The Fiji Development Bank (FDB) has provided a further loan of $1.5M to the South Pacific Business Development (SPBD) Microfinance aimed at increasing SPBD’s capacities to reach out to the women micro-entrepreneurs.
SPBD Fiji has been empowering women in rural, semi-urbanized villages and various settlements with the opportunity to start, grow and maintain sustainable, income-generating microenterprises.
Speaking at a special event organized to mark this collaboration between FDB and SPBD Fiji, the Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Honourable Rosy Akbar congratulated and acknowledged the two organizations for this exclusive partnership.
“It is indeed pleasing to see that corporate entities have placed a key focus on empowering women as entrepreneurs in support of the Government’s commitment to strengthening the economic participation of all Fijians and in particular for women, as one of its major priorities,” she said.
Hon Akbar commended SPBD for strategically developing leadership skills, forging ownership and commitments, building teamwork and communication skills, maneuvering future capital security, innovative thinking and accountability together with financing the micro enterprise projects.
The Hon Minister highlighted that it was gratifying to note that FDB recognized the amazing work SPBD has been doing and joined hands with them in promoting more women in microbusinesses.
“As the development bank of Fiji, FDB continues to develop the grassroots people through different avenues – such as this partnership and other financial solutions.”
FDB CEO Mr. Saud Minam said FDB is honored to be part of this financing chain with SPBD Fiji which aims to create a positive business environment for microenterprises.
“By financing the SPBD Fiji, FDB is targeting the strategic sector of the economy – ‘the micro enterprises.’ This on-lending to SPBD will support those customers that are in need of access to finance as well as those projects that have the highest multiplier effect, both economically and socially.”
“We are proud to be the only Bank in Fiji to reach out to these customers through avenues such as this collaborative endeavor.”
SPBD Fiji Director, Lorraine Seeto acknowledged FDB for understanding their needs and being the strategic partner since their inception in 2010.
Ms. Seeto also emphasized the resilience and creativity of SPBD members during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Women diversified their businesses and looked at other means of earning income. Some of our SPBD members continued with their savings. All very impressive achievements for women who cannot borrow from the formal sector!”
More than 6,500 women loan clients are being currently served in Viti Levu, Vanua Levu, Ovalau and Taveuni.
SPBD Fiji has been providing unsecured financing to underprivileged women, which are essentially self-formed groups of 4-6 women, whereby the group co-guarantees all loans of its members.