Hivos Residency Fellows Moloka and SiMaggie share start-up food business experiences

January 5, 2018

Hivos Residency Fellows, Moloka and SiMaggie, were invited to speak at ‘Impact Night November’ hosted by PLUS (Platform Usaha Sosial) and Jakarta Social Entrepreneurs at Impact Hub Jakarta. The event itself is part of a regular series aimed at strengthening the social entrepreneurship ecosystem through learning and networking sessions on various business topics. In line with November’s theme “Innovating Sustainable Food Business”, representatives of three unique food businesses – Moloka, SiMaggie and SayurBox – appeared as panelists to share their experiences.

Moderated by Hivos Southeast Asia’s Queentries Regar, the three speakers shared their insights about how to connect with local farmers, build and expand a socially conscious market and sustain the growth of their businesses whilst considering social impact. Moloka, for example, told how it partnered with local goat farmers after its own goat farm had to close in order to continue making healthy dairy and skincare products from goat’s milk. Moloka also shared its marketing strategy of using online platforms combined with offline paid workshops and classes. SiMaggie shared lessons learnt in dealing with market penetration challenges for a new, unusual product: animal feed made from maggots. SiMaggie spent time approaching smallholder farmers door-to-door to explain and promote it. Now the demand for SiMaggie’s animal feed is gradually growing, as is product improvement, which is essential to boost business growth. 

The audience was a mix of motivated new social entrepreneurs who are interested in entering the sustainable food field and students studying the field. Throughout the evening, the audience was allowed to ask specific questions related to their own ventures, making for many rich and insightful discussions. One of the results of the networking session that followed was a potential business partnership between Moloka and SayurBox, a platform where customers can order produce straight from farmers.

Our Fellows’ presence at this event marks the second month of the Hivos Residency program that nurtures social entrepreneurs with networking opportunities, access to a coworking space, events and training. In the past weeks, Hivos Southeast Asia and Impact Hub Jakarta have trained Moloka and SiMaggie in using tools to revise business models and measure growth and impact and have linked them up with relevant potential business partners based on mutual needs. It is hoped that by the end of program, the Fellows will have a full-fledged business strategy to turn their initiatives into long-term sustainable ventures.