Citi Foundation Microenterprise Development Center Creativity and Innovation Hub provides hope for Filipino entrepreneurs

Posted under great on March 22, 2021
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According to the 2019 List of Establishments of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), there is a recorded total of 1,000,506 business enterprises operating in the country. Of these, 995,745 (99.5%) are MSMEs and 4,761 (0.5%) are large enterprises. These MSMEs generated 62.4% of the country’s total employment, while large enterprises generated 37.6%. Over the past year, however, the majority of these once flourishing local businesses faced challenges and financial setbacks brought on by the pandemic.

To help startup enterprises and MSMEs overcome these challenges, Citi Foundation and Bayan Academy launched the Citi Foundation Microenterprise Development Center (CMDC) Creativity and Innovation Hub. Funded by Citi Foundation, the CMDC Innovation Hub aims to contribute to nation-building by empowering those at the grassroots with a more financially and socially inclusive environment. The initiative will help them obtain funds, technology support and market access through linkages with inclusive businesses and is set to benefit around 900 entrepreneurs. 

“We are grateful for the long-standing partnership that Citi has had with Bayan Academy. Over the past 10 years, CMDC has developed numerous programs that contributed in growing the businesses of more than 6,700 MSMEs. Citi is proud to be part of these efforts to build a more inclusive society. Despite the challenges brought upon by the pandemic, Citi Foundation continues with its mission to promote economic progress and improve the lives of people in low-income communities around the world,” said Aftab Ahmed, Citi Philippines CEO. 

Expanding accessible interventions

To support MSMEs and start-ups in their rebuilding efforts as they adapt to the new business landscape, the CMDC Hub offers assistance through various services, such as business support, networking and consultation, and a co-working space.

CMDC hopes to help around 500 MSMEs, including past CMDC graduates with rebuilding and resiliency training and support, and 400 start-ups by providing them with incubation workshops and webinars. Aside from these activities, the CMDC Hub will also select 30 promising start-ups to undergo business incubation and be matched with suitable business service providers and advocates.

The CMDC Hub will also serve as a virtual space for online mentoring and coaching. As community quarantine restrictions ease, it will become a co-working space where entrepreneurs can work and network with peers, and design ideas and business ventures that can contribute to rebuilding and sustaining the economy.

Better days ahead

Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Undersecretary for Competitiveness and Innovation Rafaelita Aldaba spoke about the timely launch of the CMDC Hub and its alignment with DTI’s innovation and startup policies and programs, “Amid the disruptions from the technologies arising from the 4th Industrial Revolution and the challenges brought about by the pandemic, the need for our enterprises to become more creative, more innovative and resilient is critical to the country’s economic recovery and sustained growth.”

Citing his upcoming book, Resiliency, Rebuilding, and Repositioning, Bayan Academy Chairman and President, Dr. Eduardo Morato Jr., said that in order to survive, "MSMEs need to be innovative technologically, socially and market-wise. Necessity is the mother of invention or innovation. There were many during COVID that pivoted or accelerated their digital platforms to be able to sell. Entrepreneurs have reconfigured their businesses to be more responsive to customers…everyone can work together so that the supply chain and the market chain does not get disrupted.”

While challenges remain, MSMEs and start-ups can soon steadily progress towards recovery by boosting their growth potential and resiliency through sustained financial stimulus and mentoring opportunities.

For those interested to enroll in the CMDC Hub workshops, you may visit to see the complete list of programs and schedules or drop by the CMDC Creativity and Innovation Hub at Bayan Academy, 2nd Floor, Cinderella Building, 825 EDSA, Diliman, Quezon City. You can also send an email to

About Bayan Academy

Bayan Academy for Social Entrepreneurship and Human Resource Development is a social development organization committed to building the nation from below. We are a Servicer of Servicers sharing knowledge and expertise with a broad range of sectors in pursuit of our mission to democratize people’s access to Entrepreneurship, Employment, Education, Environment and Ethics.

Get to know Bayan Academy at | Instagram: @bayanacademyorg | Facebook:

About Citi Foundation:

The Citi Foundation works to promote economic progress and improve the lives of people in low-income communities around the world. We invest in efforts that increase financial inclusion, catalyze job opportunities for youth, and reimagine approaches to building economically vibrant cities. The Citi Foundation's "More than Philanthropy" approach leverages the enormous expertise of Citi and its people to fulfill our mission and drive thought leadership and innovation.

About Citi

Citi, the leading global bank, has approximately 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions. Citi provides consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, transaction services, and wealth management.

Additional information may be found at | Twitter: @Citi | YouTube: | Blog: | Facebook: | LinkedIn:

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