Six vie for Citi microentrepreneurship awards

Friday, October 18, 2013

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THREE Caribbean microfinance institutions and three microentrepreneurs are the finalists for the 2013 Citi Microentrepreneurship Awards for the Caribbean, the financial institution said yesterday.

The winners will be announced during a ceremony at the Courtleigh Hotel & Suites in Kingston on October 31, 2013. Peter Moses, managing director & Citi country officer at Citi Bank Jamaica, will give the keynote address.

The Citi Microentrepreneurship Awards recognise microfinance institutions (MFIs) and microentrepreneurs that have demonstrated remarkable success in the Caribbean, and this year three awards will be presented -- two to MFIs and one to a microentrepreneur in Suriname. The MFIs are competing for the "Excellence in Microfinance Transparency in the Caribbean Award" and the "Excellence in Microfinance Product Innovation Award", both worth US$5,000, while the "Excellence in Microentrepreneurship in Suriname Award" has a prize of US$3,000.

All awardees will also receive a plaque, and a video on their microenterprise or microfinance institution.

The MFI finalists for the 2013 Citi Microentrepreneurship Awards are Access Financial Services, Jamaica; La Inmaculada Credit Union, Belize and The Institute of Private Enterprise Development, Guyana. Farmer, Herman Deckman; Helen Muntslag of the Kapsalon Elmitch Beauty Shop and Jurgen Emilio Brodie of Ji Ji's Restaurant, all in Suriname, are competing for the microentrepreneurship award.

Citi Microenrepreneurship Awards programme, which aims to raise awareness about microfinance in the Caribbean and about the important role microentreprenurs play in regional economies, is financed by Citi Foundation and administered by the Caribbean MicroFinance Alliance (CMFA).

CMFA chairman, Ramesh Persaud, noted, "This year we received some very strong applications. The MFI finalists demonstrated real commitment to designing products that take into account client characteristics and to provide clients with clear and sufficient information to make informed decisions, even as they push to maximise outreach and financial performance. All of the microentrepreneur finalists have overcome significant challenges to successfully build sustainable businesses."

Dennis Evans, Citi's cluster head for the Caribbean, added: "It is great to be able to partner with the Caribbean Microfinance Alliance and the Multilateral Investment Fund to recognise microfinance institutions and microentrepreneurs that have demonstrated remarkable success in the Caribbean, a region that is key for our strategy at Citi."

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