2009 Citi Microentrepreneur of the Year Awards

Citi Microentrepreneur of the Year – Masikap Award Category

Ms. Annabel Bonsol
Address: Bauan, Batangas
MFI: Bangko Kabayan
Business: Rag Maker

Annabel Bonsol got into rag-making literally by accident. In a public place, she had slipped on a rag and was about to throw it away when an onlooker asked her if she could supply her with rags. On impulse, she agreed and immediately started learning the trade. With loans from Bangko Kabayan, her business grew by leaps and bounds. Today, she supplies to companies such as Keppel, Genasco Trading and First Gas and to local market vendors and gasoline stations, as well. She also employs some 60 individuals in production. The business she built has made a better life possible not just for her and her family, but for members of her community, as well.

Luzon Masikap Awardee

Mrs. Lolly Cabbigat
Address: Alfonso Castañeda, Nueva Vizcaya
MFI: Alalay Sa Kaunlaran, Inc.
Business: Woodcraft Entrepreneur

Lolly Cabbigat and her husband Jonathan are both Ifugaos who are proud of their heritage. They operated a thriving carved driftwood business in Baguio when an outbreak of a life-threatening disease forced them to move to the province of Nueva Vizcaya. They were finally able to resume their woodcraft business when Lolly was introduced to Alalay Sa Kaunlaran, Inc. (ASKI) and learned about its microfinance program. Today, Lolly has not only restored the business, which is now fully registered and up-to-date as to taxes and other fees, but she has even expanded it as well. Today they sell their goods in several provinces and get invited to trade fairs all over Luzon including Metro Manila.

Visayas Masikap Awardee

Ms. Shirley Ecot
Address: Dos Hermanos St., Barangay 3, San Carlos City, Negros Occidental
MFI: Negros Women for Tomorrow Foundation, Inc.
Business: Peanut Entrepreneur

Shirley Ecot owns “Fritzie’s Peanuts”, a brand of peanut snacks named after her only daughter. Loans of increasing amounts from Negros Women of Tomorrow Foundation have helped her to grow her business quickly. Today Shirley supplies to well-established malls and stores in Western Visayas. She has also acquired two parcels of land on which she grows her own peanuts and houses her processing facilities.

Mindanao Masikap Awardee

Mrs. Dionesia dela Peña
Address: New Pelaez Bridge, Purok 5, Talic, Oroquieta City, Misamis Occidental
MFI: Paglaum Multi-Purpose Cooperative
Business: Suman Tinambiran Maker

Dionesia dela Pena thought of selling “suman tinambiran” as a means of livelihood that did not depend so much on location. “Suman tinambiran” is a secret recipe of hers that consisted of a strip of white glutinous rice twisted together with a strip of black glutinous rice, wrapped and cooked in a banana leaf. Its salty and sweet taste was an instant hit and before long she was receiving orders for the unique delicacy from far and wide. She gradually grew her enterprise through loans from Paglaum Multi-purpose Cooperative. Today she is reaping the rewards of her ingenuity.

Citi Microentrepreneur of the Year – Maunlad Award Category

Mrs. Virginia Lubguban
Address: Barangay Banilad, Bacong, Negros Oriental
MFI: Negros Women for Tomorrow Foundation, Inc.
Business: Furniture manufacturer

Virginia Lubguban and her husband, Aly, a former OFW, run three businesses that complement each other: a furniture-making shop that primarily uses wood materials from trees that they planted in their own farm 15 years ago; a bakery business that uses scrap wood materials from the furniture shop to fire the ovens; and a cattle-fattening enterprise that mixes the cow dung and sawdust from the furniture shop to be used as organic fertilizer for the tree farm and the cattle grazing area. The three businesses, expanded through the help of Negros Women For Tomorrow Foundation, in effect, reuse and recycle wastes. Besides this, they provide employment for 39 persons and enjoy huge profits from their businesses.

Luzon Maunlad Awardee

Mr. Bienvenido Villanueva
Address: Alaminos, Pangasinan
MFI: Gulf Bank, Inc.
Business: Bangus Raiser

Ben Villanueva and his wife Amandita needed to earn much more than Ben was making as an employee in Manila so they joined the group lending program of Gulf Bank. With their first loan, they built a fishpen. Succeeding loans allowed them to build more even after repeated setbacks due to typhoons. Today, they have a total of 12 fishpens, a five hectare fishpond in La Union and two tricycles for hire.

Visayas Maunlad Awardee

Mr. Cherry Yack, Sr.
Address: Consolacion, Cebu
MFI: Taytay Sa Kauswagan, Inc.
Business: Cassava Cake Maker

Cherry Yack made a good living from a secret recipe for cassava cake that he learned from his uncle. When the industry experienced a slump after news of cassava poisoning, he stuck it out, momentarily diversifying to banana cakes. When demand for cassava cakes returned, he took advantage of financial and business development assistance from Taytay Sa Kauswagan, Inc. to grow his business. Now, he has much-improved facilities, employs five people, and enjoys sizeable profits.

Mindanao Maunlad Awardee

Mrs. Sahala Hadjuri
Address: Indanan, Jolo, Sulu
MFI: KFI Center for Community Development Foundation, Inc.
Business: Baker and Mini-Grocery Owner

Sahala Hadjuri moved to Indanan to escape poverty. She and her husband began their new lives there by buying and selling bread. Later, they realized that they would earn much more if they made their own bread to sell. Loans from KFI Center for Community Development Foundation, Inc. made it possible for them to put up a bakery and expand it. Today, they are making huge profits from the bread house and have put up a mini-mart, as well.