Selepa F. is 40 and married with 5 children (ages 4 - 18). She owns a business venture, planting & harvesting cocoa for sale. Selepa has 4 years of experience in this business. Selepa needs a loan of WST $2250 to invest in expanding the business. She plans to use the earnings from her business (estimated to be 300 talas or US $125 per week) to financially support extended members of her family.
In 2006, Selepa joined SPBD. This is her 6th loan with SPBD. SPBD's loans are Selepa's only access to capital because she was never able to qualify for a loan with traditional banks.
In 2000, Greg Casagrande founded SPBD and since then, it has expanded from the main island of Upolu in Samoa to Savaii, as well as Tonga. SPBD's philosophy of lending is based upon the Grameen Bank lending method.
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.