SOUTH PACIFIC BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
SPBD FIJI IS MOVING FURTHER WEST – OPENS UP BRANCH IN LAUTOKA
With just over two years of operations in Fiji, SPBD Microfinance (Fiji) Ltd., the first Greenfield Microfinance institution in the country is opening its 4th branch, this time in the sugar city of Lautoka. The new office will look after women in the big province of Ba stretching from Nadi to Tavua. The newly hired staff of six Centre Managers began their outreach activities on 8th April and received tremendous interest from the villages around Lautoka.
Moving westward will enable SPBD to actively participate in rehabilitating the economy of the Western Division which sustained substantial damage to crops and businesses due to Cyclone Evan that swept through the region in late 2012. Early this year, SPBD, with the support of PIF Foundation of New Zealand, successfully implemented a “cash for work programme” to rehabilitate drainage systems of four villages in Ba which were damaged by Cyclone Evan.
The formal opening of the SPBD Lautoka Branch was held on 13th May with the Roko Tui Ba, Mr. Timoci Tukana being the Chief Guest and Mr. Gregory Casagrande, Founder and President of the SPBD network providing opening remarks.
The Lautoka Branch will be the first to implement the full MPaisa Service (Vodafone) for loan disbursement and collections, as well as, savings deposits and withdrawals. The branch will also start the financial education programme which will enable clients to develop financial goals and maintain financial diaries to track their household and business finances. The branch expects to have an outreach of at least 1,800 women by the end of this year with at least FJ$950,400 in loan portfolio. The start-up operations of SPBD Lautoka Branch is partially funded by the Whole Planet Foundation, a subsidiary of Whole Foods Corporation in the USA. Within just one month after opening, the SPBD Lautoka Branch has opened 796 savings accounts totalling FJ$47,060 and disbursed loans to 415 women entrepreneurs amounting to FJ$168,750.
SPBD Fiji is the first Greenfield microfinance institution in Fiji operating purely on independent privately-owned funds. As of 21 June 2013, SPBD Fiji has opened and maintained 7,232 savings accounts, 3,546 micro-loan accounts and more than 4,000 micro-insurance accounts for women entrepreneurs. In addition to micro-lending and savings, SPBD Fiji has also provided its clientele access to one of the most affordable life insurance coverages in Fiji, as well as mobile money banking through M-PAiSA of Vodafone. It has additional branches in Suva, Sigatoka and Savusavu.
SPBD Fiji is part of the international network of the South Pacific Business Development Microfinance Holdings Ltd. based in Singapore with country operations in Samoa, Tonga, Fiji and Solomon Islands.
To find out more about South Pacific Business Development, visit http://www.spbdmicrofinance.com/