SPBD is a network of microfinance organizations working in Fiji, Samoa, Tonga and the 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.

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We've empowered over 60,000 women micro-entrepreneurs through micro-loans totaling US$61 million dollars in the islands of the South Pacific... and we've only just started.

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SPBD teams up with The Body Shop and The Wise Foundation

The inaugural SPBD, Body Shop Aust & Wise Foundation’s Inspiration Scheme for small business women in Samoa launched on June 6th 2011 with great success. The partnership aims to add value to SPBD’s micro financing foundation, through the delivery of a Small Business Development Workshop for Samoan business women, helping them learn more about sound business principles.

SPBD invited 10 clients to attend a 5 day Small Business Development Workshop, run by a team from The Body Shop Australia, including lead facilitators: Lawrence Cupido and Louisa Trombin and 5 The Body Shop Mentors. The women learned about the principles of good service, merchandising, promotions and cashflow. Mornings were spent workshopping the theory and the afternoons were spent with Mentors and Field worker/translators back in each business, evaluating and exploring the opportunities to be grasped.

It was truly transformational, with each business woman identifying what was best for her business and sharing some amazing realisations, from the importance of smart merchandising in order to differentiate their products from everyone else, using signage and business cards to spread the word and attract more customers, right through to examining their operations and deciding that in some cases, costs were outstripping sales and that their business weren’t going to grow without some serious readjustment.

Many said at the end of the week that they’d always had the will, but never been shown the way. Each Mentor from The Body Shop will continue to support their business women and maintain contact through letters and email. SPBD will support the women by hosting monthly networking sessions to help them share learnings and support each other.

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