The Fiji Development Bank continues to forge new relations to develop the grassroots people.

Today FDB will sign official documentation that will provide a $2MM loan to the South Pacific Business Development (SPBD) Microfinance (Fiji) Ltd. This is an effort aimed at increasing SPBD’s capacities to reach out to the women micro-entrepreneurs in the rural areas.

The core focus of SPBD is to facilitate and provide microfinance to the low-income and disadvantaged women of the Fiji Islands who constitute 35% of the population. SPBD Fiji is part of the regional network of microfinance institutions with operations in other Pacific countries like Samoa, Tonga and Solomon islands.

“As Fiji’s only development bank, we are mandated to provide finance for projects that contribute to the development of the Fiji economy and to improving the quality of life of our people. Financing of the SPBD loan is one of the avenues that FDB can impact the lives of the grassroots people,” FDB chief executive officer, Mr. Deve Toganivalu said.

“We are very optimistic about this partnership as this will ensure that SPBD extends its network of assistance to more micro-entrepreneurs.”

“FDB prioritises assistance to micro-entrepreneurs and this partnership will provide the much needed helping hand to the local microfinance business community. We have had our share of challenges in the past as we strive to promote microfinance in all its aspects but only to realise at a great expense that we can’t do it alone. With SPBD’s expertise and systems, this gives us another avenue to help and we are just as enthusiastic as SPBD in the proposed partnership.”

The signing ceremony will be held at the Tanoa International Hotel Nadi where the top executives of the SPBD Regional network are currently having their annual conference.

For the past 14 years the SPBD network has cumulatively disbursed more than US$50M to 89,000 women in the region. Aside from providing unsecured credit, SPBD also provides other financial services and continuing financial education to its clients.

Both SPBD and FDB shall be exploring further collaborative efforts in the areas of financial education and marketing assistance for these women. FDB is also a major sponsor of the SPBD Businesswoman of the Year Awards. This annual awards program is now in its fourth year running.

SPBD will be represented by its Founder and President, Mr. Gregory Casagrande and SPBD Fiji General Manager, Mr. Elrico Munoz.