SOUTH Pacific Business Development (SPBD) Microfinance (Fiji) Limited has opened its doors to women in the north with its establishment in Savusavu on Friday.
SPBD has been providing unsecured loans, personalised savings facilities, affordable life insurance, business training and community organisation to more than 20,000 women in the South Pacific Region.
SPBD general manager Elrico Munoz said they had been establishing unsubsidised Greenfield microfinance operations in the Pacific region.
"The company has earned recognition from different parts of the world for its efforts to uplift the conditions of the women in general," Mr Munoz said.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, SPBD founder and president Greg Casagrande said "our vision has always been to directly empower the poor with microfinance services".
"On Viti Levu, we have now worked with nearly 5000 micro-entrepreneurs and have successfully disbursed over $5 million of unsecured micro-loans — loans to start and grow small businesses, loans to improve housing conditions and loans to ensure a proper childhood education," Mr Casagrande said.
"Investments are important, invest in your businesses, but also invest in your families as your businesses begin to succeed," he said.
"Ensure that your family has access to electricity and good clean running piped water and proper sanitation," he said.