12th Citi Microentrepreneurship Awards

Bagoong maker hailed 2014 Citi Microentrepreneurship Awards National Winner
After a six-month nationwide search, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), the Microfinance Council of the Philippines, Inc. (MCPI) and Citi Philippines announced the winners of the 2014 Citi Microentrepreneurship Awards (CMA) in an awarding ceremony held at the BSP last December 3.

CMA 2014 AwardingBSP, Citi and MCPI honor 7 micro business owners from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao

The national honors went to Teresita Valdez, manufacturer of sautéed shrimp paste and anchovy sauces based in Malolos, Bulacan. Joining Valdez in the prominent roster are regional awardees Ernanie Llema (Luzon), Teresita Nicanor (Visayas), and Edamil Patta (Mindanao). Llema is a seafoods buyer and dealer, while Nicanor won acclaim for her squid rings. Patta operates a coffee shop in Bongao, Tawi-Tawi.

Watch: BSP, Citi and MCPI honor 7 micro business owners from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao

Present to commend the winners were members of the CMA National Selection Committee, led by co-chairs Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Amando Tetangco, Jr. and Citi Philippines Chief Executive Officer Batara Sianturi.

“Each year, we find ourselves in a very difficult position of choosing our winners,” related Sianturi during his welcome remarks. “Even after 12 years, it is very clear that there continues to be great wealth in this country, when it comes to men and women who through sheer grit and determination, escaped extreme poverty and brought prosperity to their families and to their communities. Their accomplishment sends a strong signal to other aspiring entrepreneurs to never give up. They very well deserve this recognition for their valuable contribution to the microfinance industry and the Philippine economy.”

Related: No such thing as ‘too small to start a business’

Funded by Citi Foundation, the CMA annually awards outstanding microfinance clients who have used microfinance and entrepreneurship to improve their lives as well as their communities. Launched in 2002 on Citi’s centennial year in the Philippines, the program this year reached a new milestone of having recognized 100 outstanding Filipinos for their stories of hope and triumph over poverty through entrepreneurship. This award-winning public-private-civic partnership has become a strong recognition of the good work many microfinance practitioners do to alleviate poverty and promote inclusive growth.

Governor Tetangco delivered the keynote address during the ceremonies. During the CMA launch in June, the Governor said: “As a regulator, it is a joy to see tangible proof that our microfinance policies and regulations have such a powerful impact on families and communities. Let us continue to spread the good word about microfinance and the stories of our CMA winners. Through them, we are reassured again and again that microfinance is a viable option for entrepreneurial Pinoys.”

Special awards were also given during the ceremonies: the Special Award for Agri Micro-business went to Johnny Laraño, an advocate of modern farming; the Special Award for Innovation was presented to pandan craftsmaker Purificacion Tagulinao; and the Special Award for Community Leadership was handed to Rosma Cabillon, a seaweed, squid and crabs buyer and seller from Estancia, Iloilo.

Related: A toast to entrepreneurship

All the seven winners received cash prizes totaling PhP870,000, a laptop and scholarship to a 4-week entrepreneurship training at the Citi Microenterprise Development Center in Quezon City. In addition, they were provided computer training and health and life insurance coverage; all these to help maximize their potentials.

After the awarding ceremonies, MCPI Chairperson Maria Anna Ignacio led the induction of the newest set of winners into the CMA Alumni Network, welcoming them into a group of individuals who will be provided with enterprise development mentoring to further accelerate their progress to success.

Ignacio commented on the sidelines: “The quality of nominations received for the Citi Microentrepreneurship Awards gets better each year. The success story in each nomination shows us the good in microfinance and gives a face to persevering nanays and tatays all over the country.”

After a successful launch in the Philippines, the CMA is now a global program rolled out in over 30 countries in various regions including Africa, Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America, Middle East and North America.

Download the CMA 2014 Brochure