WINNERS 2011 CITI MICROENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEARPosted by CQSalazar on Dec 2, 2011 in News | 2 comments
By Citi Microentrepreneur of the Year (MOTY) Program
Citi Foundation gift over P1 million to 8 winners, including health and life insurance plus entrepreneurship training
November 23, 2011 – The winners of the 2011 Citi Microentrepreneur of the Year Awards (MOTY) were announced today by Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), Citi Philippines and the Microfinance Council of the Philippines, Inc. (MCPI). Eight microentrepreneurs, including two national winners and two winners each from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, bested 140 nominees from all over the country.
Funded by Citi Foundation, the MOTY Awards was launched in 2002 as part of the celebrations for Citi’s 100th year in the Philippines. MOTY recognizes outstanding entrepreneurs with assets less than PHP1 million, who have achieved remarkable growth as indicated by employment generation, profits, sales turnover and other enterprise performance measures. Chicken lumpia entrepreneur Carina Gonato of Consolacion, Cebu, and Corazon Bautista who runs an RTW business in Taytay, Rizal, were awarded this year’s national winners.
In his welcome remarks, Citi Country Officer Sanjiv Vohra commented on the record-breaking success of this year’s awards program. “We received the most number of nominations in our nine-year history, from nearly 40 microfinance institutions, about a dozen of which submitted entries for the first time. We are very glad that the award continues to attract attention and remains to be very relevant in promoting microfinance in the country. Our finalists exhibited true courage, vision, and entrepreneurial skill in using their businesses to improve their lives and provide opportunities for their community.”
During the launching in July, BSP Governor Amando Tetangco was the keynote speaker and he said: “In the process of conducting thorough evaluation of thousands of nominees to the Awards, we have witnessed many inspiring success stories of microentrepreneurs who became employers and catalysts for development in their respective communities. Not only have they become employers, many have also mentored their former workers on how to access micro credit to start their own business.”
The Citi MOTY awards program has two categories: the Masikap Awards which recognizes individuals who have set up businesses that are now providing a reliable source of income for their families; and the Maunlad Awards, that recognizes those who have grown their businesses and are now providing employment to others beyond their family circle.
In addition to RTW manufacturer Bautista, this year’s Masikap Awards were also given to Jocelyn de Guzman of San Leonardo, Nueva Ecija (manufacturer of slippers and sandals); Anastacio Postrero from Bantayan Island, Cebu (seaweed farming); and Danelito Castro of Liloy, Zamboanga del Norte (herbal oil manufacturer and distributor).
The top Maunlad Award went to Gonato who produces chicken lumpia, while the island-group winners were Natividad Gabriel of Taytay, Palawan (deep offshore fishing, red grouper culture, dried fish processing); John Cabillon of Estancia, Iloilo (seafood buying and selling, vehicles-for-hire and sari-sari store owner); and Andresa Javines of General Santos City (manufacturer and supplier of tuna packing materials and gel ice).
The national winners each received P200,000 while the island winners were awarded P100,000 each. This year, Citi MOTY enhanced the awards to include three-year health and life insurance coverage for all the winners, as well as a grant to attend an entrepreneurship management course in Bayan Academy – both to ensure the sustainability of their businesses.
Tetangco and Vohra both serve as co-chairpersons of the National Selection Committee that determined this year’s winners. The judges included Philippine Daily Inquirer Chairperson Marixi Prieto, who credits this year’s large turnout of nominees to the growth of the microfinance sector in the Philippines; and Go Negosyo Founder Joey Concepcion, who was pleased with the variety of industries that the nominees represented. Fellow judge and Ayala Land, Inc. Chairman Fernando Zobel for his part said, “The quality of this year’s batch of enterprises has never been better.” Other National Selection Committee members are Ateneo de Manila University Professor Dr. Darwin Yu, former Monetary Board member Antonino Alindogan, Jr., GMA Network Chairman Atty. Felipe Gozon and Entrepreneurs School of Asia president Vivian Tan.
After peddling ready-made chicken lumpia sourced from a local market, Maunlad topnotcher Carina Gonato decided to develop her own recipe and sell the freshly made delicacy to neighbors and friends. Today, Nateck’s Chicken Lumpia has an annual profit of PHP 2.4 million, employs 43 workers, and currently delivers its products not only in Cebu, but also in Negros, Masbate, Surigao, Samar, Zamboanga, Dipolog and even Metro Manila. Gonato partly credits her success to a willingness to listen to suggestions and being always open to improvements.
Another winner in the Maunlad Category, Andresa Javines did not allow her lack of formal education to keep her from becoming a successful microentrepreneur. After years of working in the tuna industry in General Santos Port Area, she ventured into supplying tuna packaging materials. Javines developed an innovative product known as gel ice: a mixture of cornstarch, salt and sea water that works like ice and not only preserves the tuna but also helps to retain its natural flavors. The gel ice caught the attention of two large exporters of sashimi-grade tuna to US, Japan, and Canada whom Javines now counts as regular clients.
Masikap winner Anastacio Postero went from being a simple fisherman to one of Bantayan Island’s most prolific and successful microentrepreneurs. He set up the first sari-sari store in 2004 in the remote town of Doong where he lives and where motorized pump boats remain the main mode of transportation. That initial venture eventually led to two other businesses: danggit manufacturing and seaweed farming. Today, Postero and his family enjoy revenues of over PHP 1 million annually from the three businesses.
Corazon Bautista, a simple seamstress from Taytay Rizal, is this year’s national winner for the Masikap Category. It was a small loan and lots of determination that eventually led to her small Ready-To-Wear business becoming one of Taytay’s leading corporate-wear manufacturers with an annual sales of nearly PHP 4 million. Plans are already underway to expand the business beyond Metro Manila and even to go into export.
This year’s batch of Citi MOTY awardees is a testament to the winning formula of hard work, ingenuity, and microfinancing. Like the winners, thousands of Filipinos have been able to seize unusual opportunities through microfinance.
With the proper funding, these microentrepreneurs have set up thriving businesses that have changed their lives for the better while positively impacting the economy as a whole.
The 2011 Citi MOTY is being supported by Inquirer LIBRE, Inquirer Bandera and Cebu Daily News.