FIJI NEWS

Microfinance comes to Cakaudrove

By JOELENE TUIMOALA Distant rural and smaller communities in Cakaudrove have something to celebrate now with the opening of a South Pacific Business Development (SPBD) Microfinance Fiji office in Savusavu.
13 Oct 2012 10:17

By JOELENE TUIMOALA

Distant rural and smaller communities in Cakaudrove have something to celebrate now with the opening of a South Pacific Business Development (SPBD) Microfinance Fiji office in Savusavu.
Yesterday’s event saw the expansion of this network into the 12th island served by SPBD among the three countries of Samoa, Tonga and Fiji.
Speaking during the opening, chief guest and Commissioner Northern Lieutenant-Colonel Ilai Moceica said the event marked Government’s commitment to fulfilling its obligations to the various international conventions that it had ratified.
“It obligates Government to do all that it can to ensure that all discrimination and impediments to women’s progress socially, traditionally, religiously, culturally, economically and politically are removed and that women enjoy the same human rights as men in the community,” Lieutenant-Colonel Moceica said.
He said the launch of SPBD in Savusavu supported Government’s Look North Policy.
“I fully agree that to lift living standards in the North, it is vital to empower its women and especially its rural, traditionally-marginalised women economically.”
“Our vision has always been to directly empower the poor with microfinance services. On Viti Levu, we have worked with nearly 5000 micro-entrepreneurs and have successfully disbursed over $5 million in unsecured micro-loans,” SPBD founder and president Gregory Casagrande said.
SPBD started its Fiji operations in December 2010 with the Minister for Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation, Dr Jiko Luveni, formally opening its head office in Suva.
In just less than 24 months, it has provided unsecured loans, personalised savings facilities, affordable life insurance, business training and community organising to almost 5000 women in the provinces of Rewa, Naitasiri, Tailevu, Namosi and Serua through its Suva head office and in the province of Nadroga through its branch in Sigatoka.




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