JAMAICAN entrepreneurs and leaders in the microfinance industry won the top awards at the Citi-CMFA Annual Caribbean Microfinance Awards, which brought the curtains down on the 6th Caribbean Microfinance Forum at the Doubletree Hilton Airport Hotel in Miami, Florida between July 6 and 9.
Well-known development specialist Maureen Webber, founder and CEO of Development Options, emerged as the region’s Most Outstanding Microfinance Leader, with Marcus James, the CEO of Access Financial Services winning the runner-up award in a region wide search adjudicated by a panel comprising representatives from the IDB/Multilateral Investment Fund, the Caribbean Development Bank, the Development Bank of Jamaica, the EU/ACP Programme of the European Commission and Citi Jamaica. Webber, whose name is synonymous with microfinance and entrepreneurial development in Jamaica and the Caribbean, was lauded for significant work spanning over three decades in the design of programs, which have been integral in shaping the Caribbean microfinance landscape.
“I pay tribute to the late Michael Manley, who entrusted me with the position of heading the Policy Review Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister that led to the design, planning and implementation of several major projects including the design and roll out of the Micro Investment Development Agency (MIDA)”, said an emotional Webber, who fought back the tears in accepting the award from Ramesh Persaud, the Chairman of the Caribbean Microfinance Alliance (CMFA), the conveners of the Microfinance Forum and Awards.
Emotions ran high and the tears also flowed for June ‘Angela’ Anderson Hope, the popular winner of the Outstanding Micro-entrepreneur of the Year Award for her expanding bag juice manufacturing business on Bond Street in downtown Kingston. Her business ‘GelaCooler’, which has been assessed and certified by the Jamaica Bureau of Standards, has had tremendous impact on the Denham Town community, currently employing 12 people, most of whom are inner-city youth, whom she has personally rescued from the streets.
Read more at jamaicaobserver.com