FDB Grants $1.5m Loan To SPBD

The Valelevu Sisters, a micro-entrepreneurial women’s group, are just one example of a group consistently benefitting from the South Pacific Business Development (SPBD) loan facility.
22 Apr 2022 12:29
FDB Grants $1.5m Loan To SPBD
Standing third from left: Reserve Bank of Fiji Deputy Governor, Esala Masitabua, South Pacific Business Development director Lorraine Seeto, Minister for Women, Children, and Poverty Alleviation Rosy Akbar and Fiji Development Bank chief executive officer Saud Minam with representatives from women’s centres and officials on April 21, 2022. Photo: Laisa Lui

The Valelevu Sisters, a micro-entrepreneurial women’s group, are just one example of a group consistently benefitting from the South Pacific Business Development (SPBD) loan facility.

Lewaseini Takayawa, the centre’s chief, said the loans have helped women become financially inde­pendent and given them the ability to support their children, educa­tion-wise.

To ensure more support for wom­en in micro-businesses, the Fiji De­velopment Bank (FDB) yesterday granted $1.5 million loan to SPBD.

This funding will go towards sup­porting women’s groups like Valel­evu Sisters as well as add to SPBD’s already increasing loan members portfolio.

Women empowerment

Minister for Women, Children, and Poverty Alleviation, Rosy Ak­bar, who officiated the event yester­day commended FDB and SPBD for this initiative.

She said initiatives as such eco­nomically empowered women in the care economy as women shoul­der a disproportionate share of unpaid care work around the world and gender imbalances in the dis­tribution of care work constitute a root cause of women’s economic and social disempowerment.

“We cannot move forward leaving half the population – half the hu­man resources behind.

“It is indeed an important mile­stone in the list of achievements for SPBD AND FDB, in particular for their work that greatly benefits women in small-micro enterprise owners.

The two financial institutions have been collaboratively support­ing women micro-entrepreneurs since 2014.

Working FDB

SPBD director, Lorraine Seeto, said it took two meetings and many emails to get the loan approved from the team at FDB.

“Earlier in 2014, FDB provided a $2 million loan to SPBD aimed at increasing SPBD’s capacities to reach out to the women micro-en­trepreneurs in the rural areas,”Ms Seeto said.

“We are indeed grateful for the continuous collaboration that we have had over the years with FDB and look forward to more opportu­nities with FDB in time to come.

Also present at the event, were representatives from Vesivesi Cen­tre, Naitaqiri Centre and Valelevu Centre and the Reserve Bank of Fiji.

Branching out

SPBD is scouting for a branch in Kadavu and hopes to establish it later in the year.

Next Friday, SPBD will be relo­cating its office in Sigatoka, still within the town, as part of its stra­tegic positioning to cater for more women.

Additionally, SPBD recently signed a Memorandum of Un­derstanding with Australian Vol­unteer International and will re­launch its Fiji Bloom Programme.

A community-driven initiative that helps women-led micro-small-medium-enterprises (MSMEs) bloom into their fullest potential.

Through this, the SPBD app will also be launched to further en­hance it reach and services, Ms Seeto said.

Fiji Development Bank chief ex­ecutive officer, Saud Minam said: “One of the main reason we de­cided to shake hands with SPBD is to make sure to reach out to those places where banks cannot actu­ally reach out to.

“Thank you SPBD for the oppor­tunity for a good strong partner­ship in terms of providing the life­line or the economic activity.

Moving paperless

Meanwhile, in efforts to become digitally-efficient, will no longer printing statements as customers can reach out on the website and get the electronic statements.

Also, loan application and dis­bursement can now be made more convenient electronically.


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