Search for top Pinoy microentrepreneurs launched

by Jon Carlos Rodriguez,

Posted at Jun 18 2014 02:14 PM | Updated as of Jun 19 2014 02:50 AM

BSP Gov. Amando Tetangco, Jr., 2013 CMA winners, Citi Philippines CEO Batara Sianturi and Monetary Board Member Peter Favila at the 12th CMA launch. Photo courtesy of BSP Corporate Affairs Office

MANILA, Philippines – This year's search for the most outstanding Filipino micro business owners was launched by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), Citi Philippines, and the Microfinance Council of the Philippines (MCPI) on Wednesday.

The 12th Citi Microentrepreneurship Awards (CMA) will honor seven winners who will be nominated by microfinance institutions nationwide.

One national winner will receive a P200,000 cash prize while the six special awardees will get P100,000 each.

All awardees will also receive a one-year life and health coverage, entrepreneurship training, a laptop, and basic computer training.

BSP Governor Amanda Tetangco, one of the co-chairs of the CMA selection committee, said bank loans to microenterprises increased by 102 percent from 2006 to 2013, while the number of microentrepreneurs who accessed micro loans from banks increased by 56 percent.

He noted that over the same period, average micro loans increased by 30 percent.

“The stories behind these figures prove the power of microfinance to transform and improve lives. As co-chair of the selection committee for CMA for 10 years now, I have personally witnessed how microentrepreneurs survived scarcity by making their business a reliable source of family income – all because they accessed and sensibly used microfinance loans,” Tetangco said during the launch at the BSP complex in Manila.

The nomination, screening and final selection process will take six months, with the winners expected to be named before the year ends.

Citi Philippines chief executive Batara Sianturi also serves as co-chair of the selection committee with Tetangco.

Last year's national winner was Enrico Fojas of Hagonoy, Bulacan, who provides affordable feeds to small-scale fish farmers and animal raisers through Cookie Mill Feeds.

“The CMA best illustrates what we in the microfinance sector believe—that given the right products and support from microfinance institutions, clients can overcome extreme poverty and become productive members of the community,” MCPI executive director Allan Sicat said.