Microfinance in Western Vitu Levu (MFW)

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Lautoka, Fiji via
Dorinda Work
mfultka [at] connect [dot] com [dot] fj

The main problem for small entrepreneurs in Fiji is affordable access to finances. The government runs a number of microfinance schemes but seems to be backing out and expecting them to be self-sustainable, which is a tough challenge. In successful cases, small businesses mean that children can continue their education. We support MFW with some suggestions and a donation.

A typical loan from MFW is about 200-500 F$ (loans range from 100F$ to 5,000F$) and is given for a period of 26 weeks with a flat one-off 25% interest rate. Pay-back is in weekly installments and the money is collected by the field officers. Examples of small businesses that has been established successfully using microloans are canteens, small retail, agriculture and fishery, handicraft manufacturing and selling, horticulture, backpacker resorts. The majority of borrowing clients are market salespeople and don't have the kind of assets that commercial banks require for providing loans. Hence, one of the goals of supplying microloans is for the clients to generate sufficient assets in order for them to graduate clients to the commercial banks. This happens in only a few exceptional cases; a typical client will however be able to pay for their children's tertiary education, and this is perhaps the most significatn social impact of the centre. Seeing the child of a market saleswoman attending university because of money saved with MFW is one is simply a very rewarding experience, Dorinda says. Apart from business loans, MFW also supplies personal loans, mostly for covering education fees.

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2010-08-16 - 2010-08-18
Reviews / References: 
I had a very good impression of MFW when I visited them with Charity Travel in August 2010. They are an amazing example of inspiring and working microfinance. A great place for economy students with ideals.
7 years 14 weeks ago kamiel79

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Lautoka, Fiji