Indonesian Female Founders: We Are Here

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By Aulia Halimatussadiah (Co-Founder & CTO, NulisBuku)

If you asked where are all the female founders in Indonesia, well, they’re not far. They’re already around, but they’re yet to start a startup.

The potential is there. Indonesia is a country of 250 million people and 30 million of them are already connected to the Internet. Indonesia has the second largest population on Facebook, after the US. Indonesian women are highly active on social media channels to interact and make new friends. And they have good ideas about how to use social media and technology.

But very few decide to build a tech startup. I personally think that most women find technology very complicated. It’s not a fun thing to do. But from my experience speaking at technology events around Indonesia, once women know what technology is capable of, they’re eager to learn and find out more how to maximize the potential.

At Indonesia’s Regional Entrepreneurship Summit 2011 we concluded that Indonesian women need role models to inspire them to take the next step to start a business. How do we do this? By promoting women startup founders. Where can you find them? At networking events like #StartupLokal.

#StartupLokal community (@startuplokal) is the biggest digital startup community in Indonesia. It gathers startup founders, digital/tech world enthusiasts, investors and media to meet and find a chance to collaborate. This community started since April 2010 and has been growing exponentially.

#StartupLokal was initiated by Aulia Halimatussadiah (Ollie @salsabeela), Natali Ardianto (@nataliardianto), and Nuniek Tirta (@nuniek). The organizers have great reputations as founder and owners of famous startups in Indonesia.

An average of 200-335 people participated on #StartupLokal Meetup and it keeps growing. The topics of the meetup varies from communication, branding, public relation, investment, and all the topics that have connection to startup scene. We’re focusing on business topics of startup.

At #StartupLokal meetup v17, we focused on women entrepreneurs. It was attended by more women than any prior event. The room was packed with new faces curious on how to start a tech company.

We invited 6 female founders to pitch and share their startup idea. We also invited successful women in Indonesia’s IT world, like Bubu.com’s Shinta Dhanuwardoyo (@shintabubu), Think.Web’s Anantya van Bronckhorst (@ anantya) and 7Langit’s Titi Rusdi (@ TitiRusdi) to share their startup story, and teach women that they can start their own company, even without a deep technical background.

Shaherose Charania (@shaherose) from Women 2.0 and Founder Labs in the US also joined the discussion. Shaherose said that women are more capital efficient — women only spend 1/3 of capital investment in the same period than men. Thus we can conclude that women can make a sustainable business. This is of course a nudge for women to start action on their ideas.

In terms of starting up and facing challenges in their startup, all speakers agreed that passion is the drive from within that would keep the flame. If you want to start a startup, all you need is to find that passion and take risk to start. Always think big, start small, act now. Let’s startup!

Editor’s note: Got a question for our guest blogger? Leave a message in the comments below.

About the guest blogger: Aulia Halimatussadiah (Ollie) is writer of 20 books varied from fiction, how-to and business books. Her passion in books & writing brought her to be the co-founder and CTO of NulisBuku, the first online self publishing company in Indonesia. She’s currently active organizing community events as one of #StartupLokal initiators. Follow her on Twitter at @salsabeela.