The Success Stories of West Papua Indigenous Entrepreneurs

Joas Saflembolo, SH Is One of the West Papua Indigenous Entrepreneurs

One of the primary keys to success in developing a business is the ability to recognize opportunities.

Little is known; Papua has numerous entrepreneurs who have contributed to the region’s development. Despite their challenges, they built a successful business and made a meaningful contribution to the local community. Here are some successful Papuan and West Papua indigenous entrepreneurs and their stories:

Joas Saflembolo, SH

Joas Saflembolo, SH Is One of the West Papua Indigenous Entrepreneurs

The first Indigenous Entrepreneur was Joas Saflembolo, SH. Joas Saflembolo, SH is a businessman from South Sorong, West Papua, who has successfully developed a furniture business in his area. So far, the furniture business that Joas Saflembolo runs has five experts and professionals in furniture.

Not many similar businesses have opened in the South Sorong area, making Joas Saflembolo see this business opportunity as a promising business. Until 2021 alone, there were only two furniture businesses like his in the Teminabuan District, South Sorong. 

This business has been running for approximately four years, and Joas Saflembolo has made many furniture orders to date. Furthermore, seeing that the market opportunity is still quite ample, Joas Saflembolo said that he would create several branches in several areas in West Papua.

Bahlil Lahadalia

Bahlil Lahadalia is a well-known West Papua Indigenous Entrepreneur

From nobody to somebody, that’s the proper expression for Bahlil Lahadalia. A West Papua entrepreneur who now is serving as Indonesia’s Minister of Investment. What is the story of Bahlil Lahadalia?

Bahlil Lahadalia did not come from a very prosperous household. During his adolescence and boyhood, he had a lot of trouble making ends meet. In order to provide for himself, he started selling cakes and got a job driving public transit. 

His struggle to become an entrepreneur began when Bahlil Lahadalia decided that opening a business could be a way to change his life. Using his savings gained after working as an IT consultant for one year, Bahlil Lahadalia opened his first business as a timber trader. 

His first business failed, but in 2000, Bahlil Lahadalia revived. Slowly, under the banner of PT Rifa Capital, Bahlil Lahadalia’s business continues to soar to this day.

The holding company currently has at least ten subsidiaries spread across various sectors, from mining to construction. In Papua, his company is involved in the construction of the 300 km Trans Papua road and the passenger and container port project in Fakfak.

Jimmy Affar

Jimmy Affar is a West Papua Indigenous Entrepreneur in the Batik Industry

Jimmy Affar is a Papuan designer who has successfully established indigenous entrepreneurship, specifically local textiles. In short, this Papuan batik business came from Jimmy Affar’s love for typical motifs from the Papuan interior tribes, often etched on stone, wood, and leather.

In 2007, Jimmy Affar began to seriously explore the world of batik by studying things related to batik in depth. The knowledge he got was then he gave to housewives who would help him make batik cloth.

Yes, in the batik process, Jimmy Affar utilizes housewives. Jimmy wants to assist housewives in spending their free time productively and share some money with them. 

Due to his hard work, Jimmy Affar attracted buyers from various countries worldwide.

Augustine Raquela

Get to know the figure of entrepreneur Augustine Raquela

Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) have a significant role in national economic development. Apart from being a driver of economic growth, MSMEs also play a role as a place of employment.

Those two functions of MSMEs can be seen in Augustin Raquela’s chocolate bar business. Utilizing cocoa, one of the commodities growing in Papua, Augustin Raquela created a premium chocolate bar business. 

The use of local cocoa as a raw material, of course, indirectly impacts the local community’s economy. Next, not to mention the workforce that employs local individuals, which affects the regional economy.

With her experience and expertise, Augustin Raquela has successfully sold her chocolate bar products to the islands of Java and Bali. Now she is one of the successful indigenous entrepreneurs from Papua.

To summarize, some West Papua indigenous entrepreneurs have successfully developed their businesses and the community in their area. Born in Papua, they have succeeded in developing their homeland through the business they have built.