Small Steps to Success

Citi Microentrepreneurship Awards Showcase 10 Microenterprise Heroes with “Small Steps to Success”

Citi Philippines, together with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and the Microfinance Council of the Philippines, Inc. (MCPI), paid tribute to ten men and women whose economic heroism have improved their lives as well as their communities.

The three are partners in the annual Citi Microentrepreneurship Awards (CMA) program, which recently marked its first decade. In celebration of this milestone, CMA published a book that features 10 inspiring stories of Filipino microentrepreneurs who were awarded over the history of the program.

small-steps-to-successEntitled “Small Steps to Success”, the book showcased that success can come in many forms and tastes, from peanut butter to buko pie, to cassava cake and suman tinambiran.

Each individual featured in the book built their enterprises from hard work and a strong determination to succeed. Today, they have secured steady income for their families as well as opened employment opportunities for others.

The book also gives a brief history of CMA against the backdrop of the microfinance industry over the last ten years. What was intended to be a one-time celebratory event to commemorate the 100 years of Citi in Asia and in the Philippines turned out to be a huge success, and the CMA has now evolved into a global program adopted in 35 countries.

Funded by Citi Foundation, CMA recognizes outstanding microentrepreneurs from across the country. According to Citi country officer for the Philippines Sanjiv Vohra, the true success of the program is evident in the many compelling stories of different men and women whose humble beginnings are now shaping the future of their community. Vohra serves as co-chair of the National Selection Committee that chooses the winners each year together with BSP Governor Amando M. Tetangco, Jr.

“Microentrepreneurs are the new hope of this generation and the force that will take this nation to new heights. In this book, we selected 10 outstanding microentrepreneurs honored by the CMA. Their inspiring stories of heroism and hope attest that the program has contributed to the development of the Philippine economy,” said Vohra.

In his message published in the book, BSP Governor Tetangco said: “CMA has given us a unique vantage point to see the developments that have taken place in the microfinance industry in the Philippines. The effective partnership between Citi, MCPI and BSP has allowed us to provide a fitting venue to highlight the exceptional stories of our country’s industrious and resilient microentrepreneurs.”

“The CMA program is a celebration of economic triumph amidst great odds at the grassroots level. We have seen the transformation of microentrepreneurs from budding handicraft makers to producers of world-class quality products. And we are very privileged to have known them and honored to have assisted them, one way or another,” said MCPI chairperson Mila Mercado-Bunker.

Taking part in CMA’s milestone is a distinguished group of men and women who chose the winners of the 2012 Citi Microentrepreneur Awards. Apart from Gov. Tetangco and Vohra, the CMA National Selection Committee is composed of former Monetary Board member Antonino Alindogan, Jr., Philippine Daily Inquirer chairperson Marixi Prieto, Ayala Corporation president and chief operating officer Fernando Zobel de Ayala, RFM Corporation president and CEO Joey Concepcion, GMA Network, Inc. chairman Atty. Felipe Gozon, Robinsons Retail Group president and COO Robina Gokongwei-Pe, and Ateneo de Manila University associate professor Dr. Darwin Yu.

Small Steps to Success features the touching accounts of Jennilyn Antonio, Corazon Bautista, Dionesia dela Peña, Orlando Dulay, Nolie Estocado, Carina Gonato, Felicidad Kalalo, Ester Lumbo, Consuelo Valenzuela, and Cherry Yack, Sr.

For more information on CMA, contact MCPI at or visit

View Small Steps to Success below (or Download PDF here)

Small Steps to Success from Microfinance Council