Location: Solomon Islands

Serah is a microcredit client of WPF’s microfinance partner SPBD in the Solomon Islands. When she received her first loan from SPBD SI’s Munda branch, Serah bought 15 cooking gas bottles.  This launched her cooking gas bottle refill business.  Each subsequent cycle, she has invested in buying additional bottles. She currently has about 50 total bottles.  She buys the small bottles for 115 SBD (≈$14USD) and resells for 130 SBD (≈16USD).  The larger bottles she buys for 210 SBD (≈$26USD) and resells for 236 SBD (≈$29USD).  Serah is currently borrowing a 4th cycle loan from SPBD Munda branch, borrowing 8,500 SBD (≈$1,047USD).

Cooking gas bottles can be difficult to buy in Munda.  Even now, she often calls her supplier trying to convince them to send more bottles.  After her customers buy a bottle from Serah, they prefer to exchange their empty bottles for refilled bottles with Serah rather than traveling all the way to the port themselves for the refill.  Serah’s husband has a truck that she can use to refill the bottles in bulk.  According to Serah, “In the Solomon Islands, it’s usually the men who are the bosses.  But with our own money, women can also be bosses.”  Serah encourages the other women in her community to start their own businesses.

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