Empowering Women Through Culinary Entrepreneurship

Incitement is the implementing agency for the Volunteering International Professionals (VIP) Fellowship Programme 2017, a National Blue Ocean Strategy (NBOS) project monitored and overseen by the National Strategy Unit (NSU) of the Malaysian Ministry of Finance. More information about this collaboration between Incitement and the Malaysian Ministry of Finance can be found here.

The VIP Fellowship programme took place from August 19th till December 17th 2017. During these 4 months, a total of 10 social impact projects were implemented with the help of 50 international professional volunteers, touching the lives of 12,840 beneficiaries.

This is Impact Project 9: Mother Lombok
This project set up a sustainable business for the mothers of Lombok, enabling them to produce and sell their own homegrown food.

Project location: Priwara Village, North Lombok (Indonesia)
Host organisation: Klub Baca Perempuan
Impact area: Women Empowerment
Website:  facebook.com/Klub-Baca-Perempuan-1421591364804170facebook.com/MotherLombok-593745417681996


Key project outcomes

  • 28 women joined forces as ‘Mother Lombok’, enabling them to financially support their families
  • 2 new products were created and positioned in the local market
  • 1 training centre was creted
  • 3 women started their own business after their experience with Mother Lombok
  • 1 partnership was established

Mother Lombok’s mission is to empower women through culinary arts and entrepreneurial skills training. The women, 22 mothers from Prawira village in North Lombok, then use these skills to develop products from raw material, so they will be able to generate a higher income and create a better livelihood for themselves.

With the professional help of the VIP Fellows, the Host organisation aimed to solve the following key issues for the mothers of North Lombok:

  • Women in North Lombok generally have a very low income, which is often not sustainable.
  • The community has very limited knowledge on proper food processing and the marketing of homegrown food.
  • Women in North Lombok mostly still depend on their husbands for income.

With the help of the Fellows, the mothers of Lombok set up their own business of selling products made from homegrown food and established distribution channels to sell them, uplifting their livelihoods while promoting culinary tourism in the region.


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The mothers of Prawira begin their day like most other mothers, preparing breakfast for their families, looking after the household, sending their children to school, and their husbands off to work. Once their families are out and about, these women then take on the role of entrepreneurs, the role of Mother Lombok.

Mother Lombok is a group of 22 women between 20 and 70 years of age, who gather together to run their joint business selling homegrown food. They spent fifteen hours a week for eight weeks with the VIP 2017 Fellows who equipped them with the knowledge and skills of culinary art and business management.

With the help of the professional Fellows, these women learned everything from making new food products, to packaging, to accounting, to managing the business and to handling partnerships. The project transformed housewives to women believing in themselves, to entrepreneurs capable of earning an income, to mothers providing for their families, to individuals contributing to their community.

These mothers developed themselves to become more than housewives, as they rediscovered themselves and felt empowered to go after their ambitions. In doing so, they grew in confidence and gained a greater belief in what they were capable of. They dreamt big and put in the hard work to make their dreams a reality. At the same time, Mother Lombok was also a place of sisterhood for these mothers, where the women look forward to connecting with each other and sharing their abilities to build something together. They had a great time being united and felt that they were inspirations to each other.

In growing the business, these women were able to earn an income which they then used to better the lives of their families. It challenged the conventional household in North Lombok, where the women are dependent on their husbands as the breadwinner. Most of the time, the families struggled because the income of their husbands were uncertain due to the nature of their work. With the mothers bringing in some extra money, it eased the pressure off their husbands. This allowed the women to look after themselves and provide a better life for their children.

The mothers of Lombok paved the way not just for themselves, but to advance Prawira village and the entire North Lombok economy.

VIP 2017 - Mother Lombok

The impact did not stop there; throughout the VIP 2017 Programme, a multiplier effect that has impacted the whole community was evident. The environment of the Prawira community has changed with 22 growing families in the Prawira village. The project has transformed the village into a beaming community with a great support system for Mother Lombok, and the villagers are now inspired to be more entrepreneurial themselves. Mother Lombok played a part in supporting the local economy by buying produce from local farmers and local wet markets. This significantly boosted the local economy of Prawira village and it’s district in North Lombok.

The women used to sell raw food that had a short shelf-life, were low-cost and only attracted local customers. But with the help of the VIP 2017 Fellows, these women developed two new products from jackfruit alone, namely vegetarian oss and jerky. With unique products, Mother Lombok is on its way to culinary tourism where they can offer higher value products with a longer expiration date to tourists and help them capture an international market.

The VIP Fellows worked with these women to develop a sustainable business plan, one where the women are confident in pursuing greater success even after the Fellows leave. The mothers of Lombok paved the way not just for themselves, but to advance Prawira village and the entire North Lombok economy. The women are looking to grow in numbers and in sales, empowering more women to seize the brighter future they are all capable of achieving.

The mothers of Lombok reshaped the role models that they are to their children, being an example of goals that can be accomplished.

VIP 2017 - Mother Lombok

Mother Lombok created significant impact not just on the lives of these women, but also on their families. They broke barriers not just in new ways of processing food, but even more so in being successful entrepreneurs, of which had a larger impact of advancing the whole community of the Prawira village.

Mother Lombok’s accomplishments, with the help of the VIP 2017 Fellows, went beyond impacting the lives of 22 women in the Prawira village. These mothers gained the priceless happiness of self-fulfilment, a happiness that they literally took home with them. The husbands of these women shared the joy in seeing their wives make something of themselves, and were incredibly supportive of their wives’ endeavours. On many occasions, the husbands helped with manpower and labour where they could. This family support improved their relationship, especially with their children.

The mothers of Lombok reshaped the role models that they are to their children, being an example of goals that can be accomplished. The project improved their financial literacy, basic computing skills and culinary knowledge that the women brought home and shared with their families. The idea that education starts at home with the parents and children, leaves the future generation with greater hopes and aspirations and better off in their quality of life.

VIP 2017 - Mother Lombok

Learn more about the VIP 2017 Fellowship Programme: VIP.org.my