Our Impact

HELPING BUSINESSES GROW…ALL AROUND THE WORLD

I hated seeing small business owners struggle. I knew their marketing was holding them back, and that meant they weren’t able to make the impact they so desperately wanted to see. The world needed them to succeed and I realised I could help. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

I was fed up of all the fluffy, unhelpful advice out there. The self-proclaimed marketing “gurus” and in some cases just downright unethical practices. Seeing people follow this advice and wonder why their business wasn’t growing, blaming themselves and even feeling like it’s time to give up broke my heart. So I started teaching the strategic approach that I knew would help them, and it worked. Businesses began to grow and I even went full time running my own – still giving as much value, advice and support for free as I possibly could, alongside paid consultancy and training work.
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One day I was reading the paper when an inspiring story caught my eye – about a charity founded on the idea of “trade, not aid” – using a crowdfunding style model to provide microfinance loans to entrepreneurs in developing countries. Anyone can invest in these entrepreneurs from just £15 upwards. Once they have enough investment they can use the loan to start or grow their business and pay you back in affordable monthly amounts that you can withdraw or reinvest into someone else’s venture.

I volunteered on a microfinance project in Sierra Leone during my student days so I felt inspired by the project, knowing what a difference these types of loans can make – not just to the entrepreneurs but to their entire communities. I knew I wanted to start my own investment fund and help even more people grow their businesses and change their lives.

I’m proud to support Lend With Care – a microfinance initiative which connects entrepreneurs in developing countries with people ready to invest in their businesses and help them grow.

Whether it’s opening a market stall, or perhaps a small tailoring business, or diversifying the crops they grow, people across the world are bursting with business ideas – all they need is a helping hand to get started.

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I invest a percentage of my sales revenue into a Lend With Care fund which is invested in loans for entrepreneurs who are looking for financial support. Once they repay the loan, I choose another entrepreneur to invest in, and the process starts again! So when you grow your business with #EthicalHour – you empower someone else to grow theirs too.

Who we’ve helped

Katty Guaman is a seamstress from Loja, Ecuador. She has around two years work experience after learning tailoring from her aunt, who also helped her find her first customers and establish her business.

After completing high school she couldn’t afford to continue with her education so she set up her own business, starting with her aunt’s borrowed sewing machine. Katty subsequently bought her own machine and slowly developed her business working from a stall in one of the city’s shopping malls. She estimates that her monthly income is around $600.

Katty requested a loan to buy an industrial overlock sewing machine that will allow her to provide a better service and work more efficiently. therefore obtain greater profitability. Any remaining funds she will invest in sewing supplies.

I invested in Katty’s business in April 2017 with revenue from the 2017 Fashion Revolution sponsorship campaign.

Mr Me Van Thieng is a 50 year old farmer living in the Son La province located in North-East Vietnam. People there are facing many obstacles in their daily lives. To earn a living, Mr Thieng and his wife work on their farm – they have a small garden where they grow vegetables and sugar cane, but their garden is so small they can only grow enough for the family’s daily meals.

There is a rising demand for livestock products in the region and Mr Thieng wants to diversity his farm by adding livestock to breed. He has chosen to raise pigs because they are easy to look after. Once they are old enough her will sell them to the local market traders.

Mr Thieng requested a loan to buy the pigs and initial food for them. I invested in Mr Thieng’s farm in September 2017 with revenue from our Fair Trade Month 2017 campaign.

The Mayankho group are based in the district of Balaka in Malawi. The group is made up of 12 women who are all married and have children who rely on them.

The women are all running different small businesses in their community which include the selling of fish, vegetables, groceries and clothes. They require a loan to buy more products and boost their business.

I invested in their loan fund using revenue from our Fairtrade Fortnight 2018 campaign, to help them get to their target, grow their businesses and support their community.

The Tilimbike group consists of 14 women aged between 26 and 58, living in the Petauke district of Eastern Zambia. They all have children who attend school.

These women run different small scale businesses to help provide their household income, so that they can afford food and to send their children to school. Group member Sarah Banda (53) and has five children who go to school.

She has a salon where she plaits hair and sells shampoo, wigs and lotions. Sarah employs two people who help in the daily activities of her salon. She would like to use her share of the loan to buy a hair dryer, wigs and lotions for her salon.

From the profits she hopes to build a home for her family and be able to send her children to school up to university level.

Ly Van Chao is 44 and lives in Moc Chau, a rural district in northwest Vietnam, with his wife and two children, who are going to school full time. Mr. Chao and his wife farm 3 hectares of land that they use to produce tea. They also run a small pig farm with 10 pigs and sell tea and pork to the residents of Moc Chau at the local market.

Altogether, they make a barely adequate income of about $140 a month. but they want to improve the family’s quality of life. Mr. Chao applied for a loan to invest in fertiliser to increase his crop yield in the next harvest.

The Progress Tubombeshe group from Zambia has a membership of 11 women aged between 30 and 60. The women look after a total of 70 children, including 8 orphans. They run small scale businesses with the aim of reducing poverty levels in their families and being able to send their children to school.

They sell goods like salaula (second hand clothes), and vegetables to earn a living and some of them raise chickens. Most of their customers come from the surrounding neighbourhoods.

