The Fiji Impact Program aims to offer Fijian women educational and financial opportunities to start, develop and grow sustainable income.
You can join SEED and the South Pacific Business Development in monitoring and evaluating progress of the growth of Fiji’s micro-businesses.
Being part of this project was an incredible experience! The SPBD staff and clients had so much to share with us that my overall knowledge of Microfinance is a lot more comprehensive and my understanding of development in general has increased significantly
– Rose Dickson, Former Director of Microfinance
How you will impact change
You will take part in the Member Satisfaction Survey to gather information from local Fijian micro-businesses
You would spend three weeks on the field interacting with Fijian women to improve micro-businesses
You would then provide a comprehensive report and recommendations for future practices and improvements to SPBD
This trip seeks to improve the businesses and livelihood of 6,500 Fijian businesses.
The SEED Fiji Impact team had their last day in the South Pacific Business Development (SPBD) Fiji offices on Friday after three intense weeks traveling across the Fijian Islands surveying 372 women. Rose, Clemency, Kerrie and Hasara have been undertaking Member Satisfaction Surveys as part of an ongoing partnership to solidify SPBD’s monitoring and evaluation processes.
If there had been any doubt as to whether students could add value to such an established professional environment as SPBD, that was washed away after the first day in the field. Not only is there minimal capacity for M&E within the current team of dedicated field officers, the confidentiality of the surveys, and the SEED team’s independence from SPBD, drew a multitude of honest responses. So as the days turned into weeks the team grabbed the opportunity to run two focus groups.
The first was with a group of new members enquiring about their expectations and hopes for SPBD and how they saw access to the unique offering of loans combined with savings groups benefiting their businesses, families and communities. The second involved a handful of Centre Chiefs, Centre Secretaries and Financial Education Facilitators who were given a confidential space to discuss SPBD and its range of products and services. In each of these focus groups the energy was endless and the conversation continuous, which allowed our team to gather a comprehensive list of suggested improvements to present back to SPBD Fiji.
It was also excellent to learn how the report submitted by last year’s team had been taken on board, and to see changes and improvements already implemented across the company. It has been an incredible start to 2017, from listening to harrowing stories of post-Cyclone Winston recovery to marvelling at the entrepreneurialism surfacing as a direct result of access to capital.
After a few days of reorienting themselves to Melbourne life again, the team will work over the next month to input everything into their database and compile the 2017 report with recommendations for best practice moving forward, ensuring SPBD continues to be one of the top providers of Microfinance in Fiji.