Women in Business Development Incorporated (WIBDI)

Photo: Vital Voices Awards

Women in Business Development Incorporated (WIBDI) was the first non-governmental organisation of its kind in Samoa.

WIBDI ensure that rural families and communities are actively engage in developing local and national economies through the niche market opportunities of organics and fair-trade and that structures are put in place to provide ongoing support to them through this process. 

Headquarters: Apia
Founding date: 1991
Website: www.womeninbusiness.ws
Support from Oxfam: Since 1991
Mission: To provide and empower members with knowledge and skills, opportunities, access to finance and markets

Products containing WIBDI's organic virgin coconut oil are now on the shelves in The Body Shop stores around the world.

WIBDI's key programmes include:

  • Microfinance and small business training
  • Skills training, for example, handicraft, printing
  • Fine mat weaving and sponsorship programme
  • Organic certification of farms to international standards
  • Virgin coconut oil (VCO) production
  • Fairtrade labelling
  • Niche market linkages for VCO, bananas coffee, vanilla
  • Disaster mitigation
  • Regional outreach throughout the Pacific region
  • Facilitating export to international markets

It’s all about partnership

"Sustainable development cannot happen without due consideration to culture, tradition and context, and so our programmes very much reflect the cultural context in which they were developed."
– Adi Tafuna'I, Executive Director, Women in Business Development Inc.

Oxfam has been working with WIBDI for over ten years now, helping to identify opportunities for income generation and job creation at the village level.

Our work with WIBDI is all about helping people to build decent livelihoods in their villages. Key to creating these opportunities is to add value to commodities through processing, organic certification and fair trade. Oxfam provides the partnership, training, technical assistance, capacity development, market links and financial help to make this happen.

Our partnership with WIBDI is vital to ensuring our work is effective and sustainable. No one knows better what a community needs than the people who belong to it and WIBDI understands the local context and communities. The work we implement together encourages real participation of people living in poverty, increasing sustainability and bringing a lasting impact.

Global recognition

Oxfam is incredibly proud of WIBDI's achievements. Adi Tafuna'i, Executive Director of WIBDI pictured above, has been recognised at the prestigious 2012 Global Leadership Awards by Vital Voices. Set up by Hillary Clinton and Madeline Albright, the awards recognise the unsung heroines who champion human rights, economic development and democracy.

Check out this article from the Washington Post for more on Adi's award.

Join them

Follow WIBDI on Twitter @WIBDI_Samoa and on Facebook for latest news and updates.

WIBDI in action:

Read WIBDI's 21st year Celebration Report: