Microfinance Country Information

SAMOA The Microenterprise Financing and Savings Mobilisation Project is implemented in partnership with the Women in Business Foundation, a local NGO promoting entrepreneurial development of disadvantaged women in Samoa. The project is targeted at women in predominantly rural Savaii where the large majority of women do have access to cash income and have very little or no experience in handling money or carrying out income generating activities. The situation calls for innovation on how to extend microenterprise financing services to these women. Based on the first-hand experience of WIBF, the project developed an approach where women will first be given very small loans for meeting family needs (not necessarily for income generation). They will then be closely guided by the WIBF loans officer on how to manage and repay this very small loan and, in the process, acquire basic money management skills, savings habit and credit discipline. When they are ready, they can apply for an income generating loan. These women are then formed into groups for mutual support and to streamline the collection of loans. WIBF provides them with income generating ideas, skills training and marketing assistance.

Microfinance Specialist, Manny Palis, will visit Apia and Savaii in January/February to set up the management information system for WIBF and to train their finance and field staff. The project is overseen by a consultative group comprising of WIBF, Ministry of Women Affairs, UNDP Apia and the SMILE Programme.

Source: UNDP, Fiji

Hari Srinivas - hsrinivas@gdrc.org
Return to the Case Studies page
Return to the Virtual Library on Microcredit