SMEs are big contributors to social and national economic development as they are considered the backbones of many economies. Despite their big contributions, access to finance is still a substantial problem to them, hence the forged partnership between the Development Bank of Samoa (DBS) and Samoa Business Enterprise Centre (SBEC). SBEC is a quasi-government organization set up to provide financial guarantees to develop small business in Samoa, funded by the NZ Government, the Government of Samoa and SBEC business activities.
This DBS-SBEC partnership is the primary driving force behind the growth and development of SMEs in Samoa. DBS is the major partner of SBEC, holding 64% or roughly two-third of all SBEC clients, including 4 commercial banks.
With this partnership, DBS has been able to extend access to credit financing with sectors like commercial, service, agriculture, cultural and fishing, to promote and support small businesses and financial inclusion at grassroot level.
The scope of the DBS-SBEC partnership has also extended to special development programs facilitated on behalf of the government of Samoa to support rehabilitation, economic and social development. These programs included the Samoa Agriculture Competitiveness Enhancement Project (SACEP), Small Islands Developing States (SIDS) Conference, and the Cyclone Evan.
DBS has financed $7,725,978.33 of the $12,955,384.23 lent to SMEs. In 2015, the partnership has contributed 51% in the agriculture sector, 36% in the service Industry, and 13% to other sectors.
DBS’s ‘Development Partnership’ was a recipient of a Merit Award in the 2016 ADFIAP Development Project Awards under the SME Development Category.