Citi Microenterprise Development Center (CMDC), a program of Citi Philippines and Bayan Academy for Social Entrepreneurship and Human Resource Development, Inc., recently celebrated its third year of nurturing high potential micro business owners at the CMDC training center in Quezon City.
Since 2011, CMDC has been providing training, coaching and business advisory services to more than 660 microfinance clients around the country, opening more doors for entrepreneurship in the microfinance sector. Funded by Citi Foundation, the program seeks to address knowledge and skills gaps to enable its participants to grow their businesses, resulting in asset and income growth, as well as job generation for their local communities.
On the celebration of CMDC’s third year, Bayan Academy Executive Director Raul Manikan expressed his joy on the continuing success of the program: “We are glad that this program which started in Metro Manila has now spread to all over the country, helping microentrepreneurs scale up and take their businesses to the next level. I am amazed at how far we have come in our shared advocacy with Citi in promoting not only microfinance but also enterprise development.”
In August, CMDC received the Social Empowerment Award during the 2013 Asia Responsible Entrepreneurship Awards (AREA) held in Singapore. AREA is one of Asia’s most prestigious recognition programs for organizations that champion sustainable and responsible entrepreneurship. The Social Empowerment award honors 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, and was a timely and unequivocal confirmation of the relevance of what Bayan Academy is doing together with Citi Foundation and Citi Philippines.
Addressing the first batch of scholars for CMDC’s third year, Citi Philippines CEO Batara Sianturi made a strong case for entrepreneurship. “Entrepreneurship is what drives economic progress. It is what makes economies prosper through innovation and wealth creation. If we look at first world nations like the United Kingdom and the United States, they were built on entrepreneurs who sparked the first industrial revolution. Close to home, if we look around, the most successful people in this country are also entrepreneurs like Henry Sy who started selling shoes in a small store that eventually become SM, a retail chain that now impacts the economies of local communities.”
“Our goal in CMDC is to equip you with knowledge and skills that helped these successful individuals grow their businesses from very small and humble beginnings. Some of them did not have much capital to start with; sometimes not even a college education, but they had the drive, passion, and ability. Through CMDC, we can all become partners for your success,” said Sianturi.
During the event, CMDC hosted its first batch of 40 scholars for the Grassroots Entrepreneurship and Management course, an entrepreneurship course designed for micro business owners. Participants included clients of several microfinance institutions such as Kasagana-Ka Development Center, Inc., Kabalikat para sa Maunlad na Buhay Inc., Center for Community Transformation, Uplift Philippines, and Bayan Academy. Some participants of the CMDC also showcased their products to demonstrate how the program has succeeded in aiding them develop their products and grow their businesses.
Two successful microentrepreneurs – Alvin Abaja and Rona Bautista – gave testimonials during the celebration. Alvin, the owner of Buchi King, started with only four employees and now employs 21 workers as his innovative product attracted more and more patrons. Rona, on the other hand owns Luce Global Environmental Health and Safety Specialist Inc, a trading company that grew from a small enterprise into a corporation that now supplies safety gloves, shoes, helmets to companies big industries.
Through the likes of Alvin and Rona, and the many aspiring microentrepreneurs it has helped, CMDC continues to enable and uplift the skills of these individuals so they can improve their lot in life and help others through the jobs they generate.