Who says only big enterprises can get national recognition? Two woman vendors have proven that you donâ€™t need to be a multi-million corporation for your efforts to be recognized by national award giving bodies.
Estela Lagunzad and Anunciacion â€œCionyâ€ Santillan, the two vendors who has emerged as the top winners of the 2008 Citi Microentrepreneur of the Year Awards (MOTY).
Lagunzad of Tacloban City has been through many business endeavors. She used to be a distributor of Avon, Tupperware and Natasha products to help her husband and augment their family income. Now, she owns a retail store, and eatery, and has a business producing nursing caps and homemade lamps. She also manages a kidâ€™s rock band that is already quite popular especially in their neighborhood.
Santillan on the other hand was a sidewalk vendor. Now she has a store and is a retail trader of clothes, plastic ware and other general merchandise. Lately, she is also into hog-raising.
Lagunzad and Santillan won the top prize in the â€œMasikapâ€ and â€œMaunladâ€ category respectively.
The â€œMasikapâ€ category is aimed to give recognition to micro entrepreneurs successfully started a business which is now is a reliable source of income for the family. While the â€œMaunladâ€ category credits those who have grown a business that is now generating employment for others aside from household or family members.
Lagunzad decided to get into business because the salary of her security guard husband isnâ€™t enough to sustain the family needs. With the P15,000 loan she got from Rural Bank of Dulag in 2004, she opened a small eatery near a hospital. In 2007, she started manufacturing nursing caps and lamps. She now makes an average annual income of P800,000 and employs 25 people in their community.
Being a sidewalk vendor, Santillan used to be part of the underground economy. When she was introduced to FAIR Bank, she availed of a P15,000 loan which she used in the trading of dry goods. Her business is now registered with DTI and she employs the services of a bookkeeper monthly to handle her finances and tax payments.
Weekly sales turnover of her retail business averages about P100,000 a week, and more during Christmas season. Because of this, she was able to start her hog-rising business and has nine people under her employ.
MOTY, now on its sixth run in the Philippines, aims to raise awareness of and provide support for microfinance by giving recognition to outstanding micro-entrepreneurs. Microfinance is the provision of small, uncollateralized loans, usually ranging from P5,000 to P150,000, to the poor to help them start their own business.