Microfinance institution reaches USD$250M goal

South Pacific Business Development (S.P.B.D.) Microfinance has disbursed USD$250 million in loans since its inception in 2000 which it says is evidence of its commitment to fostering economic development in the region.

Founded with a vision to create meaningful economic opportunities and transform lives, the microfinance organisation has been instrumental in supporting more than 115,000 Pacific Island women microentrepreneurs. It has provided them with vital financial resources and enabled them to build businesses, improve their housing conditions and invest in their children’s education all the way through university for a brighter tomorrow.

Through its innovative programs, the organization has facilitated economic independence, job creation, and poverty alleviation for women in Samoa, Tonga, Fiji, the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.

“This achievement is a testament to the resilience and determination of the women microentrepreneurs we serve. Our members are of modest means but larger ambitions,” said the founder and President Greg Casagrande. “We are incredibly proud of the impact we have made in their lives and communities.

“The US$250 million milestone represents not just a figure but the dreams, aspirations, and potential unleashed through microfinance. SPBD also owes its success to its 175 dedicated staff. We are honoured to be a catalyst for positive change across the South Pacific.”

S.P.B.D. Samoa General Manager Luapene Lefau said they were elated to be able to reach that 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 where we operate,” the General Manager said. “The more than 310,000 loans we have disbursed across 5 countries, worth USD $250 million, demonstrates the transformative power of microfinance.”

In Samoa alone, the S.P.B.D. has provided more than 117,000 loans worth SAT$254 million while it employs 29 staff and operates two offices in Upolu and Savaii.

The S.P.B.D. has been able to achieve this significant milestone through its comprehensive range of financial products, business skills and financial education training, and ongoing guidance and motivation offered to members.

Chief Operating Officer Polly Kelekis noted, “With this milestone, we reaffirm our commitment to fostering economic empowerment and inclusivity in the South Pacific region.

“S.P.B.D. remains dedicated to expanding our reach, scaling our operations, and driving sustainable change, with the ultimate goal of transforming the lives of even more women microentrepreneurs in the years to come.”

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