Foundation, TAMFI launches fourth Citi Micro entrepreneurship Awards

17Feb 2020
The Guardian Reporter
The Guardian
Foundation, TAMFI launches fourth Citi Micro entrepreneurship Awards

​​​​​​​CITI Foundation in partnership with the Tanzania Association of Microfinance Institutions (TAMFI) has launched the 4th Citi Micro-entrepreneurship Awards (CMA).

Citibank Tanzania CEO Geofrey Mchangila (C) in a joint press conference with Tanzania Association of Microfinance Institutions (TAMFI) on 14th February 2020 at the launch of 4th Citi Micro-entrepreneurship Awards(CMA) in Tanzania. With him is Joel Mwakitalu, TAMFI Chairman and Dorbibi Jemadari, CITI Vice President, Senior Relationship Manager, Global Subsidiaries Group. Photo: Guardian Correspondent.

The award seeks to recognize the extraordinary contributions that individual micro entrepreneurs who have made to the economic stability of their families as well as their communities across Tanzania.

According to Citibank Tanzania CEO, Geofrey Mchangila, the CMA program has taken root in the country and in the last three years the awards have highlighted the achievements of some of the most innovative micro entrepreneurs.

“This is part of Citi’s ongoing commitment to the field of microfinance and we believe that innovative micro-entrepreneurs are the big enterprises of the future,” he said.

The CMA has been a signature component of the Citi Foundation’s work on financial inclusion for over a decade. Since 2005, the CMA has focused on providing economic empowerment opportunities for micro-entrepreneurs in about 30 countries.

“About 70 million Tanzania shillings will be awarded to 16 winners and will go a long way to highlight and encourage the contributions of micro-entrepreneurs and microfinance institutions (MFIs) in Tanzania” said Mchangila.

 The Citi Foundation’s extensive work on financial inclusion contributes to progress on Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 8, which aims among other things to provide full and productive employment and decent work for all. 

According to Mchangila,  the Awards promote financial inclusion and generate recognition for the extraordinary contributions that individual micro entrepreneurs make for the economic sustainability of their families, their communities and the wider economy.

“This is specifically enabling progress on target SDG 9 which seeks to increase the access of small-scale enterprises, particularly in developing countries, to financial services to facilitate integration into value chains and markets.”

For her part, the TAMFI CEO Winnie Terry, noted that the awards were a good catalyst to show the masses that prudent borrowing and repayments in business plays a key role in economic development.

She added: “In the three years, over 45 remarkable micro-entrepreneurs in Tanzania who were nominated by their microfinance Institution, won over 210m/-.”

The winners who exhibited excellence in areas such as loan repayment, business growth, innovation, job creation and impact on the community took home cash and non-cash prizes.

The categories will be based on demographics, gender and economic sector. The business should also have had a positive impact on the livelihood of the micro-entrepreneur, their family and their community. An overall winner – the Micro-entrepreneur of the Year Award and the Most Innovative MFI Award will also be included.

Last year, the Citi Micro entrepreneurship Awards program was a resounding success. Thousands of hard-working micro entrepreneurs were nominated by MFIs, and hundreds of them took home awards.  The program’s greatest accomplishment was increasing global awareness of the important role that micro entrepreneurs play in their local economies and catalyzing innovations among microfinance institutions that will lead to the increased supply of demand-driven products and enhanced client capability.

The CMA’s strive to ensure that small business owners throughout Tanzania are celebrated for their efforts in creating sustainable businesses in their communities. Participating micro-entrepreneurs in Tanzania will present their businesses to judges who range from microfinance experts to leaders from the public, private and academic sectors. The competition and judging process will be held in June 2020, when the winners will be announced at an awards ceremony in Dar es Salaam.

To date, the Citi Foundation has invested more than US$23.5 million in microfinance networks and microfinance institutions, and provided US$10.5 million in cash prizes to more than 6,000 entrepreneurs.