The Citi Microenterprise Development Center, a three year-old training and coaching program for high potential microentrepreneurs, was adjudged the winner for the Social Empowerment category during the 2013 Asia Responsible Entrepreneurship Awards (AREA) held in Singapore.
Funded by Citi Foundation, and jointly implemented by Bayan Academy for Social Entrepreneurship and Human Resource Development Inc. and Citi Philippines, the organizers lauded these institutions for their contribution and commitment towards developing relevant and sustainable microenterprise development programs in the country.
The Citi Microenterprise Development Center or CMDC promotes entrepreneurship among the low-income population by providing high potential microfinance clients the opportunity to receive quality training and customized coaching and business advisory. Established in 2011 after a successful pilot in 2010, the program works with hundreds of high potential microfinance clients each year in order to increase their income, employ additional people, and improve on their loan performance.
“We are pleased to receive this award on behalf of the men and women that have participated in CMDC and have since taken their new learnings to improve their businesses, their lives as well as make a positive impact to their communities. Citi as a global institution is strongly committed to financial inclusion, and to increasing the financial capability of the poorest of the poor and helping them build their assets and escape poverty. Our goal is to empower individuals to improve their lives by supporting innovative programs in microfinance and enterprise development that show impact and results,” said Citi Country Officer for the Philippines Batara Sianturi.
AREA is one of Asia’s most prestigious recognition programs for organizations that champion sustainable and responsible entrepreneurship. The Social Empowerment awards honor businesses that promote empowerment of communities or individuals that are socially excluded or economically disadvantaged. CMDC received the award for the impact it makes on microfinance clients towards improving and scaling-up their businesses.
Raul Manikan, president of Bayan Academy said: “It is a timely and unequivocal confirmation of the relevance of what we are doing together with Citi Foundation and Citi Philippines for the community. We are greatly honored to receive this award.”
Microfinance clients who join CMDC will need to show clear results that include higher income, job creation and improved loan performance. This is achieved by offering participants a two-week course on Grass Roots Entrepreneurship Management as well as one-on-one mentoring and coaching sessions through the Citi Small Business Advisory and Coaching Sessions (SBACS) program. The Citi SBACS is also a venue for skills-based volunteerism where Citi employees actively contribute their talents and skills towards helping participants in aspects related to law, finance, marketing, operations, and human resources. To date, more than 850 individuals have enrolled in CMDC’s training programs and/or received business coaching.
In winning the award, CMDC went through an independent site audit conducted by Enterprise Asia, Inc., the organization that organizes AREA. Citi’s nomination was also vetted by an independent panel of judges that consist of leading businessmen, non-profit leaders, and retired government officials from across the Asian region.
Sianturi added, “Citi has been in the Philippines for 111 years, and since the days we opened shop here in the country, we have always looked to making an impact in not just the nation’s economy, but in local grass roots communities. We are very pleased to receive this regional recognition for the work that we are doing on the ground, and it is an affirmation that the Citi Microenterprise Development Center is indeed one way where Citi is promoting inclusive economic growth in this country.”