FIJI COUNCIL OF SOCIAL SERVICES MICROFINANCE UNIT FORGING AHEAD
The FCOSS Microfinance Unit has slowly but surely been making its progress in terms of outreach and having a stronger presence felt throughout Viti Levu. The growing need for microfinance services throughout Fiji similarly led to opening up our second branch in Sigatoka in June of 2012 and our third branch in Nadi in September of 2013. The Nadi branch started out at the Nadi Municipal market for 5 months as a point of contact before moving to its office in town with 4 full time staff members in February of this year. We are also engaging our services in Tavua and Rakiraki at their respective municipal market sites and hoping to open out offices there at the end of this year. Whilst on the Annual FCOSS Microfinance Staff retreat in December of 2013 at the Vakaviti Resort in Sigatoka, staff members that had attended the Microfinance Pasifika Network Workshop had made presentations to their fellow colleagues on Loan appraisal techniques, Agricultural Finance, Social Performance & Financial literacy as well as client protection. The MFPN presentations brought home to our Filed Credit Officers the importance of honing their skills on loan appraisal techniques and the importance of trying to provide farmers with better access to microfinance services in terms of loan products and loan terms that will better suit their needs. FCOSS Microfinance Unit has over 758 loan clients spread out over Viti Levu with the highest concentration of clients in Suva.
Grace Gucake is one of a very successful client of FCOSS microfinance Unit. Grace first joined FCOSS in December of 2008 and to date has taken over FJD$29,000.00 in loans in a span of 6 years.
She boldly entered the business world with a loan of $1000.00 trying out her hands on hair dressing business.To date, Grace has three fulltime hairdressers and her hair salon is managed by her daughter while she focuses on her fulltime job. Providing fulltime employment for her daughter and giving her an opportunity to try out what a small business can earn is a dream come true.
Pictured is one of the hairdressers busy at work at Grace’s hair saloon based at 59 Cumming Street in the heart of Suva City.