Revealing the potential of digital marketing in Dolly

The first in a series of webinars on e-commerce shows the opportunities for small businesses in Surabaya to scale up by reaching new online audiences

Digital marketing can prove a key advantage for traditional small businesses, as they look to expand their clientele and scale up their enterprise. During the Covid-19 uncertainty, when social distancing has greatly restricted footfall, businesses are especially open to trialling different channels such as e-commerce that will reach out to new customers.   

This insight was at the heart of a new webinar series held in collaboration between the Government of Surabaya and the UK Prosperity Fund’s Global Future Cities Programme of South East Asia. The virtual sessions aim to highlight the opportunities of digital marketing for local MSMEs (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises), as part of the regeneration of the Putat Jaya area (known as ‘Dolly’) into a liveable, vibrant and sustainable neighbourhood.

The Surabaya Urban Transformation project is working to promote economic growth in the old red light district of the city through urban planning and community engagement, which includes initiatives for scaling up MSMEs, the majority of which operate in three main sectors: batik, footwear, and food and beverages. Local engagement and industry analysis revealed there is still limited usage of digital marketing and e-commerce solutions.

Blueprint for change

The intervention successfully held the first session of webinars on 15 December 2020, focusing on the topic of Digital Marketing and Kampung Business for the communities of Dolly and other kampungs around Surabaya. The session was participated by local stakeholders and members of the diverse communities, totalling 246 participants, with talks delivered by industry experts and successful MSME entrepreneurs. The panel discussion was well-received during the session with proactive involvement from the audience.

“We’re delighted with the success of the first session – and also that there will be more sessions in the months to come,” said Retno Hastijanti (Deputy team lead). “These webinars are more than capacity building activities and events. They are a way to create a culture of innovation around the Kampungs, as well as to strengthen and expand the network and communication with local stakeholders. The example of Dolly can be used as a blueprint for change, elsewhere in the city.”

This story was written by Shaendy Widyaswara, Assistant Project Manager for Global Future Cities for South East Asia, Surabaya, Indonesia


Mott MacDonald (MM)


Republic of Indonesia




Capacity-Building and Market Maturity

Data Systems