Mojokerto, located in the province of East Java, is the smallest city (in terms of area) in Indonesia. However, the city’s economy continues growing following the hard work of its city leader, Mayor Ika Puspitasari. Officially inaugurated in 2018 to lead the city for five years, Mayor Ika decided to focus on the development of creative economy through Small, and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) as well as local tourism.

Developing Creative Economy through SMEs

Mayor Ika has consistently encouraged SMEs to flourish by organising various training and entrepreneurial incubation programmes. She started the initiative in 2019 and with the COVID-19 pandemic hitting the economy of local people, she has doubled the effort and increase the number of business trainings. In 2021, Mojokerto City targets to reach out 350 people and 6,000 participants from 300 SMEs to receive the trainings. Result of the initiative can be seen in the increasing number of local products entering modern market such as in culinary, craft or souvenirs. SMEs are empowered to improve their quality so that they can compete with high-quality products from other regions.

Developing Local Tourism

Her goal is to develop local marine tourism with Majapahit (once a great Javanese Hindu empire in Southeast Asia) style. This Majapahit marine tourism will allow visitors to travel back time to Majapahit era by enjoying cultural park, Monument of Gajah Mada (the powerful military leader), Monument of Tribhuwana Tunggadewi (queen of Majapahit), nautical ship, camping ground, boat tour with piers and shelters designed with Majapahit style.

To realise this, Mayor Ika put visitors’ comfort on priority. She starts with rivers cleaning up programme to prevent flooding. She has also established an integrated drainage system, made infiltration wells, procured and improved facilities and infrastructure such as the pumps, pump houses, portable pumps, excavators, and trucks. Clean River Programme (Program Kali Bersih/Prokasih) is also implemented to reduce the volume of waste in the river with installation of CCTV to monitor water discharge and act against perpetrators who litter in rivers.

Other effort to develop local tourism is in line with her local economy development focus: encouraging the creation of new economic centre along the tourism areas. City government under the leadership of Mayor Ika has provided full assistance programme for local SMEs to produce high-quality products and market them on outlets owned by the local government.