SPBD SOLOMON ISLANDS KICKS OFF FIRST EVER LOAN DISBURSEMENTS IN HONIARA!
SPBD Solomon Islands disbursed its first 40 loans across 5 village centers with 25 of these members voluntarily saving during the week of 15 January, 2013. As of 28 February, US$197,643 or 525 micro-credit loans had been disbursed with total client savings of US$24,727. In addition, micro-life insurance policies are being provided, as well, financial literacy training (financial diaries) and ongoing business training.
General Manager Sandeep Lohani is very excited to be in the Solomon Islands with SPBD. He and his current staff 6 are looking forward to filling a major void in extending financial services to women in the Solomon Islands. Before joining SPBD, Sandeep was the Chief Operating Officer of Spandana, the 2nd largest microfinance institution in India with an outreach of 3 million clients, over $500 million loan portfolio and 6000+ employees spread across 10 Indian states. Prior to that he was vice-president of operations and portfolio management at Lok Capital, a microfinance sector focused private equity fund. He is currently a member of the Financial Inclusion Task Force.
SPBD Solomon Islands is the fourth entity in the SPBD network of microfinance institutions in the South Pacific region following SPBD Samoa (2000), SPBD Tonga (2009) and SPBD Fiji (2010). SPBD SI started setting up operations in November 2012 and its offices are located in Chinatown, in the capital Honiara. Despite the challenges presented by the Solomon Islands, many important characteristics support SPBD’s entry into and success in this new market. There is a clear demand for microloans and a lack of supply of microcredit financial access providers. Solomon Islands ranked low at 142 out of 187 countries in the 2011 Human Development Index (HDI) and has always been among the lowest ranked in the region. Solomon Islands’ per capita GDP is USD 600, placing it on the United Nations’ Least Developed Country list. 22.7% of the population of the Solomon Islands lives below the Basic Needs Poverty Line (BNPL).