Faaga manages two sources of income to support her family of twelve. Her husband and some local village boys work on the taro plantation, and Faaga sells the taro crop at the local market. Taro is in ample supply at her local market, however, and sometimes the over-supply means that Faaga can’t sell the entire crop. So Faaga also began making and selling ice-pops (locally referred to as “ice cakes”), which are a favorite of the local children. This additional income helps keep up with the children’s expenses, but Faaga is anxious to find ways to invest further in her businesses and grow her income. She will use loan funds to buy weed-killers to improve her taro crop as well as to buy ingredients for ice-pops in bulk (to get better prices and increase her profit-margin).
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.