- What we do
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- SPBD Network
SPBD Samoa is the flagship microfinance institution in the SPBD network. Founded in 2000, it maintains a dominant market share for small unsecured loans in Samoa with 95% of all microenterprise development loans made and for 2-3% of all types of loans in the country.
There is no other organization that offers similar products to its microloans with the scale and capacity that SPBD has achieved. SPBD’s viability has also earned the organization a strong reputation in the international microfinance community, particularly since the South Pacific has long been considered a very difficult place for microcredit to take root. Learn more about Samoa
Following the success of SPBD Samoa, we launched a replication in the Kingdom of Tonga in 2009. After only 18 months, SPBD Tonga reached financial sustainability and has expanded onto the island chains of Vava’u, Ha'apai, and 'Eua respectively, with further growth planned onto other islands in 2014 and beyond. We plan to use the Tonga model for all further replications. Learn more about Tonga
SPBD Fiji was successfully launched at the end of 2010 on the main island of Viti Levi. After only 5 months of operations it became the largest microfinance institution in Fiji. It now has over 5,300 micro-credit clients. We expect this to become the network’s largest MFI over the next 5 years with a client base in excess of 20,000 clients. Learn more about Fiji
The need for SPBD to enter this market is evident and South Pacific Business Development Microfinance Ltd. Solomon Islands launched at the end of 2012.
- The Human Development Index ranked the Solomon Islands 156 out of 187 in 2014.
- Only 40% of the total population of 570,000 is formally employed and most reside in rural areas.
- An estimated 85% of the population is still financially excluded. The formal economy is dependent on logging, an unsustainable activity, which has been declining since 2009. Most low-income families are active in agriculture.
- Financial literacy levels are very low around 30% and there is a general distrust of banks.
- 30% of the population does not have access to safe drinking water
- Only 52% of children are enrolled in education and even fewer complete schooling
Chairman of Forum Solomon Islands (FSI) Redley Raramo said: “The issues and challenges in our country are not for the government alone, but every citizen’s responsibilities.” He said all issues are interconnected and related and that reflects more on our socio economic position which resulted in many problems in our society. “…high unemployment, high illiteracy, partial education system, idleness, unproductiveness, break down of societal norms, cultural deviation…”
Services Provided to Micro-Entrepreneurs
- Small unsecured loans of approximately USD400 for micro-businesses, housing improvement and children’s education
- Simple and small balance savings services to build-up funds for future needs
- Solar loans for renewable energy equipment
- 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 designed to decrease the financial burden on the family of the deceased
SPBD Singapore (Holdings)
To better manage and leverage the successes of the SPBD network, in 2010 Gregory Casagrande created a holding company (HoldCo) called SPBD Microfinance Holdings (Delaware) LLC (SPBD Delaware) in the USA. SPBD Delaware then created a subsidiary holding company in Singapore named SPBD Microfinance Holdings (Singapore) Pte. Ltd. (SPBD Singapore). SPBD Delaware serves as the investment gateway into the SPBD Network for US-based investors. SPBD Singapore serves as the investment gateway into the SPBD Network for non-US based investors; it is also the holding company of each of the operating SPBD MFIs.
SPBD Singapore is responsible for launching more Greenfield microfinance operations in other Pacific Island countries such as in American Samoa for example. SPBD plans to expand the network to other countries in the Pacific and Southeast Asia region and eventually to Central America and the Caribbean. Regulatory environment permitting, all of SPBD’s microfinance institutions will be registered as Non-Bank Financial Institutions (NBFIs). The creation of a region-wide microfinance network would help more than 60,000 poor Pacific islanders find a meaningful path out of poverty and could directly impact another 300,000 immediate family members in the region by 2016.