Invitations open today for the Citi Microentrepreneurship Awards, the annual celebration of Britain’s microentrepreneurs that have accessed “responsible” business finance. Entrants will compete for a share of an £85,000 prize pot for this year’s awards.
Four prizes of £7,500 each are available for microentrepreneurs in categories that recognise their sustainability and growth. In addition, prizes will be awarded to the entrepreneur who has created significant social value, and the Youth Microentrepreneur of the Year.
Responsible finance providers – a crucial part of the UK’s financial sector and the leading financial institutions offering affordable finance to many small and micro enterprises – can also apply for awards, covering their impact and their resilience. Awards will also be given to the Loan Officer of the Year, and an industry leader.
Launched in 2005, (and in 2013 in the UK), the Citi Microentrepreneurship Awards were established by the Citi Foundation to recognise best-in-class microentrepreneurs and celebrate the responsible finance sector and their contribution to national economies. The Citi Foundation is committed to supporting the responsible finance sector, as well as youth entrepreneurs through its Pathways to Progress initiative.
A recent Citi Foundation study, Pathways to Progress Global Youth Survey 2017, found that 69% of young people interviewed dreamt of owning their own business, evidencing a real appetite among today’s youth. One in seven of the UK adult population now run their own microenterprises and the number of microenterprises continues to grow in Britain.
But “it’s been reported that up to two thirds of people running microenterprises have no prior business or management experience,” according to Jennifer Tankard, Chief Executive of Responsible Finance, who added:
“So the advice, mentoring, business support and skills development that responsible finance providers offer to their client businesses and social enterprises is just as important as the finance they provide.
“The Citi Microentrepreneurship Awards celebrate the innovation and drive that is behind local economic growth.
“Responsible finance providers support this success, not only with fair and affordable finance, but through developing the business skills of their clients. Last year they supported 10,100 small and social enterprises, which created and saved over 20,000 jobs.”
To be eligible to enter the Citi Microentrepreneurship Awards, which are delivered in partnership by Responsible Finance and the Citi Foundation, a business must have benefited from an affordable loan from a responsible finance provider and have contributed towards local economic growth in the UK.
“The Citi Microentrepreneurship Awards champion Britain’s successful small and micro enterprises that enrich the local economies and communities. They play an important role in society often bringing new and innovative solutions and products to market. The support small and micro enterprises receive from responsible finance providers is critical to their success, and collectively make an enormous contribution to the UK’s economy” said Bob Annibale, Global Director, Citi Inclusive Finance and Community Development.
“This is the 5th year of the Citi Microentrepreneurship Awards in the UK and we look forward to seeing a range of entries reflecting the impressive evolution and growth of the responsible finance sector.”