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Partner Description:

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.

SPBD’s vision is to create a network of micro-enterprise development organizations in the South Pacific and neighboring regions to empower women through financial access and economic development, and to help them lift themselves and their families permanently out of poverty.

Target clients

SPBD serves women living in both rural and peri-urban areas who are vulnerable to poverty. They include single mothers, the unemployed, minorities, the disabled, the unbanked, and victims of domestic violence. Of the total number of loans distributed:

  • 99% go to women
  • 80% go to clients living in rural areas
  • 40% go to single mothers

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Financial Literacy Program

SPBD complements its financial product offerings with financial literacy training and weekly access to business training support. SPBD’s Financial Literacy Program teaches women financial management best practices to assess how their business is performing and to maximize their profits. This, in turn, leaves more money available to invest in their children’s education, upgrading housing conditions, and saving for the future. 


SPBD follows the Grameen Bank model of microfinance. Poor people in Samoa face “poverty of opportunity” because there are few formal employment openings available in the country. For most rural Samoans, jobs simply don’t exist. 

To reach these people, SPBD has women in rural villages self-select groups of four to seven to receive loans. In each village, there is usually two to five SPBD groups. The members of these peer groups support and guarantee one another. They approve one another’s business plans and loan applications. They also act as weekly guarantors on all loan repayments, and motivate each other to succeed. For example, if a client falls ill, her group will help with her business until she recovers. If a client gets discouraged, the support group will pull her through. This contributes substantially to the extremely high repayment rate on loans made to microfinance groups.

SPBD has weekly meetings in local villages with all of its clients. At these meetings, all SPBD-related business takes place, including business training modules, review of business plans, loan applications and approvals, weekly loan repayments, savings deposits, and ongoing mentoring and coaching.


SPBD provides small, unsecured loans of around US$400 to groups of rural women who invest in businesses based on their existing skills. They are given training, ongoing guidance and motivation to help them grow small income-generating endeavors so that they can work their way out of poverty. This is a very structured program with clear rules.

From their second loan onwards, members are encouraged to invest the proceeds of their loans in basic housing improvements and child education. SPBD helps to ensure that the children of all of its members receive a proper education by providing financing to pay for school fees, school uniforms and textbooks.

SPBD works to improve household wellbeing by providing financing for basic housing improvements, like accessing electricity, running piped water, installing proper sanitation, building a secure foundation (instead of a dirt floor), and replacing grass roofs with more durable and resilient tin. 

It’s expensive and difficult for the poor to open bank accounts at traditional commercial banks. SPBD helps members save for a rainy day and develop good financial habits by providing a basic savings service. By saving with SPBD, members have a safe and convenient place to make small and regular savings deposits.

SPBD also offers a loan and life insurance product to all of its members. In the event of a member’s death, her family receives financial assistance. This assurance of no hardship for the remaining family is something that many members greatly value.

SPBD Samoa

Started in January of 2000, SPBD Samoa is SPBD’s first location and is its largest operation. SPBD operates in every village in the country. Since its inception, the organization has made microfinance loans to over 40,000 women totaling 55 million Samoan Tala (US$23.9 million).

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Repayment Performance on Kiva

    This Field Partner All Kiva Partners
  Start Date On Kiva Jul 31, 2006 Oct 12, 2005
Total Loans $15,009,025 $1,411,965,700
Amount of raised Inactive loans $775 $3,148,600
Number of raised Inactive loans 1 623
Amount of Paying Back Loans $1,666,350 $150,192,800
Number of Paying Back Loans 2,246 195,744
Amount of Ended Loans $13,341,900 $1,258,624,300
Number of Ended Loans 18,834 1,627,010
Delinquency Rate 16.30% 26.10%
Amount in Arrears $134,175 $24,507,566
Outstanding Portfolio $812,479 $93,911,247
Number of Loans Delinquent 2,067 131,420
Default Rate 0.37% 1.76%
Amount of Ended Loans Defaulted $49,146 $22,187,519
Number of Ended Loans Defaulted 161 53,814
Currency Exchange Loss Rate 0.01% 0.39%
Amount of Currency Exchange Loss $1,598 $5,484,508
Refund Rate 0.27% 0.63%
Amount of Refunded Loans $41,150 $8,892,600
Number of Refunded Loans 51 8,400

Loan Characteristics On Kiva

    This Field Partner All Kiva Partners
  Loans to Women Borrowers 99.58% 76.46%
Average Loan Size $696 $394
Average Individual Loan Size $708 $611
Average Group Loan Size $1,760 $1,762
Average number of borrowers per group 6.3 7.8
Average GDP per capita (PPP) in local country $5,200 $5,743
Average Loan Size / GDP per capita (PPP) 13.39% 6.86%
Average Time to Fund a Loan 10.09 days 7.19 days
Average Dollars Raised Per Day Per Loan $68.99 $54.80
  Average Loan Term 12.68 months 11.38 months

Journaling Performance on Kiva

    This Field Partner All Kiva Partners
  Total Journals 1,519 869,325
  Journaling Rate 7.55% 43.35%
  Average Number of Comments Per Journal 0.13 0.03
  Average Number of Recommendations Per Journal 10.32 0.74

Borrowing Cost Comparison (based on 2017 data)

    This Field Partner Median for MFI's in Country All Kiva Partners
  Average Cost to Borrower 45% PY 51.00% PY 25.90% PY
  Profitability (return on assets) 5.2% -12.9% -2.02%
  Average Loan Size (% of per capita income) 10.60% 11.00% 12.51%

Country Fast Facts

Field Partner Staff

Vaiosina Ainuu
Luapene Lefau
Raymond McCarthy
Keiolani Samuelu