Jakarta — First Lady Iriana Joko Widodo reminded the owners of micro, small and medium enterprises (UMKM) increase their creativity in the current era of global competition. “In this era of global competition, the owners of smart and medium enterprises (SME) should continue to improve their creativity,” Iriana said, while opening the Creative Work Exhibition 2018 at the Jakarta Convention Center (JCC) on Friday (20/07). She also advised owners of SMEs also need to continue to develop marketing methods including network or online marketing. Iriana said SMEs are the backbone of the national economy and employ many people. “SMEs employ many peope and are the driving force of the regional economy,” she added. Also present at the exhibition, which was attended by SME players fostered by Bank Indonesia from all over Indonesia, was Chairman of the National Craft Council Mufidah Jusuf Kalla. The opening of the exhibition, which took place from July 20 to 22 was followed by a number of citizens and bloggers. Exhibitors occupied some 70 booths that have been set up by the committee. Also present at the exhibition were Minister of Cooperatives and SMEs A.A. Puspayoga and Head of the Creative Economy Agency (Bekraf) Triawan Munaf. The opening ceremony began with a fashion show by several international designers such as Denny Wirawan, Deden Siswanto and Duan Pelangi. The designers are showcasing fashionable clothing using handmade fabrics from the owners of SMEs. The First Lady invited a number of SMEs owners to the stage to speak about their experience in the development of their businesses. Among the SME owners were craftsmen of the Nurbaiti fabric from Lampung. She developed filter cloth. “I have been making filter fabric since class V in primary school, fostered by BI since two years ago,” she said. She also said she received coaching from designer Wignyo Rahardjo some time ago. She mentioned there may be a significant increase in her business turnover, in addition to enhancing business relations. In addition, with the coaching, the filter cloth can be processed for some a half month longer, which totals some three-four months.