14 Jul 2009

Microfinance demands rise in Pacific as bank loans tighten

12:59 pm on 14 July 2009

Some economic advisors say microfinance providers are working harder to meet the needs of small businesses as banks are becoming tighter with providing loans.

This comes as the International Finance Corporation shares its advice and knowledge at the Pacific Microfinance Week 2009 Conference in Nadi, Fiji.

Kerry Burridge, an economic advisor from NZAid, says the global financial crisis means banks have raised the bar in lending money to small businesses, which has created a greater demand for microfinance.

She says Pacific nations, such as Papua New Guinea and Fiji, have already begun to make improvements to their delivery of the services.

"Generally there's an increase in the dollars being put in specific for microfinance and also there's a lot more accessibility because we're starting to use their technology through means like mobile phones for banking and also through financial education to make people aware of what's available so they can access those services."

Kerry Burridge says programmes are now being run in the Pacific region, educating microfinance providers and receivers on how to use the system more effectively.