American Matt Simpson arrived in Kosrae, Micronesia, in 2008 as a young volunteer teacher at the local high school. Matt, a keen surfer, didn't want to leave when his contract was up and realized that there were very few businesses on the island, and even fewer export products. Most of his former students were either unemployed, or working in the US for minimum wage. So Matt created Green Banana Paper. Matt had no previous paper-making experience before he founded the company: he has learnt everything from Google and YouTube. He had all the equipment custom made and shipped to the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Through creating Green Banana Paper, Matt has provided:
16 Full-Time Jobs created providing a livelihood supporting over 100 people.
75+ Farmers earn extra income from banana trees that would otherwise be waste.
Community-based resources belonging to the people.
Reviving traditional skills and knowledge in weaving and rope-twisting.
Given the island something to be proud of and global publicity