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In the world of investing and finance, the word microfinance may not come up often. It is however a significant global initiative geared towards improving the lives of the impoverished, particularly in third world countries.

In most cases, real-world change, designed to improve the economic conditions of the world’s poorest, is only possible through grassroots efforts. For regions struggling with poverty, the problem must be addressed first at the individual level. To improve the overarching economy, grassroots efforts are critical. According to Gregory Casagrande, that’s where microfinance has shown proven and consistent results.

Make your money work for you. It’s something we often hear when the finance industry markets its products and services. However, in recent years, something interesting has begun to happen. Not only can you make your money work for you by earning interest in savings accounts or investing it in mutual funds or ETFs, but you can also make it work for the greater good.

Greg Casagrande launched South Pacific Business Development Foundation (SPBD) in the remote island nation of Samoa in January 2000. He has since lead SPBD to become the largest and first successful microfinance institution in the region. Greg also serves on the board of PlaNet Finance and the The Prgaue Institute.

Mr. Casagrande has an extensive and successful corporate financial background that has taken him to work all over the world. In his line of work, he has been most interested in the Pacific Islands and with specifically the idea of helping the economies of developing nations. Mr. Casagrande commenced his career pursuits by first earning a Bachelor of Arts in economics from Colgate University in 1985.

MicroDreams’ partner in the South Pacific, SPBD, and founder, Greg Casagrande, featured on NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams

The popular New Zealand morning show, Breakfast, interviews SPBD’s founder and President Greg Casagrande about his work in Samoa.

Gregory Casagrande

They are people who have made a difference in their field of expertise or profession, and to the people and communities they serve.

The two very different sides to entrepreneur Greg Casagrande are evident the moment you meet him. His business card is an early
tip-off: Casagrande leads a schizophrenic working life making and spending money.
The second is the two curriculum vitae he has tucked away in his Auckland downtown office drawer.

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