CMA recognizes CARD NGO microentrepreneur client as Mindanao Regional Winner 2021
The Citi Microentrepreneurship Award (CMA) held a virtual ceremony on May 11, 2021 to award its Regional Winners for its 18th annual national search of outstanding entrepreneurs where CARD, Inc. (A Microfinance NGO) client Rosalyn Espenorio was named Mindanao awardee.
CMA is organized by Citi Foundation together with Citi Philippines, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and Microfinance Council of the Philippines, Inc. (MCPI) to push its advocacy of uplifting and acknowledging Filipino microentrepreneurs who contribute to the country’s economy by providing employment to their local communities and to inspire other individuals so that they can be a microentrepreneur in the future.
Since 2002 when the annual search began, CMA focused on recognizing small, micro, and medium entrepreneurs who improved their lives through business start-up loans from the microfinance institutions. However, with the changes the country faced in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s criteria for choosing the winners included how Filipino microentrepreneurs showed resilience, flexibility, and determination to cope with the global health outbreak. This year, CMA received more than 100 nominations from different microfinance institutions in the country.
Rosalyn emerged as the Regional Winner for Mindanao for her various businesses in Antipas, North Cotabato. She owns a bakery, a fish cracker factory, and also engages in fish and vegetable vending. She remarkably showed how Filipino microentrepreneurs could address and embrace the changes brought by the pandemic. She is known as one of the growing microentrepreneurs in the province because of her continuous expansion and discovering new business opportunities that could also help her fellow locals.
“In these trying times, we have to go beyond what we are used to doing. Through the years of being in the business, there’s always room for taking risks. By overcoming challenges, we move closer to our dreams,” said Rosalyn Espenorio.
Being a client of CARD, Inc. for more than a decade gave Rosalyn the opportunity to avail loans for her to upgrade and expand her businesses. She recalled how she started to borrow PHP 3,000 for her business and soon availed higher loans that enabled her to buy additional equipment, furniture, vehicles, and other materials that she can use. Amidst the health crisis, she maintained a healthy and 100 % repayment performance on her weekly dues.
She explained that CARD, Inc. taught her to become braver and more resilient. The values that the institution pass on to its clients and staff have influenced to her as an individual. “CARD is not only my financial partner but also my mentor that guides and supports me throughout the years. With every decision I made, I’ll always go back to what would benefit not only myself but also other people.”
Focusing on her business enabled her to become capable of providing the needs of her family. Apart from giving her family a better life, she also provides livelihood and employment to her community. Now, 15 locals from their community work in her various businesses.
Giving back to people
Rosalyn’s businesses were among businesses whose operations were temporarily stopped due to the pandemic. She had to follow the safety protocols mandated by the government especially during the stricter community quarantines.
In order to extend her help to her employees, Rosalyn and her family gave relief to them. “I’ve been through tough situations before. I know how difficult these times are and I want to be there for my employees now that they need me.”
Rosalyn concluded that growing up in a simple family made her dream of a better life. Because of her experience and generous character, she became an inspiration to her community that every dream can be achieved with strong determination and compassion.
Commitment to end poverty
“Being in the business for more than three decades, we believe that providing livelihood and employment to the community is possible and we can truly achieve a poverty-free country,” said Jocelyn Dequito, CARD Inc. Executive Director.
She concluded that seeing microentrepreneurs succeed in their businesses brings pride to the institution. “We are so happy and proud for what Rosalyn has achieved. She is among our clients in the country that stayed with us through the years and has inspired us to push our charge forward for poverty eradication.”