This kind of carries on from the post last week about crowd funding, and is something else I will be doing more of when I can afford it.
It started before Christmas; I was looking for something I could do instead of sending Christmas cards. I’m not being a Scrooge, I just think they’re a waste of time, money and the earth’s resources, so wanted to do something instead. Something that would make a difference.
After an evening of random Googling I stumbled upon LendWithCare. They organise loans for small businesses in developing countries which enable them to work their way out of poverty. Basically, a business owner or even an non-working family member has an idea to make a living, but need help starting up. They approach LendWithCare and plan what they need with a reasonable payment plan. Details are posted on the website, including all the details about what the money will be used for and how and when they plan to pay it back. Then people like me can lend small amounts of money; anything from £15 to the entire loan amount.
There is a small chance as with any loan that it won’t get paid back (crops failing etc.), but as you can lend such a small amount it’s not such a worry. The one I chose was a lady called Paterna Serna in the Philippines. She is 70 year old widow who has a convenience store near her house. She wanted to borrow £415 so she could buy some stock in bulk to reduce costs. She wants to save some money so she can support her grandchildren’s education. She had already had and fully repaid 6 previous loans and the repayment time was just four monthly instalments so I figured she was a good one to start with.
By the end of March it should all be paid back and while technically I could withdraw the money and have lost nothing, I’m going to lend it to somebody else. I’ll keep it going and perhaps add another £15 this Christmas. After all, they need the money a lot more than my friends and family need yet another piece of overpriced card!
I’ll bang on about it again nearer Christmas just in case anyone out there needs an alternative like I did. In the meantime though, if you get to pay-day and find you still have £15 in the bank….why not LendWithCare?