Meet Larasati Widyaputri, Founder & CEO of Ecodoe!

Author

Faye Goh Faye Goh

Date

November 14, 2019

Co-Authors: Sangeetha Watson & Neha Goyal

4 min read

Ecodoe provides a platform for Indonesian creators to access the fast-growing souvenir market. She shares her journey and how conversations with widowed women living at the BoP led her to set up an e-commerce platform that has helped to grow their incomes & many others by over 600%.

What were you doing before you started Ecodoe?

Some years ago, Yogyakarta suffered a massive earthquake and I had the opportunity to meet with some local women craftsmen. They had lost their husbands due to the disaster and were struggling to support their families. The women told me how they struggled to find consistent buyers for their craft products. It was at this point that the idea of a platform to grow market access first entered my head. I started to build businesses around this idea. One of these was to sell souvenirs made by local creators to college students. However, this model was not sustainable as students obviously wouldn’t repeatedly spend money to buy souvenirs. So I tried to bring in other evergreen products and expand my clientele beyond students. Ecodoe was born from this.

That’s amazing! Who inspires you and what keeps you going?

What keeps me going are the creators. Their livelihoods depend on Ecodoe and many of them are now able to afford better education for their children. This awareness has motivated us to provide non-monetary support through workforce development and youth education for their children. We also collaborate with local companies with CSR activities, so that the creators can expand their production capacity.

What have you learnt from this journey?

At every stage of growth, my team and I have had to master different skills. At the angel stages, I learned how to look for a partner in leadership. At the scale-up stage, I learned to build a winning team by delegating responsibilities amidst the chaos. This meant that I could focus on developing a sustainable business strategy and maintain a holistic perspective of the business instead of being overwhelmed by the details. Now, our main challenge is in managing the creators and ensuring good governance in our supply chain.

In light of that, how do you plan to scale the operations of your organisation? How is this important in deepening your impact?

We would like to conduct educational programmes on financial literacy and standard operating procedures for our creators to improve their business governance structures. We are also looking to improve our supply chain management and bring new creators on-board so that more have access to the market and enjoy higher incomes.

I personally believe that shared-economy is the economy of the future – where every creator has access to the market, and every client is satisfied with every product purchased. I hope that more partners can join us in this movement and support us with capital funding to provide training in technology skills and operations management.

Look through Ecodoe’s Deal Page and reach out if you wish to explore how you can collaborate to further their cause!


About Author
Faye Goh
Faye Goh Senior Product Associate, Capital Mobilisation AVPN

Faye is a Deal Share Senior Associate at AVPN. She works closely with the team to bridge the gap between AVPN members and Social Purpose Organisation by ensuring effective deployment of financial, intellectual and human capital to grow and scale impactful solutions through unlocking strategic collaboration opportunities.

Faye joins AVPN shortly after completing a Bachelor's Degree in Management from the London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE). Heavy involvement in pro bono work with various social development organisations throughout her time at university was key in steering her interests toward the sphere of sustainable development. A number of these projects gave her the opportunity of working with NGOs based in a wide range of lower-income countries such as Malawi, Honduras, Kenya and Thailand, where she worked towards solving issues faced by organisations operating within the financial inclusion/accessibility and renewable energy spaces. Through such work, she developed a keen interest in further exploring developmental models that ultimately serve to eliminate root causes and structural conditions that result in persisting issues such as social exclusion and climate change.

At AVPN, she is excited to work closely with the social sector to propel Social Purpose Organisations who embody such models and solutions to scale and spread their impact.

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