Speech by Lizbeth Cullity at the 14th SPBD Microfinance Businesswoman Year AwardJun 26, 2015
Honorable Prime Minister
Members of Parliament
Heads of Government Ministries and Corporations
Ladies and Gentlemen
On behalf of the UN Country Team in Samoa, I’d like to extend a warm welcome to everyone who is here this morning to witness this special occasion organized by SPBD Microfinance – 14th Annual Businesswomen of the Year Awards.
Today’s event is an excellent opportunity to showcase the quality efforts of the best businesswomen and village groups through their various products. What we see on display this morning signifies the Samoan women’s substantive contribution to economic growth and sustainable livelihoods of their families and communities. Microfinance helps empower women from poor households to make this contribution.
This is why SPBD plays a crucial role in providing financial services to increase women’s income and productivity and reducing poverty.
Microfinance services is emerging as a powerful tool to reduce poverty and improve access to financial services for the poor women in Samoa. Economic power means access to income, assets, food, markets and decision-making power in the economic activities.
Women in particular face significant barriers to achieving sustained increases in income and improving their status, and require complementary support in other areas, such as training, marketing, literacy, social mobilization, and other financial services (e.g., Consumption loans, savings)
The UN is pleased to support the work of SPBD by empowering women in poor rural villages with the opportunity to start, grow and maintain sustainable, income generating micro-enterprises. SPBD subscribes to the Millennium Development Goals, which set the critical challenge of halving absolute poverty in the world by 2015. SPBD is programme of support is available to all the 4 islands and nearly every village in Samoa and have been financially sustainable since 2007.
This initiative today signals the tremendous support of the Government of Samoa, SPBD, and its key partners. Let me express sincerest thanks to the SPBD’s President and Founder, Gregory F Casagrande, General Manager Mr. Ajay Verman and your hard working team for inviting me to speak at this special occasion.
I wish you well and hope everyone gets to enjoy today’s festivity.
Soifua ma ia Manuia.