Redefining Social Entrepreneurship The Du Anyam Way
As social entrepreneurship in Indonesia begins to gain traction during the pandemic, Du Anyam marks its 7th year as one of the most prominent sociopreneur brands in the country. Founded in 2014 by three female co-founders—Azalea Ayuningtyas, Melia Winata and Hanna Keraf—Du Anyam first began their weaving goods project at East Flores, East Nusa Tenggara— one of the poorest province with one of the highest birth mortality rate in Indonesia.
Through their observation a year prior, the three co-founders were able to highlight several critical issues, such as malnourished mothers, lack of income/cash access, low education level, lack of infrastructures, and more. Realizing that donation programs may only work temporarily in resolving the issues, Du Anyam then turned to the two most powerful resources available: the fact that the majority of the women can weave and the abundance of local natural resources.
Under the Du Anyam flag, a fusion of “Du’a” and “Menganyam” which translates to “The Weaving Mothers” in Sikka, Maumere local tongue, production soon began after a series of orientation, introduction and training was implemented. The initiative prioritized empowering young and pregnant mothers to be self-sufficient, but also gained support from all-age local women, including female farmers and senior local citizens.
Merging modern urban design in the form of unique traditional weaving is proven to be a successful strategy in answering the demand for unique corporate souvenirs, useful gift products and creative handmade items. By 2015, Du Anyam had steadily expanded to other districts in East Flores, broadened the reach to Papua in 2017 and recently to South Kalimantan in 2020. Along the way, Du Anyam has been able to recruit more women weavers while establishing various social programs from financial literacy, nutrition supplement program, scholarships, provisions of infrastructures and public facilities, to production and managerial skills training.
Today, Du Anyam has recorded a total of over 1400 women weavers across 54 villages in 3 provinces in Indonesia. It’s been able to offer exclusive Indonesian made corporate gifts with personalized logos for local businesses, while also exporting traditional handwoven products to the USA, Europe, Australia and Japan. Having gained multiple insights & experiences by active participation in international crafts events, it’s no wonder that Du Anyam was given the honor as the official merchandiser of Asian Games 2018.
Dubbed as the social entrepreneur business brand with winning stories, Du Anyam constantly returns to its three core pillars, i.e. to empower women, promote culture and improve livelihood. By focusing on the social impact which is generating income, educating the local community and the market, as well as long-term social programs, Du Anyam has been able to redefine social entrepreneurship with a sustainable model.
By building their business foundation on creating long lasting social impacts, Du Anyam has been able to find a way to promote and reward work of marginalized women through fair trade,
at the same time preserve the vanishing weaving culture. Du Anyam’s work is also heavily centralized on environment-friendly methods, using all natural materials with eco-friendly production systems and taking part in the government peatland preservation project.
In its stride, Du Anyam maintains to uphold their business pillars and use social impacts as the benchmarks of business success. The three female founders believe that the work is far from done as more initiatives for female empowerment are currently being geared up. The goal remains from day one: to deliver benefits that empower the lives of women in rural and hidden villages all across Indonesia.