Malia is the Chief of her village’s SPBD Center. And she is one of SPBD’s best Center Chiefs, as she takes her duties very seriously and ensures that she has collected payments from all of her fellow loan group members prior to an SPBD Manager arriving in the village for the weekly group meeting. Malia is also a good role model for her Center's group because she runs a successful business weaving and crafting women’s handbags. She makes a variety of sizes and different types of decoration but all are woven from the leaves of a native Samoan plant, laufala. Maria is a widow, and her husband died a long time ago. Maria has used her weaving talents for some time now to support herself and put her two daughters through school. She now weaves and creates about five handbags a week and that brings in about ST 20–30 per week (about USD 8–12).
South Pacific Business Development (SPBD) improves conditions for families living in poverty by providing accessible credit, training, and guidance to help them start, grow and maintain micro-businesses, build assets, finance home improvements, and afford to educate their children. 99% of SPBD’s loans go to women, who can borrow in groups to guarantee one another rather than put up collateral.