: @naynadine

Project: LeafPlus is communications agency with sustainability at the heart of their work.  LeafPlus believes that good communications is about inspiring perceptions, emotions and actions that benefit people and the planet too. LeafPlus works with government agencies, businesses, NGO’s, schools and communities to identify their sustainability objectives and translate complex concepts into creative, engaging and easily shared stories. Challenging conventional communication methods in delivering social and environmental messages, LeafPlus goes beyond advising to deliver implementation and impact.

9338d6a70a333b2dadc4e7e33096eb78Name: Nadya Saib

Age: 27

Website: www.wangsajelita.com

Twitter: @nadyasaib

Project: While Wangsa Jelita produces non-toxic, natural personal care products to address environmental issues of waste, it empowers local farmers and artisans as well. The project provides fair trade and community development, especially to women in the rose farming community in West Java, and collaborates with local artisans to create environmentally-friendly packaging.

If you are interested in helping these amazing entrepreneurs, Project Catalyst is recruiting for mentors, coaches and hosts! If you are available between June 8 and 22, please contact catalyst@jolkona.org.

Keep up with everything Jolkona by following us on Facebook and Twitter

2015-11-06 17.17.40

Support Social Entrepreneurship Around The World!

Join Jolkona in our mission to enable and accelerate social entrepreneurs from developing countries. Today we count on the generous support of the U.S. State Department in partnership with the U.S. Embassies in Jakarta, Dhaka and Kuala Lumpur. The grants we receive allow us to bring in social entrepreneurs to Seattle for three weeks, and coach them on how to get their projects off the ground or escalate them.

With your donations, we can take this program a step further. Donate to the Jolkona Catalyst program to provide funds our organization needs to design, plan and run each of our cohorts.

What your donation will accomplish
IMG_0181-2

Jolkona is currently inviting entrepreneurs from Bangladesh, Indonesia and Malaysia. Your donations will allow Jolkona to expand our program to other countries and to invite more social entrepreneurs from other parts of the world. This will increase the global impact we seek to catalyze.

Your donations can help us expand to countries like Mongolia, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Philippines as well as Cuba, Colombia, Peru, Bolivia and many more. Imagine the difference you can make across the world!


How you can donate

You can contribute with $10, $20 or whatever amount you’d like. We have a DONATE button that makes the donation process very easy via PayPal.

Light of Hope and Zero to Infinity, two Jolkona Catalyst Fall’15 organizations, signed an MOU last week to begin the ground work in which the two organizations can begin to work together.

Light of Hope is a tech-based nonprofit delivering innovative and sustainable solutions for rural schools in Bangladesh. They currently have four “digital schools” – low cost, solar run classrooms with laptops in rural parts of Bangladesh. Zero to Infinity publishes the only Bengali science magazine in Bangladesh with over 100K readers.

The groundwork for this partnership began during the two founders’ participation in our Fall’15 Jolkona Catalyst program. Abdullah al Mahmud of Zero to Infinity and Wali Bhuiyan of Light of Hope both represented Bangladesh in the fall program. Now that they have both returned to their home country, they have signed a partnership agreement. The main objective of their MOU is to make STEM education more interesting and fun among kids in Bangladesh.

The partnership includes the following highlights:

1. Light of Hope and Zero Infinity agree to publish children’s science books with examples of scientific experiments

2. Both of them have agreed to execute joint projects in schools to make science education more interesting

3. Exposure and sharing of each organization’s resources, events, and develop educational, scientific content

Because Zero to Infinity has the largest distribution system in Bangladesh for their science magazine and Light of Hope has an exclusive network of NGOs and schools, working together will help both organizations to serve their common goals: making science education popular and more interesting among future generations.

We’re excited to see the progress Light of Hope and Zero to Infinity continue to make with their new partnership!

by Kirsten Eldridge, Jolkona Volunteer

 

The Catalysts got hands-on with their business ideas this week with Ewelina Kieley, Founder of Makapen Co.  Ewelina is an entrepreneur helping startups build prototypes and MVPs with less waste and less upfront costs. She began her career in biochemistry research where she became intimately familiar with the scientific method. Next she jumped on a business opportunity and cofounded a bakery and cafe in Atlanta Georgia. Once the cafe was up and running, she moved to Seattle to continue working with early stage startups. At Makapen, she supports non-technical founders in the process of building out their web products.

Ewelina Kieley workshop

Ewelina’s workshop with the program participants was titled “Early Stage Startup in a Box: How to Validate Your Business Hypothesis with a Prototype”.  The workshop taught the entrepreneurs how to identify a business hypothesis, test the hypothesis through customer interviews and prototypes, and approach building these prototypes.

Ewelina Kieley workshopAfter introductions were made and Ewelina explained the process, the participants were challenged to define their own business hypotheses and design prototypes to test them.  The Catalysts teamed up and quickly got to work, spreading out throughout the room to sketch plans and discuss their ventures.  It was an exciting, hands-on workshop and the hard work of the participants was evident when they presented their prototypes to the group.

Ewelina Kieley workshopProject Catalyst brings high potential social entrepreneurs from emerging countries to Seattle for an intensive 3-week mentor-driven accelerator. These entrepreneurs are solving some of the most challenging societal issues in their communities. Our mentors include some of Seattle’s best startup talent who prepare these founders to scale and engage with investors at home and abroad.

Don’t forget to 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!

Be sure to like Jolkona on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!

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 Taufik Hidayat, Vice-CEO of Genteng Traditional Healthy Market.  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.

Want to follow Taufik’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?

What I do for fun outside of running my project is teaching poor students in a private vocational school in a border village at Garut City, Indonesia.

What inspired you to start this venture?

The inspiration to start the business was creating a self-business capacity for the poor local farmers by providing a place for them to sell their agricultural product and also assist them in running their business.

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

The obstacles in running the social business are that the farmers are uneducated, lack business capacity and lack business permits. That’s why farmer business up scaling was very difficult and susceptible of middleman monopolized system.  To overcome that problem, I established a private traditional market.   We provide a very cheap kiosk in the market for the poor farmer to sell their agriculture product directly in our market. We also assist the poor farmer to run their business with several programs so they can escalate their business progress.

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

I look forward to participating in the Jolkona Program so I can learn to plan my program better with the result that the program is more sustainable and gives more significant impact to the poor farmers and poor households.

GET INVOLVED!