Jessy Chulu is 60 years old and a member of this group. She is married and has six children who are in school. She runs a stall selling salaula (second hand clothes) bedding and mosquito nets. She runs her business from her house. She started her business with the hope of being able to be financially stable and to be able to put her children through school. She is using her loan to order more stocks of bed sheets, mosquito nets and comforters. She is grateful to be able to contribute positively to the financial well-being of her family.

The Chitukuko Group is composed of 17 women based in Nkhotakota, Malawi. Some of the women are are married, others are divorced and widowed.The women in the group have a 95 dependents among them.

Between them they run various small businesses and they required a loan to order more stock and grow their businesses. One member of the group, Everyn, is 33 years old runs a small scale bakery. She applied for the loan to buy sugar, salt, bread flour, cooking oil and firewood for the business. She intends to use the proceeds to support he family. She has been running the business for 5 years and she started it to empower herself financially, support her family and pay basic bills. With this funding, she plans to open multiple outlets for her bakery business in the near future.

Noreen Bibi is from Sabiri Basti, Kasur. Noreen is married with one son and her parents also live with her. In total, she has five family members to look after. Noreen works from home as an embroider – she sews sequins by hand on to fabric that is used to make women’s clothing worn on special occasions such as weddings.

Noreen earns about £38 a month from her hand work. Her husband earns £71 a month and although they have two incomes in their family, the total amount is not enough to cover the extra costs such as medical bills for her elderly parents. Noreen requested a loan to buy better quality fabric, sequins, and other accessories in greater quantities to work with.

Karen Tampus is a 30-year-old entrepreneur. She lives with her husband and one child who attends school in the village of Palanas Ronda in Cebu province, in The Philippines. Sulpicio, her husband, is also 30 years old and works on a shipping line.

To deal with their household expenses, Karen started a general store business in 2009. Karen sells consumable goods such as rice, corn, eggs, tinned goods, biscuits, chips, powdered drinks, condiments, and hygienic products. She also sells cold drinks and animal feeds. Her store is open every day from 7 am until 10 in the evening. She offers her products in cash and credits and earns about 1,500 to 2,500 pesos (£21 to £36) a day.

She employs one woman to help her in managing the business. Her employee lives with them and is payed a salary on a monthly basis.

To earn more income, Karen also runs a computer shop. Currently she has twelve computers in good working condition that she offers for research, computer games and internet browsing. She can earn a total of 3,000 to 4,000 pesos (£42 to £57) a week from her computers. She has a good internet connection which is why her customers keep coming back.

She requested a loan in order to buy two more computers. She will also buy three plastic chairs and two wooden tables to place the computers on. The rest of the funds will be used to purchase more stocks to sell at her store. She will add new stocks like slippers, sandals and shoes for all ages and sexes. Karen will continue to find new stock to sell for her customers to keep them coming back and continue earning more money. She is doing everything to improve their way of living and slowly saving for her child’s future.

Mr. Pov is 32 years old and he has one 3-year-old child. He and his wife grow rice crops on four hectares of land in Cambodia.

By growing short-term rice they can collect their crops twice a year and in a period of around 90 days can harvest about 3 tons per hectare. As well as their rice farming they also have another plot of land of about four more hectares where they grow maize.

They get three tons of crops per hectare to sell. To make sure they could get more rice crops to sell they decided to take out this 12 month loan in order to purchase 5,000 square metres of rice paddy to grow dry season rice. This farm land will cost $2,500. They expect to get 2 tons of crops from this new plot of land.

Chanda Bibi is 32 years old and lives in Sabir Basti, Kasur. Chanda is a widow, she has two sons and one daughter and her elderly mother lives with her. She is not able to send her children to school due to her low income.

Chanda works from home as a tailor and her customers are women in her neighbourhood. Her monthly income is around £54, and it is not enough to support her family’s basic needs with her present income. The only way to lift her family out of poverty is by investing in her business to increase her income.

Chanda requested a loan to buy fabric, threads, laces, buttons, and other accessories needed for her tailoring.

Proud to Stand For Trees

“When the last tree is cut down, the last fish caught, the last stream poisoned, man will realize we can’t eat money”

Stand For Trees saves trees, helps forest communities and protects the rights of forest animals to live in their homes. By supporting them we are committing to taking action to protect the world’s forests and combat climate change.

I first chose to support the Gola project in 2017, which is the largest area of rainforest in Sierra Leone. It protects 60 globally threatened species and promotes sustainable development and livelihood activities for 122 forest edge communities (around 24,000 people) in the world’s 8th poorest country. I lived and volunteered in Sierra Leone in 2011, so this project also held personal significance too.

In 2018, I donated £1 from every copy of our #EthicalHour Marketing Planner sold to Stand For Trees and since I first started supporting them I have invested in 6 rainforest projects around the world.

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🌳 MJUMITA Community Forest Project 
🌳 April Salumei Rainforest Conservation Project
🌳 Kasigau Wildlife Corridor Project
🌳 Lower Zambezi Community Forest Project
🌳 Rimba Raya Orangutan Reserve
🌳 Brazilian Rosewood Project

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