Team Eco-Clean after winning the first prize for Coop Pitch Competition

Q1. Congratulations on winning the Coop Pitch 2021! How was your experience of participating in the competition?

Winning the first prize was something that we had never imagined! This was the first time that we won a business competition. We had a rich experience and learnt a lot through Coop Pitch competition, especially from our mentors during the dedicated mentoring sessions. We got a professional understanding of financial planning and marketing strategy from expert practitioners. Even during the live pitch presentations, the inputs shared by the judges were really helpful and the whole experience boosted our confidence to progress on this path.

Team Eco-Clean Pitching Live during Coop Pitch 2021

Q2. Please share your prize-winning pitch with our readers! How do you plan to implement the cooperative business?

Our cooperative business idea is to establish a digital platform cooperative, Eco-Clean, for cleaning-services workers which will be self-governed by the workers democratically. By relying on cooperative partners and communities of equal value, Eco-Clean aims to establish a sustainable and inclusive business environment. In addition, the members envision eco-friendly training to shape the workers’ understanding of waste management and environmental issues they would cause during their business operations. We hope to create a better place and culture (perceptions, behavior, working conditions and treatment) for the workers who are mostly housewives or workers with minimal education. Our target is to reach out to big cities where the demand for cleaning services is increasing. With the prize money of USD 3,000, we plan to undertake legal and marketing research, build the community, get certification for the cleaning workers, and create brand awareness. In Indonesia, there are many businesses like ours so the most important thing for us is to build a brand and create awareness so that we can create our space in the market.

Q3. APCYS 3.0 celebrated Youth as Torchbearers of the Cooperative Identity, how do you see your cooperative business idea catering to the needs and aspirations of the youth and community in your country?

To understand the needs and aspirations of the youth in our community, we did primary research to validate our problem statement and proposed solutions by interviewing people. With this research, we got key insights about the on-ground problems and the kind of solutions needed to mitigate them.

How do you see this Youth Summit as a platform to initiate conversations around building youth- led sustainable cooperatives?

We believe that in our country, we rarely talk about cooperative values and principles.There is this stereotype that cooperatives are only financial businesses that engage in lending money. So, people don’t get to understand and are not completely aware of the cooperative values and the system. The Youth Summit can be a great platform to reintroduce cooperatives, especially to the younger generations. The Summit gives students and youth like us the space to learn by competing and rethinking the forms of business models. The youth leaders and entrepreneurs definitely need to know this! Fast penetration of information is possible with such conversations around cooperatives that we had during the Summit.It gave us not only the local or national experience but also the international experience. Today, we learnt and shared our experiences, in future, we might come together and collaborate for cooperative developmet.