Two Jamaicans win microentrepreneurship awards
Claudia Gardner, Assignment Coordinator
WESTERN BUREAU:Two Jamaicans, three Belizeans, and a Grenadian made up the six recipients of microentrepreneurship awards at the third annual Citi Foundation/CMFA Microfinance Awards held during the Fifth Caribbean Microfinance Forum, which was held at the Iberostar resort in Montego Bay last week.
Samuel Andrew, operator of Hill Top Farms at St Andrews in Grenada, copped the Best Rural Microentrepreneur Award, while Elsa Waysome of T&T Herbs in Clarendon placed second. In the category of Best Technology Microentrepreneur, Eved José Corado, operator of Etech Services in Belize, placed first, while William Foster of Foster's Photo Studio in Kingston was the runner-up.
Sixteen-year-old Eider Romero of Belize and his compatriot, 25-year-old Eliel Reynoso, also copped the Best Young Microentrepreneur first and second places, respectively. Romero is the proprietor of ER's Icy Treats, while Reynoso operates Hawaiian Ice Parlour, a snowcone enterprise.
The winners of the categories each received a US$3,000 cash prize, while the runners-up received US$1,500.
Chairman of the Caribbean Microfinance Association, Ramesh Persaud, said the awards were presented to the recipients by practitioners in the microfinance field in celebration of their achievements, resilience, and innovation in the use of technology in a dynamic economic environment.
"Celebrating their achievement is also a way of us celebrating the accomplishments of our hard work in promoting financial inclusion for persons that were once deemed too high risk and low margin to be served by the mainstream financial sector," Persaud said.
"This awards ceremony is intended to raise recognition that microfinance clients are not just poor and vulnerable individuals, with only financial needs, to be met with handouts, but instead, that microentrepreneurs possess the talent, know-how, understanding, and connections to deal with the complexities of business and to introduce new ideas to industries," he added.