© 2009 VANWODS Microfinance


I just tweeted about the CGAP Microfinance Photo Contest and I’ll definitely be entering – I really want to see 2 of our female managers go to the Boulder Microfinance Training Program next year. I helped them apply for a scholarship to the training session this July, but we were unsuccessful. :( Not many donors fund for travel either.

But one of the biggest problems I see in Vanuatu is the lack of innovation and ingenuity. So many microenterprises fail because they say that there are too many copycat businesses. I went to a meeting with the Department of Ni-Vanuatu Business yesterday, and the director suggested that it’s in the Ni-Vanuatu culture to be risk-averse and have a fear of failure. But I’m afraid it could become a problem for us institutionally – we’re lucky that VANWODS has a great managing director at the moment, who is a local ni-Vanuatu but has been educated and employed in the US, Canada and Australia. I think one of the remedies to the lack of creativity is exposure to the outside world and new ideas. The two women VANWODS want to send to Turin have been identified as future leaders of our organisation, and the Boulder Program is reputed to be the best microfinance training program in the world. It’s a coincidence that first prize in the CGAP photo contest is an all-expenses paid trip.

Anyway, this isn’t one of my photos but I found it from last year’s Open Day and I love the colours. Open Day preparations are going well – come along if you’re in Vila on July 17! It kicks off with a parade in the morning, from Moorings to Saralana Stage. The theme for this year’s event is “Ol Mama i Wekap Long Bisnis (Vanuatu Women Waking Up to Business)”.

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