Economic Empowerment Program

CITI Micro-Entrepreneurship Awards

The CITI Micro-Entrepreneurship Awards (CMA) project aims to support Lebanese entrepreneurs and the social fabric of Lebanon by awarding the most innovative and successful businesses initiated by micro-credit that are producing positive impacts in their communities. The winners are expected to use the award to expand their businesses further, while continuing their corporate social responsibility by hiring staff from their communities. The hope is that this will contribute to the companies’ long term sustainability, as well as improved development and enhanced standard of living within their communities.  The YMCA has been funded by the CITI Foundation 8 times since 2005, and the Citi Micro-Entrepreneurship Awards Program has been successfully running since 2005.


The Award Ceremony, usually held in December, is arranged to recognize the efforts of micro-finance entrepreneurs and to praise their success. The award categories aim to encourage potential entrepreneurs by putting a spotlight on successful and ethical businesses, as well as encouraging the successful practice of micro-credit.  It also gathers the most active Micro-Finance Institutions (MFIs) in the Lebanese communities, who nominate the beneficiaries. Once the MFIs nominate the most successful businesses they are working with, the YMCA inspects and rates these organizations based on multiple criteria: the economic situation of the area, the originality of the business idea, the sustainability of the business, the environmental impact, the social impact, and the financial impact on the business owner.  An impartial jury decides the final winners.  CMA program is a unique service since it targets small, low income generating entrepreneurs which improve their investment potentials since the award is usually used to elevate and expand their businesses.