More investments in the Pacific  

Good Return recently announced that they have been able to support four loans to vanilla farmers in Tonga working with the social enterprise Heilala Vanilla. What started as a program to support vanilla farmers in Tonga after a cyclone, the Heilala Foundation supports sustainable farming of vanilla in the Kingdom.

Using their blended finance model, Good Return partnered with the Tonga Development Bank to provide subsidized commercial loans to the vanilla farmers that supply Heilala with vanilla.  The loans will fund fences to protect the spice from animals and also production materials to make the farming process more efficient.

These four loans can demonstrate to other farmers that it is possible to access bank finance at a competitive rate and can lead to more farmers taking up this opportunity in the future.

Good Return is working closely with Tonga Chamber of Commerce, which will continue with financial training and is also working with Heilala to apply a gender lens across their business and investments.

REAL Impact has supported a further two loans to creative artisans in Papua New Guinea by crowdfunding source, KIVA.

Marjorie and Thomas from Pacific Primitive Arts successfully raised USD 10,000 in KIVA finance to produce new styles of tapa cloth weaving to sell to an established US market.  Virginia and the team from REAL Impact facilitated the loan as well as the market access for them to sell this new style of traditional craftsmanship.  Marjorie and Thomas are from the Trobriand Islands of Papua New Guinea, and the loan will facilitate the teaching of other Trobriand Islanders how to weave and carve, as well as buy materials and business establishment costs.

In addition to Marjorie and Thomas’ loans, REAL Impact has also facilitated a loan of USD 5,000 for Gilbert who is based in Port Moresby and has established a handicraft trading business called MAS APMA Carvers. Gilbert is currently buying and selling Ialibu woven baskets. He will use the loan to realise his vision of providing economic and social development opportunities for master weavers from his home in and around Wewak, East Sepik Province, PNG.