I couldn’t have done it without your support. This was a milestone that I set out to reach last year and I hope to do more giving back as my blog continues to grow.
We were able to help towards financing 663 entrepreneurs with 71 loans along with other lenders on the Lendwithcare platform; an initiative of poverty-fighting charity, CARE International UK.
What is Lendwithcare?
The loans are aimed at low-income people who have limited or no access to formal financial intermediaries such as banks. They are usually self-employed microentrepreneurs often working from home just like us! However, they are doing so out of a necessity to survive rather than chasing a dream.
Lendwithcare and some of their microfinance institutions, such as MFI in Zimbabwe, focus on supporting women entrepreneurs to start or grow a small business who otherwise wouldn’t be given the opportunities to do so.
Doing this not only supports the immediate families of the entrepreneurs but it often creates jobs and boosts the economy within a community.
The idea is, you’re not just giving someone a fish for them to get hungry tomorrow. You’re loaning them a fishing boat and an employee within a local market demanding fish.
Why not just keep the money?
It would be unjust and irresponsible for me as a blogger who advocates the lifestyle I have to not recognise and highlight the unequal opportunities present in entrepreneurship.
Sometimes inequality is simply determined by where we were born, the gender we were assigned, the passport we hold and the language we speak.
Travel bloggers, digital nomads, and entrepreneurs in developed countries often talk about “achieving your dreams” as an outcome of working harder than others. Or that by “stepping outside of your comfort zone”, you can achieve everything you want to do in life.
When I started this blog in 2014 to share my journey, I was subscribed to this way of thinking.
But I was wrong.
I’ve worked hard and my parents have never been in the position to provide additional financial help for my business ideas. But what was the worst case scenario if my business fails after quitting my job to travel the world? I would sheepishly move back home with my Mum or Dad until I found myself a new job. I would accept free roof over my head until things picked up again, something I have had to do from time to time.
Most people in developing countries and even developed countries simply don’t get dealt with low-risk opportunities as I have had.
The random dice roll of life assigned me within an artificial border favouring safety and a stable economy, I grew up speaking English with a British passport. I’ve had access to computers from a young age and while my parents haven’t always owned property, I have had a safe place to sleep and more importantly, somewhere to rely on any time I needed it.
I needed to give back in order to feel proud of what I’m doing. To put it bluntly; I confidently tell my readers to follow their dreams, but not everyone has that privilege.
Who have we helped?
Enough about me, let’s talk about who really matters; the entrepreneurs who are benefitting from our contributions. As I mentioned earlier in the post, we’ve made 71 loans so far!
Some entrepreneurs come alone, some come in groups. I’ve selected a few from the past 12 months to share with you in this blog post.
With the amazing community on Lendwithcare, almost all entrepreneurs are microfinanced collectively. Meaning that quite often each member participating in a loan only contributes £15 each to crowdfund the total with a 0% interest of course!
Adela Abad from Ecuador
Amount requested: £1,140.74
Repayment term: 15 months
Jacques Munyaneza from Rwanda
Amount requested: £2,544.27
Repayment term: 30 months
Aasma Waseem from Pakistan
Amount requested: £249.68
Repayment term: 17 months
Paola Soraya Ochoa from Ecuador
Amount requested: £1,740.97
Repayment term: 9 months
Tathyola Group from Malawi
Amount requested: £624.73
Repayment term: 4 months