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15th Citi Microentrepreneurship Awards: Bicolana Finds Fortune in Pili Oil

Starting a small business is no easy feat because though you may not need a big capital, you definitely need to exert a lot of hard work before you see it flourish and cash flowing in. Your hobby is a great idea to start with especially if it’s something unique yet useful. Or you can check with Mother Nature just like what this Bicolana did and then sought the help of a microfinancing company.

The pili is not a tough nut to crack after all, especially for an enterprising Bicolana, who was named Microentrepreneur of the Year in the 15th Citi Microentrepreneurship Awards (CMA), presented by partners Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), Citi Foundation, Citi Philippines, and the Microfinance Council of the Philippines, Inc.

In ceremonies held at the BSP Assembly Hall, Merle Paete, who has made exciting discoveries in the use of pili and its by-products, was presented the top award. Paete is joined by other awardees: Reynante Manimtim, a siomai food cart owner, the Regional Awardee for Luzon; Mimosa Cortez, a fishing and crab picking business owner, the Regional Awardee for Visayas; Ivy Millare, buko pie and egg pie manufacturer, the Regional Awardee for Mindanao; and Keith Varias, an internet cafΓ© owner, recognized as the Youth Microentrepreneur of the Year.

Citi_Bicolana finds fortune in pili oil
Standing from L-R: National Selection Committee members Ayala Corp. President Fernando Zobel de Ayala, Presidential Consultant on Entrepreneurship Jose Ma. A. Concepcion III, BSP Deputy Governor Chuchi Fonacier, Phil. Daily Inquirer Chair Marixi R. Prieto, Citi Philippines CEO Aftab N. Ahmed, SPARK! Philippines Trustee Imelda M. Nicolas and Secretary of Trade and Industry Ramon Lopez

Seated from L-R: Youth Microentrepreneur of the Year Keith Varias, Special Awardee for Green/Sustainable Business Rowena Manalo , Regional Awardee for Mindanao Ivy Millare, Microentrepreneur of the Year and National Winner Merle Paete, Regional Awardee for Visayas Mimosa Cortez, Special Awardee for Community Leadership Abdulia Austria, Special Awardee for Agri Micro-Business Carmelita Dapanas and Regional Awardee for Luzon Reynante Manimtim