Koronadal City, South Cotabato – The Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship (Go Negosyo) recognized Maria Teofani Criss Tutanes as among the 10 Most Inspiring MSMEs during the MSMEs Summit hosted by DTI MSMED Council, Go Negosyo and US Embassy in the Philippines on 26 August 2022 at the Manila Hotel.

Maria Teofani Criss Tutanes, a coffee processor of Region 12, was awarded as one of the 10 Most Inspiring MSMEs by the Go Negosyo for her exemplary role in growing her business and in inspiring fellow Filipinos in entrepreneurship.

Tutanes, the owner of PMTZ Care Marketing and producer of Mnemo Coffee, is the sole awardee from Mindanao recognized for her exemplary role in successfully growing her business and for serving as an inspiration to fellow Filipinos.

The award is given to outstanding MSMEs from the pool of more than 15,000 certified mentee graduates of the Kapatid Mentor ME (KMME) Program of DTI and Go Negosyo.

The Summit was attended by the President of the Philippines Ferdinand Marcos, Jr., U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines, H.E. Marykay Loss Carlson, and DTI Secretary Alfredo E. Pascual. The activity was headed by Mr. Joey Concepcion III, President of Go Negosyo.

During this event, President Marcos gave his message to the MSMEs wherein he reiterated that the revitalization of MSMEs is one of his administration’s top priorities as they are the backbone of the country’s economy. He also stated his full commitment to working hand-in-hand with the stakeholders to provide MSMEs ample opportunities and protection to help them thrive in this age.

After the message from the President, the awarding of the Top 10 Most Inspiring MSMEs was held to recognize micro and small entrepreneurs nationwide for their leadership role in their respective enterprises which led to its success, and for being an inspiration to fellow Filipinos in taking the route towards entrepreneurship.

In an interview with DTI 12, Tutanes stated: “Dumaan sa mabigat na pagsubok ang buhay ko. Parang kabayo, ramdam ko ang palo. Ang bawat palo ay nagtaglay ng pagsubok na nagpatatag sa akin para maabot kung ano at saan man ako ngayon kasama ang aking mga empleyado. Sa mga MSMEs patuloy tayong magsumikap, at paalala huwag i-asa ang negosyo sa iba. Ikaw ang pangunahing magpapalago nito. Tandaan mo kahit sarili mong anino iiwan ka sa panahong madilim na ang paligid mo.”

(My life went through a tough test. Like a horse, I feel the blow. Every blow is a test that has strengthened me to reach what and where I am today together with my employees. To MSMEs, let’s keep working hard, and remember not to rely your business to others. You are the one who will grow it. Remember that even your own shadow will leave you when it’s dark around you.)

Tutanes is one of the 497 mentee graduates of the KMME Program since it was launched in 2016 by DTI and Go Negosyo.

The mentoring program aims at helping MSMEs scale up their business through lecture, coaching, and mentoring sessions with business owners and practitioners on different functional areas of entrepreneurship.