ASEAN Foundation through its flagship ASEAN Farmers’ Organisation Support Programme (AFOSP) contributed to the strengthening of ASEAN young entrepreneurs by conducting “Validating Your Business Idea” workshop during the ASEAN Youth Expo 2018 which was held on 3 May 2018 in Grand Sahid Jaya Hotel, Jakarta. ASEAN Youth Expo 2018 was presented by ASEAN and The Ministry of Youth and Sports (Kementerian Pemuda dan Olahraga) Republic of Indonesia, and organized by Youthful Social.
The workshop is part of a bigger agenda to proliferate youth entrepreneurs who care about environmental issues. The workshop about validating business ideas aims to train young entrepreneurs to generate business ideas based on current issues, then validate the idea so it could tackle the global issues. This workshop facilitates youth in ASEAN to strengthen the collaboration amongst them. It also supports the young entrepreneurs in ASEAN to involve in the global participation.
Led by Project Manager of AFOSP Yacinta Esti W, the workshop was attended by more than 20 young entrepreneurs from Indonesia, Singapore, Brunei Darussalam, the Philippine, Thailand, and Japan. The workshop was started with an explanation about how to generate ideas for entrepreneurship endeavor. Yacinta presented real case about how to see business opportunity from the trend and current issues. She emphasizes the importance of triangulation. She said:
“Never trust on one source. You have to triangulate. You have to have confirmation. How to triangulate? Listen and ask. By listen(ing), you will receive information. By questioning, you will confirm whether your idea is valid or not.”
Once the entrepreneur have the business idea, they need to validate the idea. Determining the objective of the business and doing SWOT or PESTEL analysis are two necessary processes to be done in validating business idea. Java Fresh, Sarjana Tani Jaya (STJ) Farm and Ur Farm are perfect examples of how validating business ideas can be very effective in growing a business.
After the presentation, participants were divided into three groups to simulate the process of generating and validating business idea. These interactive process gave the opportunities for the participants to know each others’ businesses and expand their networking. In this session, they learned to collaborate and generate one business idea, and ensure that the idea was coming from a real issue by using SWOT analysis and actor mapping. After the group work, they were required to pitch their business ideas under three minutes restriction to Yacinta who acted as the potential donor for their business ideas. In this role playing session, the participants learned how to attract potential investors in any kind of situation.
The workshop also put emphasis on the importance of knowing the organisation profile of the potential investors. It is essential to find the similarities with the potential investors in order to know how the investors’ organisation could fit with your organisations. At the end of the workshop, it was mentioned the importance of small gestures that can leave an impression to a prospective partners, which could lead to a business partnership or collaboration.