The Bancamía customer Daniel Cepeda, whose business entails the production and sale of food items that he distributes via small food vending carts in various companies throughout Colombia, has won the Citi Microentrepreneur Award in the “Commerce” category. This award supports the growth of small companies that have a high impact on the economic development of certain regions, families and communities.
The Citi Microentrepreneur Award recognizes entrepreneurs with vision and who are in constant pursuit of progress. In 2010, when he was a cold drink vendor, Daniel Cepeda set up his business under the name “Tu Carrito Ofiexpress”. Inspired by its excellent reception, he started up a line of food products. He was supported in the development of his business from the outset by Bancamía, and the bank has granted him several loans tailored to the phases of development of his enterprise.
“Our first loan from Bancamía allowed us to launch our company, as initially the service on the food vending cart featured very few products, and we were unable to make direct purchases from the suppliers. Today, with four loan solutions provided by Bancamía, our business has grown far more than we could ever have imagined”.
For this microentrepreneur of the year, whose production unit already generates 30 direct jobs, “being an entrepreneur in our country requires hard work, discipline and dedication, but the fact of being able to create decent job opportunities and contribute to improving the quality of life of many families involved in our organization is very gratifying”.
Daniel Cepeda also markets his fresh healthful produce in the facilities of the bank’s own head offices. “We were contacted by Bancamía and invited to offer our services so the bank employees could buy everyday items in their workplace without having to travel large distances, thus optimizing their work time” says the entrepreneur.
In five years of operations they have expanded their services to other companies, and now have eight food vending carts for providing food in seven organizations. “It gives us great satisfaction to recall how when we started we didn’t even have the facilities to allow us to work properly, and today, although the workspace is not our own, we have an area for preparing the product, a storeroom and an office; what’s more in our microenterprise 90% of the women are heads of household”, says Daniel Cepeda
When he accepted the award from Citi Bank, Emprender and Citi Foundation, Daniel Cepeda explained “ever since I was a boy I wanted to set up a business to generate opportunities. After the third attempt I succeeded, and I’m grateful for this award today because I want to continue growing and purchasing more machinery to reach out to new customers”.