SPBD Launches new Overseas Workers Loan product
South Pacific Business Development Microfinance (Solomon Islands) Limited achieved a major milestone on Friday by launching their newest loan product, the Overseas Workers Loan (OWL) at their head office in China Town.
The 26-member team, approved by the Labor Mobility Unit, is the first-ever team from the Solomon Islands to gain access to credit from SPBD Microfinance to engage in seasonal work overseas.
More than 2-thousand Solomon Islanders pass the screening and interview process every year to engage in short-term overseas employment during the high seasons. Unfortunately some lack the financial capacity to meet the costs involved in providing the documentation needed to allow them to pursue short-term overseas employment.
SPBD’s OWL loan product will provide seasonal workers access to credit to assist them with the cost involved in obtaining the final documentation required such as passports, medical clearance, police clearance, visas and other related costs. The OWL participants will also gain access to other financial services provided by SPBD such as savings, death benefits and Financial Literacy Education.
SPBD General Manager Raymond McCarthy said, the launching of the OWL product to support the workers participating in the Recognized Seasonal Employer (RSE) scheme is a major accomplishment for SPBD Solomon Islands and a true testament to SPBD’s commitment in providing accessible financial services to the underserved segments of Solomon Islanders.
SPBD Microfinance Solomon Islands was incorporated in 2012, as the fourth oldest of five entities in the South Pacific Region. The SPBD Microfinance Network consists of SPBD Samoa (2000), SPBD Tonga (2009), SPBD Fiji (2010), SPBD Solomon Islands (2012) and SPBD Vanuatu (2017). Since inception in 2012, SPBD Solomon Islands has disbursed a total of SBD154,000,000 in microloans to more than 29-thousand women.
SPBD’s mission is to improve the quality of life of underprivileged families by providing them meaningful economic opportunities to help lift them permanently out of poverty. SPBD is especially focused on empowering women to start, grow and maintain micro-businesses through the provision of access to financial and business development services as well as the opportunity to build assets, improve financial security and finance housing improvements and education.
SPBD’s vision is to create a network of financially self-sufficient and scalable micro-enterprise development organizations throughout the South Pacific.