The national winner, Merle Paete an SEDP Member of Sorsogon City Branch pronounced as the Microentrepreneur of the Year during the 15th Citi Microentrepreneur Awards (CMA) held at Bangko Central ng Pilipinas last December 6, 2017, Wednesday.
Funded by Citi Foundation in partnership with BSP, Citi Philippines and MCPI, Merle Paete won the nationwide search for outstanding Filipino microentrepreneurs who have overtaken poverty with support from microfinance institutions as partners in financial inclusion and enterprise development.
A 57 years-old member of SEDP for almost 8 years and also a member of the Board of Trustees of SEDP Mutual Benefit Association from the province of Sorsogon earned the award because of her promising business of selling woven mats, pili nuts and production of pili-oil.
Merle accepted the award with her son, husband, SEDP and MPC staff with her Community Development Workers, Krissia Joy Rellorosa and Salvador Bonaobra who also received recognition from CMA with cash incentive.
Aside from the ceremonies, Merle received a 200, 000 peso cash with a guarantee of access to supplementary tools for her business, microinsurance coverage, entrepreneurship training at the Citi Microenterprise Development Center, a laptop, basic computer training at Ateneo University and also gain an automatic membership to the CMA Alumni Network with other winners to build their market connections and participate in a mentoring program that will help them further improve their businesses.
At present Merle Paete continues to scale up her business, invested a 3 hectare land to grow pili trees, employ people and avail financial and training assistance from the SEDP-Simbag sa Pag-asenso Incorporated and the SEDP Multi-purpose Cooperative.