Dissa Syakina AhdanisaFounder, Fingertalk Enterprise
Inspired by a volunteering trip to Latin America where she dined at a café staffed entirely by Deaf individuals, Dissa founded Fingertalk Enterprise to connect hearing and Deaf people in her home country of Indonesia and reduce unemployment among the country’s Deaf youth. After learning sign language, Dissa recruited a team of both Deaf and hearing individuals to launch the Fingertalk Café, a cozy, comfortable space where everyone in the community can connect and share a meal—regardless of how they communicate. Building on the café’s success, Dissa and her team expanded their social enterprise to include a handicraft market, a car wash and a bakery each providing meaningful jobs to unemployed Deaf youth. Through Fingertalk, local business owners are beginning to shift their perspectives on what Deaf individuals are capable of achieving. The venture is currently working with youth with disability in rural areas of Indonesia and Botswana, to create local community hubs providing employment opportunities for people with disability. Currently, Fingertalk Enterprises employs 30 Deaf individuals and has impacted more than 1000 local women and young people through its vocational training and workshop sessions. Dissa is currently pursuing her PhD, learning more about disability rights in Indonesia and was recently selected as one of the 18 Obama Leaders from Indonesia.