Local eco-business promoter and entrepreneur Pak Ziaulhaq Nawawi takes the floor with Pak Panky Tri Febiyansah, Pak Bintang Dwitya Cahayono and Dr Agus Eko Nugroho from the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) looking on. Photo: P. Bradley

Ecosystem-based business development workshop a huge success

In mid May the CCRES business development team created a buzz in Benteng, Selayar, Indonesia, by hosting and facilitating a five-day interactive Ecosystem-based Business Development (EbBD) workshop. The workshop included local, regional and international guest speakers and was attended by more than 400 community members and stakeholders.

The workshop focused on three mutually reinforcing industry sector pathways: sustainable small-scale fisheries, responsible tourism, and value-added products (including small-scale home industries).

The strategy sessions focused on value creation across the supply chain; small business enterprise skills; linking ecosystem services to a strong sense of place and destination image; innovative, sustainable, ‘out-of-the-box’ ideas; and successful case studies. Participants were encouraged to participate in discussions and share different views and perspectives.

Women’s groups involved in primary processing were the focus of the value-adding workshop on the second day, which according to Associate Prof. Damien Hine, UQ Business School, was important given the role of women entrepreneurs as drivers of change processes at ‘ground level’ in coastal communities, and the potential to harness their existing cooperatives (such as the Kendedes Womens Cooperative in Benteng).

The presentations and workshops enabled the women to interact with entrepreneurs from Selayar itself, such as Muhammad Yusuf Saleh Yos and Pak Ziaulhaq Nawawi, as well as those from further afield, such as Pak I Ketut Sumayana from Bali – all of whom run successful enterprises that are also sustainable and focused on coastal ecosystems.

Each participant received a bottle of virgin coconut oil produced by Pak I Ketut Sumayana’s social enterprise, Bali Pure Home Industry.

According to Assoc. Prof. Hine, these interactions were not only designed for enhancing capacity but to connect the women with potential opportunities. “With three flights per week to Denpasar planned for later this year, we want to be part of getting local businesses ready before it happens. This is a huge opportunity for those people in Selayar who are already starting the value-added process (e.g. in fish products, coconut oil and cashews).”

Other sessions were attended by Selayar fishermen and fishermen group representatives, local government officials, village heads, community leaders, representatives from the community committee for coastal resource management, community members interested in ecotourism and the hospitality sector, along with resort, dive tour and transport operators.

A key session included the sustainable seafood exporter and founder of PT Bali Seafood International Pak Jerry Knecht, who presented on community based fisheries management and the tangible steps that can be taken towards fixing the small-scale fisheries supply chain on Selayar.

Workshop planning and development was conducted with the business development team’s partner in Indonesia – the Economic Research Centre at LIPI (the Indonesian Institute of Sciences) – led by Dr Agus Eko Nugroho. Dr Nugroho said the workshop content was fully in line with his centre’s focus on economic development in coastal areas of Indonesia. It also fitted with the Indonesian Government’s current policy direction on linking local economies and improving supply chains across the archipelago.

He said that although his centre had not worked in Selayar previously, its economic problems were fairly typical of those of the region (Sulawesi). “Selayar has extraordinary potential, but skill levels and access to capital, as well as supply chain connectivity, remain challenging.” However, he is looking forward to seeing how the business development models produced by the team can be applied in Selayar and Indonesia more broadly.

Next steps for the business development team in Selayar include monitoring uptake of a more integrated approach to small-scale fisheries management, shortening the supply chains of value-added products and promoting the role of women in artisanal fisheries. The business development team will also monitor and provide assistance, if required, with the development of the Selayar Destination Management Plan.

All participants of the workshop were invited to participate in the upcoming Eco-Biz Challenge entrepreneurship competition which will be launched island-wide at the end of July 2017.

By Anya Phelan and Paula Bradley

For more information contact Dr Anya Phelan