SPBD Samoa Launches 3 New Products
The team at SPBD Samoa has launched 3 new products in the last few months:
- SME Loans
- OWL – Overseas Workers Loan
- SLI – Spouse Life Insurance
1. SME loans
SPBD launched its new SME Loan Program in the 3rd quarter. It is designed to help members, with larger businesses and funding needs, to further expand and to take the next step and aim for wealth creation – thereby going beyond merely livelihood concerns.
In the first year (Phase I) of implementation, SPBD will give loans to its existing members who have been able to establish strong micro businesses with SPBD’s Micro loan program and now are looking for more capital to scale up their business into Small and Medium business enterprises. SME members will continue to benefit from the SPBD’s robust Financial Literacy Program. The loan amounts range between ST$7,500-15,000. By 30 September 13 SME loans had been disbursed totalling ST130,000.
“Microfinance just got bigger” (Samoa Observer article)
Vine Vailoa runs a successful pork buns (keke pua’a) business in Samoa selling 1,100 of the tasty buns daily. Back in 2000, she joined a group of women who accessed financing and training from a new microfinance organization. Why? To grow her business, of course! Did Vine’s first loan of $245 (WST 750) from South Pacific Business Development (SPBD) Samoa really make a difference in her life?
Fast forward to 2013 — and guess who won the SPBD Samoa Business Woman of the Year Award this past March? Out of 6,500 clients, Vine Vailoa came out on top. The financing, training, and continued guidance and motivation from SPBD and her fellow group members did, indeed, make a positive impact. She now employs 3 family members on a full-time basis.
|Vine Supervises Pork Bun Making
Picture: RYAN THOMPSON
Vine recently marked another milestone — she became one of the first members to access SPBD’s new individual SME (small and medium enterprise) loans, which gives her access to larger loans to support the continued growth of her business.
Columbia University MBA student Ryan Thompson interviewed Vine. “She was part of the initial pilot group chosen for the SME product. I was so impressed with her business and intelligence — Vine blew me away. She knew exactly how to improve her business and recognized where funds were needed most.” What does Vine hope to accomplish next? With her SME loan from SPBD Samoa, she plans to purchase an automatic kneader for the dough, potentially doubling the capacity of her pork buns business. She’s also looking improve the healthiness of her work environment by upgrading the screens around her pork bun workshop. What are her other goals? She wants to ensure all of her 5 grandchildren graduate from school.
2. Spouse Life Insurance
SPBD has launched a new life insurance product aimed at the spouses of current micro-credit clients. Spouse Life Insurance (SPI) has been very well received by our members. SPI will provide security for families in the event the spouse of a loan client dies, as the unplanned costs associated with death such as funeral services, burial, food, etc., become a serious financial burden to the remaining family members.
3. OWL – Overseas Workers Loan
For many men in Samoa, the prospect of traveling overseas for employment opportunities is an attractive one. However, little to no financing options exists for many of them. Without appropriate financing options, many men elect not to make the trip, forfeiting an opportunity to provide for their families and villages.
The OWL product was launched in October 2013 to allow clients to use the loan proceeds to cover the costs of this overseas employment. These costs include travel to and from the contract location, medical check-up for work clearance, and initial expenses encountered upon arrival (clothing, food, etc.)
SPBD Samoa is working with the SEU (Seasonal Employment Unit) at the Prime Minister’s office who is responsible for checking all signed employment agreements and stamping their approval prior to returning the contracts to the Team Leader of each group. The Teams can then approach SPBD for a loan. The average loan so far has been around ST1,400.