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- SPBD Network
Who is SPBD?
South Pacific Business Development (SPBD) is a network of Microfinance Institutions working in Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, and Solomon Islands dedicated to eradicating poverty by empowering women in poor rural villages with the opportunity to start, grow and maintain sustainable, income-generating micro-enterprises, build assets, as well as, finance home improvements and childhood education. We provide clients with a range of training, financial services and ongoing motivation so that they can climb permanently out of poverty.
Opportunities for SPBD
SPBD created a holding company - SPBD Microfinance Holdings (Singapore) Pte. Ltd. - at the end of 2010, which serves as a regional microfinance platform in the Pacific. It owns SPBD Samoa, SPBD Tonga, SPBD Fiji, and SPBD Solomon Islands and will launch greenfield microfinance operations in other Pacific Island countries. It is envisioned that the network could later expand to other countries in the Pacific and Southeast Asia region and eventually to Central America and the Caribbean. The creation of a region-wide microfinance network in the broader South-Pacific could help over 50,000 poor Pacific islanders find a meaningful path out of poverty and could directly impact another 300,000 immediate family members in the region.
SPBD offers the following products and services:
- Small unsecured loans of approximately USD400 for micro-businesses, housing improvement and children's education
- SME (Small and Medium Enterprise) loans between USD3,000 and USD6,500
- OWL or Overseas Worker Loans for workers who travel to New Zealand and Australia for 4 months to do manual labor
- Simple and small balance savings services to build-up funds for future needs
- Training (financial and business) and on-going guidance
- In-house loan insurance which covers clients' outstanding loans with SPBD in case of death
- Life Insurance to clients and their spouses designed to decrease the financial burden on the family of the deceased
- Mobile money services in Fiji in partnership with Vodafone.
Who are SPBD's clients?
SPBD serves women living in both rural and peri-urban areas who are vulnerable to the consequences of poverty. These include single mothers, the unemployed, minorities, the poor in health, the disabled, the unbanked, minorities, and potential victims of domestic violence. Of the total number of loans distributed:
- 99% go to women
- 80% go to clients living in rural areas
- 40% go to single mothers
- 100% go to the unemployed
SPBD expects to see a positive ripple-effect flowing through to the formal economy and society at large as more micro-businesses are started and more individuals gain access to work in the formal economy.