Bali Women Leaders Network: Celebrating Women in Sustainability

On July 15, 2023, New Energy Nexus (NEX) Indonesia, in partnership with the ClimateWorks Foundation, hosted the Bali Women Leaders Network event in Denpasar, Bali. The gathering brought together approximately 200 women leaders, startups, young individuals, industry experts, and community advocates. The purpose of this event was to facilitate discussions regarding the challenges, opportunities, and sources of inspiration required to drive Bali’s journey toward achieving climate neutrality by 2045.

The event emphasized the exceptional potential of women entrepreneurs in leading the way toward sustainability and climate action. The shared wisdom and experiences of these remarkable women served as a source of inspiration for everyone in attendance.


Furthermore, the event served as a celebration of the achievements of eight women-led startups that successfully completed the business incubation and acceleration program under the Bali Women Climate Entrepreneur Project.


Spotlight Session: Meet the women founders

One of the highlights of the event was the session titled “Meet the Women Entrepreneurs” This session featured eight remarkable women leaders based in Bali, representing various sectors in climate innovation. They shared their inspiring entrepreneurial journeys and discussed their progress through the New Energy Nexus Indonesia’s Bali Women Climate Entrepreneur initiative. The session provided valuable insights into the ups and downs of their journeys, offering meaningful lessons for fellow women entrepreneurs and aspiring innovators.


Yufi Gobel, the Founder and CEO of Chickbecik, emphasized the importance of having a mentor during the startup development process. She shared, “Having a mentor is crucial when building a startup. When I connected with the Nexus Indonesia team, I learned to refine my ideas and challenge my assumptions while understanding the realities of the market. This led to a transformation in our business approach. My message to those interested in developing a startup or innovation is to seek out a mentor. With the guidance of mentors, we can conduct more focused and measurable product testing, and make better decisions regarding every risk and opportunity.”


Lala Maelani, the CEO of Gumitri, highlighted the significance of seeking common ground and understanding the motivations behind one’s actions. She emphasized, “Find that common ground, discover the reasons why you do what you do. When you have a clear understanding of your motivations, even in the face of challenges, those reasons will reignite your passion and empower you to overcome obstacles. It is also vital to have a shared mission with your partners, ensuring that regardless of the path ahead, the commitment among colleagues remains unwavering due to the shared vision, mission, and values.”


Tasya Karissa, the Founder and Executive Director of Biorock Indonesia, shared her experience in overcoming challenges caused by having two distinct entities, a foundation and a PT. She said, “One of the difficulties I encountered was managing the administrative tasks effectively due to Biorock Indonesia’s dual structure. As a leader, I realized the importance of overseeing multiple aspects and establishing a well-organized administrative system became critical for our operational efficiency. Thanks to the guidance of mentors through the New Energy Nexus Indonesia’s Bali Women Climate Entrepreneur Project, I now have a standardized operating procedure for administration.”


Marcella Steffany, Communications and Business Development Officer at Tri Hita Consulting emphasized the importance of establishing an empowering environment for women to thrive in her careers. She stated, “Creating an enabling environment plays a vital role in our success as women professionals. Having a supportive team, mentors who believe in us, and an environment that values our contributions based on our capabilities rather than our gender are key factors that contribute to our growth and achievements.”


Inspiring change: Unleashing the power of education and community-led movement for sustainability

The education and community-based session explored our contributions to environmental sustainability. Moderated by Thilma Komaling, a tech catalyst and sustainability activist, the speakers shared inspiring initiatives:

Sukriyatun Niamah, the Founder and Marketing Director of Robries, discussed their company’s efforts in recycling waste into valuable products. Despite facing challenges as a young female leader in business, she refused to be underestimated. Sukriyatun emphasized the importance of collaborating with diverse partners, embracing different habits and mindsets. Her determination to realize her ambitious vision surpasses these obstacles. Currently, Robries has successfully partnered with over 100 individuals from diverse communities and waste collectors.


Aniek Puspawardani, the project lead for Desa Wisata Kelucung, expressed her concerns about the impact of land use changes on the livelihoods of the farming community in Kelucung Village. She highlighted the importance of creating sustainable employment opportunities, such as homestay businesses, culinary ventures, merchandise, and other tourism-supporting enterprises, to increase their income. However, this must be accompanied by training programs to develop professional skills across various professions in Desa Kelucung. Additionally, support from stakeholders is crucial to achieving self-sufficiency and empowerment for the village.


Ida Rahayu, the Creator of Seeds to Table, shared insights into her permaculture-based program that tackles waste and food production challenges. She emphasized the importance of paying attention to food labels and understanding the impact of our consumption on our health and well-being. Ida highlighted key steps we can take, such as growing our own food or supporting local farmers, minimizing packaging waste, opting for organic food, and practicing proper waste sorting. She also encouraged cooking our own meals to gain a better understanding of what we consume.


Breaking Barriers: Insights on Fundraising and Gender-Lens Investing


The insightful session on fundraising and gender-lens investing, moderated by Dini Septiani, ASEAN Regional Director of AVPN, featured an open and candid discussion between two gender-lens investors and a female founder.

Helga Tjahjadi, the CEO & Co-Founder of Burgreens & Green Rebel, shared her journey of building a successful F&B business alongside her partner, Max Mandias. She highlighted the challenges she faced during fundraising while pregnant: “Throughout our fundraising journey, I encountered discrimination from certain venture capitalists who believed that my maternity leave would impact our business milestones. However, we were fortunate to connect with angel investors and venture capitalists who were supportive of my pregnancy and played a pivotal role in our business’s growth. As a result, we secured funding prior to my maternity leave and devised plans to ensure the company’s continuity during my absence. Today, women have more allies and support to pursue their goals, but there is still progress to be made within the system for investors to fully recognize and embrace the value that female founders bring.”


Samantha Tedjosugondo highlighted the importance of acknowledging and addressing challenges in entrepreneurship: “Recognizing risks and challenges is crucial, but what matters more is having an effective mitigation strategy. We admire startup management teams that openly acknowledge and actively tackle the obstacles they encounter. Risks coexist with promising opportunities, and it’s essential for both leaders and team members to be aware of this reality.”


Atika Benedikta emphasized the significance of gender-lens investing and women’s empowerment: “Supporting and fostering an enabling environment that empowers women as stakeholders, contributors, doers, and decision-makers is crucial. The contributions and perspectives of women hold equal importance. It’s not about power competition but about empowering everyone equally.”

The Bali Women Leaders Network also invited 18 startups led by women to showcase their innovations and nurture collaborations across sectors in the clean energy and climate space and invited young people to engage in a workshop session ‘Rising Voices: Youth Power for Climate Action’ facilitated by Pratisara Bumi Foundation.

The Bali Women Leaders Network event showcased the tremendous potential of women entrepreneurs in driving sustainability and climate action. The shared wisdom and experiences of these exceptional women in the climate space. 


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