Since 2006 Citi Foundation funds the microentrepreneurship Awards, an initiative to promote the effective role that microfinance plays in poverty alleviation. The Awards are organized by the Association of Microfinance Institutions of Uganda (AMFIU) in collaboration with Citibank Uganda to recognize the extraordinary contributions that individual microentrepreneurs have made to the economic stability of their families as well as their communities in Uganda. This year marks the 10th anniversary of Citi Microentreprenuership Awards in Uganda and the award ceremony will be held together to celebrate the milestone the awards have contributed to poverty alleviation in Uganda.
Who is eligible to participate and win?
- Any client of an MDI, MFI or SACCO is eligible to compete for the prize whether they are a borrower, saver or a combination of both.
- The financial institution should review its portfolio to identify no more than two candidates who can compete for a prize pool of over UGX 70,000,000.
Who is a Microentrepreneur?
Microentrepreneurs are low-income persons who own small-scale businesses, a common form of employment in Uganda. Microentrepreneurs often provide the sole source of family income and may employ a small number of people in the local community. Other characteristics of microentrepreneurs include:
- In rural areas, microentrepreneurs are usually small farmers and others who are engaged in small income-generating activities such as food processing and trade.
- In urban areas, microentrepreneurs are more diverse and include shopkeepers, service providers, artisans, street vendors, etc.
What are the award criteria?
The successful entrepreneur should be a multifaceted individual whose business intervention has lead to a broad range of changes in their business, in their community, and in their family. Each application is evaluated under the following criteria:
- Business growth & Sustainability: This explains the history of the business, what it is, how and when it was started, the revenue/sales volume when it began and how it looks today; what do they sell on a monthly basis. How many branches do they have compared to when they started or has the operating facility been expanded or changed. Identify any multiplier effects that this business has had on other business. What benefits its suppliers or buyers have enjoyed as a result of this businesses growth noting whether these businesses’ are within the community, outside its district or beyond.
- Innovation: What does the business do differently to make it successful? Does it offer a unique service or product? Have they introduced information and communication technologies or energy saving equipment to make it run more efficiently?
- Financial discipline: Has the Client shown high degrees of financial integrity related to savings, loan repayments and investment of repeated increasing loan funds?
- Family impact: How has the success of the business positively impacted the family life? Has the business success enabled the client to improve housing, health care, education for children, sanitation etc.
- Employment creation: This relates to the evolution of number of employees. Has the business moved from sole proprietorship to employ more people including non-family members? How many people were employed initially and what is the total currently. What is the gender break down of the employees?
- Microfinance institutions (MFIs) are encouraged to nominate their clients who have exhibited excellence in areas such as loan repayment, business growth, employment growth, and impact on the community. All nominees must be submitted through a microfinance institution. Microentrepreneurs may not nominate themselves directly to AMFIU but can contact their financial institution.
- The financial institution, after identifying its top two candidates, needs to simply fill out the application form and return it to AMFIU.
How is an application submitted?
The financial institution, after identifying its top two candidates, needs to simply fill out the application form and return to AMFIU no later than 9th November 2018. Remember, your candidate(s) is competing against scores of other entrepreneurs so the more information provided, the greater the detail and the more compelling the story told, the greater the chance that your institution and your client will be recognized for achievements.