week #4 micro-lending

Time to calm things down a little after the excitement of the axe wielding and long lunches for 23. I read about micro-lending a while ago and was keen to give it a go. As you might expect it means lending small amounts of money. Or at least small to me but with big implications for the people who get a business loan to help them feed their families and send their kids to school. Not only do these women get a business loan but will also get advice and access to other financial products that otherwise they couldn’t get, like insurance and savings.

I already sponsor a little girl in Malawi where I was lucky enough to spend a month back in 1990. It’s an absolutely beautiful country with serious poverty issues affecting 50% of the population. Around 30% of women are the head of their household. After doing a bit of research on micro lending I decided to use lendwithcare.org where I can identify and pick out women, or female cooperatives, in Malawi who are in need of a loan.

How does it work? Well you set up an online account, choose how much you want to put in (which is held as credit on your account), search for a borrower that you want to support and then click to transfer them the money. When the total is achieved then you’ll get paid back in monthly instalments, you won’t earn interest and actually they ask for a small donation element to cover the admin, but you absolutely will earn yourself a good feeling inside as you facilitate some life changing support for less than your weekly latte spend.

Shall I tell you what happens when you see that you can help someone in this way? It puts a big smile on your face and then you walk around wondering why everyone isn’t doing this. Seeing a repayment made of £4.09 literally puts a big grin on my face. To know that a woman in Malawi is making good with her modest loan, that I’m helping directly to feed and educate a family and to create employment is a hugely good feeling.

Scoring? I hope that I can continue to do this forever. It’s very quick, efficient and with a modest cost. Plus can be done from anywhere with web access. Delight factor 50/50.


1 Comment Leave a comment

  1. That is a really great idea! I came across micro-lending in Timor Leste where it also worked well. it makes an enormous difference to the recipient of the loan, but it does need to be done with support for the potential business woman/man, so that the system isn’t abused and it really does start a business. I’m going to look into this and do it too.

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