Six Vie For Citi’s Caribbean Microentrepreneurship Awards

KINGSTON, Jamaica – Three Caribbean microfinance institutions and three microentrepreneurs are the finalists for the 2013 Citi Microentrepreneurship Awards for the Caribbean.

The winners will be announced during a ceremony at the Courtleigh Hotel & Suites, Kingston, Jamaica, on October 31, 2013, which will be addressed by Peter Moses, Managing Director & Citi Country Officer at Citi Jamaica.

The Citi Microentrepreneurship Awards recognize 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.

The 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 that, “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 maximize outreach and financial performance. All of the microentrepreneur finalists have overcome significant challenges to successfully build sustainable businesses”.

“It is great to be able to partner with the Caribbean Microfinance Alliance and the Multilateral Investment Fund to recognize microfinance institutions and microentrepreneurs that have demonstrated remarkable success in the Caribbean, a region that is key for our strategy at Citi,” said Dennis Evans, Citi’s Cluster Head for the Caribbean.

The CMFA, a network of over 20 microfinance practitioners and advocates working to promote the development of a responsible and sustainable industry in the region, is a beneficiary of the Caribbean Capacity Building Project (CARIB CAP II).

Jointly funded by the Multilateral Investment Fund (a member of the Inter-American Development Bank Group), European Commission, Citi Foundation and the Caribbean Development Bank and managed by the Jamaica-based consultancy firm – Development Options Ltd. – CARIB CAP II aims to create a more developed microfinance industry in the English-speaking Caribbean by improving their outreach and financial performance and fostering a knowledge-sharing eco-system for MFI’s in the region.

Winners of the 2012 Citi Microentrepreneurship Awards were Access Financial Services, Jamaica – “Excellence in Microfinance” and Javier Basto, owner of Basto & Sons Plantain Chips, Belize – the “Excellence in Microentrepreneurship Award”.

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