FILE PHOTO: Franka Soeria (2nd from right) with participants at a workshop for modest fashion founders during MFFFund 2019 in Jakarta. Photo supplied by #Markamarie.

Islamic Lifestyle

Indonesian modest fashion incubator extends reach beyond banks to VCs and fintechs

JAKARTA – The second cohort of businesses participating in Indonesia’s Modest Fashion Founders Fund incubator will have access to more investors beyond banks.

The Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy is once again working with industry expert Franka Soeria to incubate and facilitate access to funding for local modest fashion businesses.

“The essence of this program is incubation, they will get more than 31 syllabus on production, management, leadership, promotion, digital marketing, and financial accounting from professionals during a five-day workshop,” said Franka, who is well-known for organising modest fashion weeks including in Jakarta, Dubai and Istanbul.

The hybrid online/offline incubator program starts with a five-day creative workshop, followed by a session with local and international mentors who will advise on pitching to investors.

The cohort will then face investors on May 5. Bank Syariah Indonesia has already committed its participation.

In 2019, investments and financing for the first cohort came from six banks, including Maybank (500 million rupiah ($35,500)), BRI Syariah (75 mln rupiah), and Bank Mandiri, according to Franka.

This year the organisers will provide the modest fashion founders access to venture capital firms and fintechs as well. They have not named the VCs and fintechs.

The first MFFFund in 2019 worked with twenty brands including Dresssofia, Hannie Hananto, Meeta Fauzan, Monika Jufry, Nonns, Swimsweets, WAD Studio, and WGB.

The incubator is seeking another twenty modest fashion founders for the five-month program that culminates on July 9, said Franka. The registration period opened on Tuesday (Feb 23) and closes March 13.

Similar programs in the fashion sector typically focus on design but MFFFund develops local brands as business and economic drivers, said the CEO of #MarkaMarie fashion consultancy and online store.

“Through this activity, modest fashion designers are expected to get better knowledge in managing their creative endeavors. We want to create more modest fashion brands that are strong in business and financial terms,” said the ministry’s Director of Access to Finance, Hanifah Makarim.

A final day fashion show will be held on May 5, followed by an “online celebration” via a marketplace through May 8. The founders will continue to get access to mentors via a WhatsApp group until July 9.

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