Location: Solomon Islands

Irene, second from right in a blue shirt, is currently managing her third loan cycle from SPBD in the Solomon Islands. Her first loan was 1500 Solomon Islands Dollar (SBD)/$188, which she invested in fish resale. Her second loan was 3500 SBD/$438 USD, which she also invested in fish resale. Her third loan was for 5,500 SBD/$688 USD which she invested in building a new house and also in some elements of her coconut business.

Irene’s land is full of coconut trees and there is a big market for dried coconut with a local company who purchases and exports coconuts for the production of coconut oil. Irene works with her mother and two aunties to collect the coconuts, dry them, remove the exterior shell, then pound them into powder. She sells a large bag (weighing approximately 100 kilo) to a local purchaser who pays about 5 SBD/$0.62 per kilo. Total revenue for a bag is usually from 450-500 SBD/$56- $63 USD, depending on the exact weight.

Working together, Irene and her small staff produce 6-10 bags of coconut powder each week. Irene has 6 children, one of whom works as a field officer at the SPBD Munda branch, which is supported by Whole Planet Foundation funds!

Before being a member of SPBD, Irene was only able to keep her savings at her home. Now she utilizes the savings account provided by SPBD and is saving up to create a small store.

Microfinance Partner: South Pacific Business Development

SPBD is the Pacific Islands’ leading and first successful micro-enterprise development organization. Today SPBD is a profitable, financially-sustainable micro-enterprise development organization dedicated to helping underprivileged women start and grow small income generating businesses so that they can improve their families’ living conditions.

Learn more about South Pacific Business Development