Developing Microfinance in Fiji: Challenges and Successes
This paper discusses recent developments in the microfinance sector in Fiji. The Fiji Government encouraged commercial banks to formulate their own services for rural areas. It committed resources to developing microfinance services through the National Microfinance Unit and the National Center for Small and Micorenterprise Development. It also provided other saving and lending schemes through various ministries, non-government organizations (NGOs) and religious organizations.
The paper provides information about the beneficiaries, methodology, products and areas of outreach of the Microfinance Unit Pilot Project. It also discusses challenges faced by the pilot project and the state of microfinance after it was implemented.
The paper concludes that microfinance in Fiji has mainly benefited women and indigenous Fijians. Recommendations include:
- Improving methodologies and implementation;
- Adding new services such as insurance products and consumer loans;
- Developing small and micro enterprises;
- Mobilizing rural savings through committed NGOs;
- Working with local town and rural councils.