Celebrating the Outstanding Businesswomen in Samoa
SPBD Microfinance Samoa’s 14th Annual Businesswoman Awards was held May 31st and saw more than 1,000 people in attendance including clients from all corners of Samoa and extensive media coverage. The Associate Minister of Finance, senior government officials, bankers and other important stakeholders, applauded the women and encouraged them to continue to contribute to the economic progress of the country through their entrepreneurial work.
This year’s winner of the Businesswoman of the Year Award was Luisa Tapuai, from the island of Savaii. Luisa was unemployed when she joined SPBD five years ago. She used her first loan to set up a small shop in her home selling sugar, salt, flour, and other goods. A year later after she repaid her first loan, Luisa decided to expand into baking donuts, German buns, and cookies to sell in her shop with a second loan. Today, her shop is much bigger and she serves more than 300 customers every week, runs the bakery, and has even added a plantation where she grows cabbage. Luisa, now 44 years old, says she runs her business to improve the quality of life of her family and provide more educational opportunities for her children.
Other awards were also given in recognition of excellence in center leadership, financial education, savings, and running small/medium enterprises. Gregory Casagrande, President and Founder of the SPBD network, noted in his speech, “We can only give out so many awards. But to me, all our clients, who work hard at their micro-businesses to generate extra income for their family and to build savings for a bright future, are winners.”
Mr. Tuisa Tasi Patea, Associate Finance Minister, speaking on the occasion added, “A lot of women have benefitted from the operations of SPBD, not only in terms of loans, but also through financial management training and education, so that they can run their business successfully. By doing so they are not only improving the living standards of their families, but also contributing to the Samoan economy.”
Congratulations to all the winners!