Seamstress turned RTW Manufacturer is Citi Masikap Microentrepreneur of the Year“Para sa mga ina na may pangarap sa pamilya at sa mga anak , huwag po kayong matakot na mag-take ng risk para mangutang hanggat andiyan ang microfinance dahil isa sila sa katulong natin sa pagunlad ng pamilya,” said Corazon B. Bautista at the Citi Microentrepreneur of the Year (MOTY) awarding ceremonies held last November 23, 2011 at the Metropolitan Museum of Manila.
“Huwag po tayong mawawalan ng pananalig sa Panginoon. Yun ang isa sa pinaka the best advice. Kasi para sa akin ako ay pinagkatiwalaan ng Tulay sa Pag-Unlad, Inc. (TSPI) sa pinahiram sa akin na panimulang capital. Kung hindi ipinagkatiwala sa akin ito ng Panginoon kahit sa maliit na halaga, wala ako ngayon,” she added.
The ready-to wear clothing (RTW) manufacturer affectionately called “Nanay Cora” was recognized as the 2011 National Awardee for the Masikap category of the Citi MOTY Awards. The awards program recognizes the efforts and successes of outstanding microentrepreneurs.
The MOTY Awards has two categories. The Masikap category, which Nanay Cora won, recognizes Filipinos whose efforts have provided a sustainable livelihood for their families. The Maunlad category meanwhile acknowledges microentrepreneurs whose businesses now provide employment to others.
Carina Gonato of Consolacio, Cebu was the National Awardee for the Maunlad category.
Citi Country Officer and PinoyME trustee Sanjiv Vohra congratulated the outstanding microentrepreneurs. “Our finalists exhibited true courage, vision, and entrepreneurial skill to improve their lives and provide opportunities for their community.”
From seamstress to outstanding microentrepreneur
Nanay Cora used to work as a seamstress. However, her family had a hard time making ends meet with her salary and the income of her husband, who was a construction worker.
Buoyed by dreams of a more prosperous tomorrow, Nanay Cora applied for a loan from TSPI. With only P5,000 as capital, she sewed 100 pairs of shorts and sold this for a profit at the Pasig Market. Industry and the determination to strive for her family has brought Nanay Cora the success she enjoys today. She now supplies RTW to five Metro Manila Malls, and employs 19 people. More importantly, her profit has allowed her to send her children to a private school.
‘The best-tasting chicken lumpia’Carina Gonato, the Maunlad awardee, started by selling chicken lumpia that she got on consignment basis in her neighborhood. She had been trying to find additional income “to survive” after her husband retired. Realizing that she could earn more if she prepared her own lumpia, she decided to cook her product.
She cooked, sold, and asked for feedbacks from people in her neighborhood to find the lumpia that would satisfy her customers. Her product turned out to be a hit—when it was served at the MOTY awards, one of the guests called it the “best-tasting chicken lumpia.”
Started with a small loan from the First AgroIndustrial Rural Bank, Inc., her Natecks chicken lumpia is now being sold and enjoyed in various provinces including Manila, Masbate, Negros, Samar, Surigao, Zamboanga and Dipolog.
From a capital of P1,000.00 or 5 kilos of chicken, Carina now runs a business with an annual profit of 2.4 million. Her microenterprise moreover employs 49 people.
Celebrating hope and industry
Nanay Cora and Carina received P200,000 each as National Awardees. Meanwhile recipients of the Island Awards received a price of P100,000 each.
The Island Awardees for the Masikap category are: Jocelyn de Guzman (manufacturer of slippers and sandals), Anastacio Postrero (seaweed farming), and Danelito Castro (herbal oil manufacturer).
Meanwhile the Island Awardees for the Maunlad category are: Natividad Gabriel (deep offshore fishing, dried fish processing), John Cabillon (seafood buy and sell and sari-sari store owner), and Andresa Javines (manufacturer of tuna packing materials and gel ice).
The co-chairperson of the selection committee included Vohra and Banco Sentral ng Pilipinas governor Amando Tetangco. Other members of the selection committee were: Ateneo de Manila University professor Dr. Darwin Yu, former monetary board member Antonino Alindogan Jr., GMA Network chair Atty. Felipe Gozon, and Entrepreneurs School of Asia president Vivian Tan.
The judges were Philippine Daily Inquirer chairperson Marixi Prieto, GoNegosyo founder Joey Concepcion, and Ayala Land chair Fernando Zobel.
The MOTY awards was launched to celebrate Citibank Philippines’ centennial year in country. Now in its 9th year, this celebration of the triumph of hope and industry has not only galvanized support for the growth of microfinance, it has also provided encouragement for aspiring microentrepreneurs.