I often get asked for charitable donations – and yes in the past I have donated jewellery to all sorts of charities – mostly though animal charities. As you might have guessed I love animals and so it’s not surprising that I support for example Cats Protection. However I am a struggling micro-business owner myself and charities assume I am loaded – which couldn’t be further from the truth.
When I started my jewellery business I had no financial help whatsoever. I ploughed my own few savings into this venture and the bit of money I make goes straight into my business to pay for things. My financial resources are limited I can’t invest much into my business and grow it like the big boys. I have never taken out a loan, because I don’t want to be owned by a bank paying back monthly sums with high interest rates.
Why am I telling you all this? One reason is to make you aware that being self-employed and running a small business in the current climate is pretty tough – and if you have been thinking about it yourself, you need to be aware that it takes not only hard graft, but also patience and time to grow- and luck.
The second and main reason I am writing about this is that this year I have come across a charity called Lend with Care which I am now supporting. A friend of mine on Facebook has told me about it and so I checked out their website.
So what is Lend with Care? It’s a charity which supports entrepreneurs in developing countries with micro loans. The sums most of these people need are rather small (compared to what sums people would ask for in the UK) and they usually need the money to improve and grow their businesses. The best thing though is: they are not charged any interest rates. They have to pay the money back, but they can do this in their own time. And it works. They do not only pay their money back, but they also are able to grow their small businesses without relying on traditional aid.
The hardest part is actually to choose from all the entrepreneurs who need funding, because they are all well worth helping.
My first business owner was a widow with five children, who lives in Zambia. All she needed was a total of £715.13 to buy goods for her food shop and to grow her business. Her dream is to build a proper family home for her family with the profit generated. I found her story touching and also chose her because she wasn’t far away from her target.
As soon I got repaid I invested it all in a lady from Cambodia. She needed £740.52 (I know the sums are a bit odd – due to the exchange rate) to buy materials to farm rice and for fishing. She has also now been fully funded and is already paying back her lenders.
As soon as I have been repaid the full amount I will invest it in a new entrepreneur – choosing will be hard again. With each new funding a small donation of £3 is given to the organisation which co-ordinates the micro-loans.
I don’t know about you, but I think this is a very good way of helping people help themselves and improve their lives.
So if you are looking for a worthwhile charity to support – why not check out Lend with Care?
You can find their link here.
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