A winning partnership

By Ivamere Nataro ,

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ADVANCING TO BENEFIT SAMOA: The Chief Executive Officer of the S.N.P.F., Pauli Prince Suhren and the Founder and President of S.P.B.D., Greg Casagrande, celebrating their partnership that has benefited many Samoan families.

ADVANCING TO BENEFIT SAMOA: The Chief Executive Officer of the S.N.P.F., Pauli Prince Suhren and the Founder and President of S.P.B.D., Greg Casagrande, celebrating their partnership that has benefited many Samoan families. (Photo: Misiona Simo)

Over the course of five years, the Samoa National Provident Fund (S.N.P.F.) has provided South Pacific Business Development (S.P.B.D.) $8.9 million in micro finance assistance. 

The Founder and President of S.P.B.D., Gregory Casagrande and S.N.P.F. Chief Executive Officer, Pauli Prince Suhren, on Friday celebrated this partnership that has made a difference in the lives of many Samoan families. 

“S.N.P.F. has been a terrific partner to South Pacific Business Development (S.P.B.D.) micro finance over the past five years,” Mr. Casagrande said. 

“Together we have a very smart partnership to advance financial inclusion throughout Samoa, to the great benefit of the thousands of Samoan families scattered nearly across every village on Upolu, Savaii and Manono. 

“S.N.P.F. has been by far our largest local funder and has made a significant difference to our ability to finance small women entrepreneurs throughout Samoa.” 

“We are very grateful with our partners here and together we work hard on the central’s banks national financial inclusion task force.” 

“We think that this type of partnership that really drives a difference, that really helps us together to provide meaningful economic opportunity to all Samoan families regardless of their status in economic life here in Samoa,” Mr. Casagrande added.  

Pauli said the partnership enables S.N.P.F. to reach parts of the local community that the central bank cannot cater to directly. 

“This is one of the areas we S.N.P.F. ourselves cannot cater to directly because it’s not really part of the mandate of S.N.P.F. and also because microfinance is an area that requires a lot intensive customer care and intensive customer relationship and it is something that S.P.B.D. does really good as well,” he explained. 

“So really as part of the Government’s national financial inclusion taskforce, this is one way S.N.P.F. indirectly contributes to the building up of the microfinance sector, which is the fringe of the community or society where normal banking transactions and normal financial network does not really cater to.” 

“So these are the micro businesses, especially the women’s small businesses that would not have regular access to normal financing, but they do have access to financing through S.P.B.D.” 

“It is that partnership with S.P.B.D. that gives S.N.P.F. comfort that we are also doing our part in doing the national financial inclusion taskforce to build this part of the community up,” Pauli said. 

The relationship between S.N.P.F.  and S.P.B.D. is an ongoing partnership. 

© Samoa Observer 2016

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