FJD $548m in loans

The South Pacific Business Development (SPBD) has disbursed a total of $US250 million ($F548.9m) in loans since its inception in 2000.

At a function held to mark this achievement yesterday, SPBD’s general manager Elrico Munoz said the more than 310,000 loans they had disbursed across five countries were worth $US250m, demonstrated the transformative power of microfinance.

“We are thrilled to have reached this incredible milestone.

By providing accessible and inclusive financial services, we have enabled microentrepreneurs to uplift their families and contribute to the overall socio-economic development of the countries we operate,” he said.

He said in Fiji alone SPBD had provided 68,000 loans worth of $90m.

To mark the milestone the SPBD yesterday handed over a cheque worth $7000 to micro entrepreneur Miriama Degei who operates her businesses in Lautoka.

A member of SPBD’s Nakavu Centre in Lautoka, Ms Degei joined the organization as a member in 2019 and started her business in 2021.

Ms Degei said she started her business with loans from the SPBD and was grateful to be considered for the assistance that would help her expand her businesses.

Reserve Bank of Fiji governor Ariff Ali the loans disbursed by SPBD over the years had assisted in reducing the poverty rate in the country.

Mr Ali said SMEs and MSMEs were valuable contributors to the economy and he commended the SPBD for their commitment to fostering economic development in Fiji and the region.

The SPBD, through its innovative programs, has facilitated economic independence job creation, and poverty alleviation for women in Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.

Original Article: