Lack of Economic Opportunities for Women: Casagrande
THE lack of meaningful economic opportunities for women in Fiji's rural areas is an issue that the South Pacific Business Development aims to address.
This includes the lack of formal waged opportunities and availability of credit for women in rural areas to set up small enterprises.
SPBD president and founder Gregory Casagrande highlighted this at the inaugural Sisters in Business Market Day in Suva this morning.
"A lot of Fijian women have got good, strong and viable skills and they are capable of going out to start their own income generating businesses," Mr Casagrande said.
"The problem that we are trying to address is a lack of meaningful economic opportunities for women in rural villages.
"There is just a lack of formal waged opportunities and availability of credit for women to start business in villages that don't have formal waged employment and don't have adequate sufficient amount of collateral."
To address this, Mr Casagrande said they provided a bundle of products and services specifically to empower local women micro-entrepreneurs.
This, he said included the facilitation of small business training, small loans, ongoing guidance and motivation and savings accounts for their more than 7000 clients from several villages.
SPBD is a network of microfinance organisations working in Samoa, Tonga, Fiji and the Solomon Islands dedicated to eradicating poverty by empowering women in poor rural villages with the opportunity to start, grow and maintain sustainable, income generating micro-enterprises.
Founded in 2010, SPBD has five centres around Viti Levu with another expected to be set up in the Northern Division.