EcoBiz finalist Nur Hikmah (A Phelan)

Eco-Biz finalists impress with strong start

Only three months after the finalists of the Selayar Eco-Biz Challenge were announced, CCRES business development team member Dr Anna Phelan is already impressed by the progress they’ve made.

Anna, who is from The University of Queensland and a Research Fellow with CCRES, was thrilled to meet up with the three finalists.

She said Muhammad Taufik has set up small aquaculture business focusing on floating grouper and lobster grow-out cages. He is also propagating mangrove seeds in collaboration with another Eco-Biz finalist Nur Hikmah. Nur has developed a small eco-tourism business called One Mangrove One Student.

“Her business is focused on conservation of mangroves, awareness and educational tourism for local school children and tourists, which she’s hoping to expand to school groups from all around the region,” Anna said.

The third finalist Dita Azzahrah has opened a small gallery in town which is focused on products, including handicrafts, made from plastic waste. Anna said the products included bags and small tables, made from recycled tyres.

“Dita is hoping to create a café next door in order to make it more of a destination, a local hangout place,” Anna said.

“And she’s also developing an online business for products that are made from plastic waste. She has an existing online shoe business and she is thinking of pivoting off to that with this new product line, but that’s still in its early planning stages.”

Anna said a highlight of the trip was visiting Gusung Lengu village on Pasi Gusung off Selayar.

Eco-Biz finalist Nur Hikmah took them on a boat tour of the mangrove forest, the team then planted mangroves in a nursery with the local villagers.

“I’m impressed to see how Nur has engaged the local villagers to look after the mangrove trees and she’s collaborated with them to find host family and set up homestays, so that her student groups can stay overnight,” Anna said.

“She’s got a vision to develop a local restaurant too, which tourists will be able to visit as part of the mangrove tours.

“It’s very inspiring. They three finalists are doing really well.”

Anna will do another follow up with the finalists in July.

For more information, contact Dr Anna Phelan