The Minister of Finance Gordon Lilo today launched a scheme aimed at financing small businesses and self-employed persons.

Lilo stated that one of the main hurdles to any small scale business groups in the Solomon Islands is the availability of credit facilities. Lilo stated that the scheme is in line with the government's bottom up approach and he wants to see rural people making full use of the scheme. Lilo stated that the scheme will be implemented with two partner banks, ANZ and the National Bank of Solomon Islands.

Governor of Central Bank Rick Hou stated in his remarks that talks for a micro-finance scheme began way back in 1982. He applauds the government for championing the initiative stating that "this is what the bottom up approach should be". Hou warned that the scheme is not a charity scheme stating that only feasible business plans would be supported. "The Government is merely helping small business groups shoulder the risk, it is a shared risk between the government, partner banks and local business operators," said Hou.

The scheme is launched to help those engaged in manufacture of goods, retail traders, professionals and self-employed persons.