Rumah Tenunkoe

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Rumah Tenunkoe: Weaving Women Welfare

Kupang, IndonesiaKupang, Indonesia
Year Founded:
Organization type: 
Project Stage:
$100,000 - $250,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Tenunkoe is a movement to empower the women weavers of East Nusa Tenggara by upgrading them from weavers to women entrepreneurs by establishing a cooperative that is owned together by the weavers, provide capacity building needed to enhance their skills, and provide a marketing platform.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if you could upgrade the weaving craftswomen from just labours to social enterprise owners?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Poverty is one of the main supporting factor that promotes exploitation of workers, including in East Nusa Tenggara, one of the poorest Province in Indonesia. Weaving is one of the biggest potentials that the women of East Nusa Tenggara have. Unfortunately, most fashion industries which use woven fabric often placed them to be weaving labors instead of a business to business partnership.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

We are trying to overcome the problems of poverty, as well as to avoid unfair relationship with major industries by establishing an entrepreneurship infrastructure for the women weavers so that they can obtain a sustainable income. The 3 main elements of the solution are: 1) Capacity building on business management skills, product quality and product innovation, 2) Establishing a social enterprise in the form of a cooperative owned together by all of the members, 3) Marketing infrastructure through e-commerce system and crowdsourcing platform to encourage public participation. We also form several tailor groups to support the weavers in making innovative woven based products.


Tenunkoe has been selected as one of the innovative program grantee from the DFAT (Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade) Australia through the MAMPU Program
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

One of Tenunkoe member, Mama Marta, used to do the weaving by herself and then sell the fabric door to door. There's no guarantee that her fabric would be bought in any given time. After joining Tenunkoe, Mama Marta now knows how to produce higher quality woven fabric as well as how to manage her financials and being a member of a cooperative. Now she also has an access to broader market via the cooperative's e-commoerce system. By engaging in the program, she now has started to gain sustainable and regular income. She now also has additional budget for her children’s tuition fee.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

Since the start of the program (January 2015) until today (November 2015), there are 90 weavers and 30 seamstresses, all of which are women, scattered in villages in Kupang City and District – East Nusa Tenggara who have joined to be members of the cooperative and engaged in the program. The weavers and tailors are now able to produce products of sufficient quality. They are now also able to calculate the production cost price and the selling price, so that their work can be rewarded fairly. We managed to gather 20 product designers who voluntarily participate in our event “Tenun Jam” which produced several product designs. Those designs are now being produced by both the weavers and the seamstresses. The number of weavers and seamstresses are likely to increase due to the increasing interest from other weavers and tailors to join the cooperative.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

Tenunkoe is looking to expand the cooperative membership by double the current number. We currently have already established a strong relationship with the local government in order to build a solid ground for further expansion of coverage area. We are planning to have the program replicated/expand in at least 3 other Districts in East Nusa Tenggara. We are planning to collaborate with at least 5 more brands/designers in fashion or home living products. We are also planning to establish agreements with at least 5 more marketplaces to expand the marketing channel.

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

For financial sustainability, we rely on 2 main sources: 1) The private sector: cooperating with private entities such as banks (national and local banks) to provide capital support in the form of Grant/CSR/venture capital, 2) The public: through various donation activities and through the sales of our high quality and updated woven products (thanks to the young designers supporting our movement)

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

There are very few organizations running similar program, especially in East Nusa Tenggara Province involving traditional weaving. One of our major element that differs us from similar programs is the crowdsourcing activity where we encourage the public to be involved not just by donating or purchasing our product, but also by submitting product design ideas. We actually inviting the public to be part of the production process, especially in the product design phase.

Founding Story

Indrasti Maria Agustiana is a women empowerment activist with experiences in various programs since 1988, she is the initiator of Tenunkoe. She is the founder of Yayasan Satu Karsa Karya and has served as Indonesian Advisor for Global Fund for Women. Mrs. Agustiana often travels to Eastern Indonesia, including to East Nusa Tenggara (ENT). She understood well the conditions of women in ENT, they are victims of gender inequality with low education, poor health and nutritions. Seeing most of the women in ENT possess weaving skills, makes her ponders: “How can we help the poor women in remote areas to have a stable income while preserving the ENT woven heritage?”


The team involved in Tenunkoe are: Indrasti Maria Agustiana, Leader; Andreas Priyo Adianto, Brand Representative, Media and Communication Advisor; Fransiska Vena, Business Manager; Okto Delfis, Marketing & Sales Officer; Rita Pamela, Finance; Yuliana, Community Development Officer; Asnat Bano-Tiran, Chair of Rumah Tenunkoe Cooperative; Katerina Nepa Rasi, Head of Oversight Committee
Value Chain: Where does your work fit into the apparel value chain? [check all that apply]

Raw Materials, Manufacturing.

Your Role: What is your relationship to the apparel industry? [check all that apply]

Designer, Supplier - subcontractor.

Target Population: What stakeholder groups do you engage or empower in your work? [check all that apply]

Supplier - contractor, Supplier - subcontractor, Technologists, Women, Youth.

● Intervention Focus: What are you trying to achieve / influence? [check all that apply]

Access to Finance, Conscious Consumerism, Gender Equality.

Lever for Change: Select up to 3 ways your work is helping to transform the industry.

Capacity Building, Organizing.

Is your project targeted at solving any of the following key barriers?

A Job is Not Enough: Low-Income Workers Cannot Secure Long-Term Well-Being.

Does your project utilize any of the innovative design principles below?

Disrupt Business as Usual: Target Key Players Who Can Influence the Bottom Line, Transform the Chain into a Web: Link Unlikely Sectors that Open New Pathways to Sustainability.

Innovation Inspiration: When you first conceived of your project, did you think of it as applicable to the apparel industry?


If you answered "no" to the previous question, which industry was your project originally aimed at transforming?

Community development, Fair Trade, Poverty alleviation.

● Replicating in the Apparel Industry: If your project didn't initially target the apparel industry, how are you specifically tailoring it to do so now?

We are adapting the quality based on the standards of the apparel industry, but with a more consensus-based pricing approach

Are you nurturing or inspiring others to be changemakers? If so, how?

We documented and disseminated all of our activities with the intention that the program could be replicated in various areas

● Tell us about the partnerships that enhance your approach. How have you collaborated with others in the industry to increase your impact?

We have collaborated with several local fashion designers and labels, and also several marketplaces