WIBDI uses a group-lending model, which has been modified to suit Samoa’s cultural and environmental setting. The scheme only targets women who have received some form of micro-credit or small business training and who are assured of a regular wage or income that is not a remittance.

The majority of clients in this scheme are self-employed through one of the projects such as beekeeping, coconut oil production, soap making and handicrafts. WIBDI seeks to empower families through offering them an opportunity to earn a regular income, teaching them budgeting, saving and basic small business management skills and then finally introducing them to the lending process.

The scheme enables women and their families to make savings and to eventually become eligible for a loan of up to 60 per cent of their savings. Analysis of loan applications shows the three most common reasons to apply for a small loan are to pay for:

  • schools fees,
  • electricity bills,
  • and materials for cottage industries.

Many of the women and families WIBDI work with are now able to regularly save a small weekly sum of money, which gives them peace of mind knowing that there are funds available to help them in an emergency situation. Furthermore, this has given them a new sense of wellbeing that is evident in the way they dress, manage their families and relate to WIBDI and other members of the community.