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funding gap emerging markets

Tonga SPBD 3

  • SPBD Tonga
  • Invest in microfinance
  • + 530 other investors
  • With the support of a loan from SPBD Tonga, artisans like Lepolo are able to expand their assortment of handcrafted mats and tapa cloths. SPBD Tonga is deeply committed to supporting female SME entrepreneurs. When you invest, you're directly fostering the growth and empowerment of 150 female entrepreneurs in the South Pacific Island country of Tonga.

    24 months
    6 months
    Maturity24 months
    Repayments6 months
      Fully funded in 15 days on 14 February 2024.

      Explore the project

      In the South Pacific, handcrafted woven mats and tapa cloths are more than just crafts; they're symbolic of the region's rich culture and traditions. Highly appreciated by tourists, these handicrafts often find themselves in the homes of New Zealand families or exported to countries like Australia. Many female entrepreneurs experience a need for financing and business guidance, essential elements for thriving in competitive markets.

      Enter SPBD Tonga. Established in 2009, this part of the broader SPBD network empowers women in rural areas to nurture their entrepreneurial spirit. With their operations spanning four islands, they've impacted over half of Tonga's households. SPBD mostly support women micro-entrepreneurs. By investing in SPBD Tonga, you're directly supporting community growth and the empowerment of South Pacific women.

      Are you curious about the entrepreneurs in Tonga? Read Lynn's travel blog here

      What social return could your investment make?

      Tonga faces challenges inherent to Pacific island economies, such as geographical isolation and constrained financial inclusivity. A substantial segment of its economy relies on foreign remittances, accounting for 27.4% of its GDP in 2017. Amidst these economic constraints, Microentrepreneurs and SMEs offer a route to sustainable growth. However, female microentrepreneurs and SMEs often encounter barriers in securing finance due to socio-cultural and economic factors, restricting their potential for growth. SPBD Tonga addresses this by offering microloans primarily to these women. They've disbursed over 73,000 loans, amounting to about 82 million USD. By supporting SPBD Tonga, you directly assist in unlocking the potential of 150 female entrepreneurs, which is critical for the region's development.

      What financial return could your investment generate? 

      • Annual interest rate of 5,75%
      • The maturity of the loan is 24 months
      • There will be a repayment of your investment in equal instalments every six months, including the interest
      • With an investment of 1.000 euros, your expected total repayment would be 1.072 euros.


      The story of SPBD Tonga 

      The need for financial inclusion is acute in a region like the South Pacific, where most of the seven million inhabitants live in rural villages and face limited access to traditional banking. American social entrepreneur Gregory Casagrande founded the South Pacific Business Development (SPBD) in Samoa in 2000 to address this gap. The initiative has since expanded to Fiji, Tonga, Vanuatu, and the Solomon Islands, focusing on poverty alleviation through women-led micro-enterprises. 

      You can invest in the Samoa and Tonga entities via Lendahand. These entities operate independently.

      SPBD Tonga's microfinance program directly aids female entrepreneurs by offering financial services. Through weekly community meetings, they facilitate loan evaluations and collections. Besides, their savings program encourages entrepreneurs to build and secure their financial assets steadily. Through these efforts, SPBD Tonga sets the foundation for a brighter, more stable future.


      SPBD Tonga in numbers

      • SPBD Microfinance Network consists of 5 individual legal entities, of which SPBD Tonga is one
      • Founded in 2009
      • 38 employees
      • Disbursed 73,000 loans for a total of 182 million Tongan Pa'anga (about 82 million USD), since its establishment
      Company nameTonga SPBD 3
      CEOFine Tu’ipulotu
      SectorFinancial services
      Credit score3.10


      Tonga's island economy grapples with issues like geographical isolation and limited financial inclusivity. The country substantially relies on foreign remittances which accounts for 27.4% of its GDP in 2017. Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs)  could be the possible solution for sustainable growth and job creation. Yet, these SMEs often face roadblocks— such as limited access to funding, lack of business guidance, and for female entrepreneurs, additional gender-related challenges like societal biases that limit their growth potential. 

      Addressing this, SPBD Tonga provides microloans, primarily to support female entrepreneurs. 


      The microfinance institution has given out over 73,000 loans, adding up to around 76 million USD. Their method involves business evaluations and weekly village meetings for loan collections. Moreover, they emphasize on building savings, allowing these entrepreneurs to steadily improve their financials. With your investment in SPBD, you directly improve the potential of female entrepreneurs, vital for the development in the South Pacific region.


      SDGs impacted

      With this project, you are contributing to the following SDGs:

      SDG 1 - No Poverty

      SDG 5 - Gender Equality

      SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth

      Read more about the impact you can make through our platform and the SDGs on our impact page.

      Related blog posts

      Read the introduction of SPBD Group as a new investment opportunity here.

      Want to learn more about how financial inclusion can thrive entrepreneurship? Read here.

      Check out this blog post to gain insight into poverty and the struggles faced by those unable to access essential resources for a basic standard of living.

      • With this investment 398 lives are improved

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      We have already contributed to Tonga SPBD 3

      Manfred Jansen
      Ron van Eijk
      Olaf Janssen
      Paul Joosten
      Eefje Visser
      + and another