By Michael Eboh
CitiÂ Foundation has awarded Growing Businesses Foundation (GBF) a grant of $35,000 (N5.11 million) for the implementation of the 2009 Citi Micro Entrepreneurship Awards (CMA) scheduled to hold at the end of the year.
According to a statement by Cecile Agwu, programme Director, GBF, the CMA is a global initiative by CitiBank to promote and encourage micro-entrepreneurship and micro-enterprise around the world. In 2008 the program was implemented in 27 countries including Nigeria.
She noted that in Nigeria, GBF has implemented awards with Citibank Nigeria Limited since 2007 in conjunction with the Central Bank of Nigeriaâ€™s annual MicroFinance Conference and Awards.
She further stated that this Partnership is aimed at creating awareness of microfinance among entrepreneurs in Nigeria as well as encouraging them in their businesses.
He said,Â â€œThe awards celebrate entrepreneurs who have demonstrated excellent business acumen, have scaled initial business hurdles and have been able to sustain their businesses thereby contributing to their family, communities and the nation as a whole. This entrepreneurs are their own bosses and some of them have generated enough income to take on extra staff support, thereby promoting one of the more fundamental aspects of entrepreneurial initiatives; which is employment generation.â€
She disclosed that in 2007 and 2008,Â the sum of $80,000 (N11.68 million) in total was awarded to GBF for the same purpose by Citi Foundation through the recommendation of Citibank Nigeria Limited.
Furthermore, she noted that the GBF since its establishment in 1999 has been, over the years, working with leading financial institutions, corporate organisations, as well as, International Development Agencies, and has built a commendable track record in addressing the sustainability of indigenous businesses at the grassroots from an objective to support capacity building of MSMEâ€™s through entrepreneurship development of management skills and facilitating access to credit.
Citi Nigeria, she continued, on the other hand has been at the fore front of microfinance in Nigeria and has been a member of GBF since 2002.