Empowering Women Entrepreneurs Worldwide is an exciting photography exhibition and campaign that highlights the work of Lendwithcare, an initiative of leading aid and development charity CARE International UK, which empowers entrepreneurs to work their way out of poverty with dignity through the provision of micro lending and business skills training. Lendwithcare allows people in the UK to uniquely connect with an entrepreneur in a developing country who needs a loan to support their small business.
The project will create powerful photo essays featuring inspiring women entrepreneurs in five of the countries where Lendwithcare operates: Zambia, Malawi, The Philippines, Ecuador and Pakistan. The photo essays will document how entrepreneurship has provided positive social change. Local documentary photographers will be commissioned to produce the photo essays, thereby engaging artists from developing countries, leveraging their knowledge of local customs and language and reducing the need for international air travel.
The project will culminate in an exhibition, launching on International Women’s Day in March 2017 at a central London location. An online and social media campaign will accompany the exhibition. The full project will run from April 2016 – September 2017, from commissioning through to final evaluation.
This campaign is a collaboration between FotoDocument, Lendwithcare, part of CARE International; and RubyMoon, a sustainable fashion business, which currently lends 100% of its net profits through Lendwithcare.
RATIONALE AND PROJECT OUTCOMES
The photo essays will raise awareness of the real and positive long-term outcomes for women in developing countries, their families and communities, made possible through microfinance lending. The campaign will directly engage the UK public to lend to women in developing countries through Lendwithcare. The ultimate aims of the project are to raise awareness of microfinance and increase the number of loans to women entrepreneurs, whilst elevating the profiles of the partners and sponsors.
Microfinance is a sustainable solution to alleviating poverty, creating a virtuous cycle of investment and income. Women are disproportionately affected by poverty yet are key to development in poorer nations. Studies have shown women are the change agents of the family: they invest in businesses to generate income and spend a greater proportion of this income on the welfare of their families and communities – improving housing, nutrition and children’s education. Microfinance lending can be particularly effective when directed at women: empowering them to plan a stable future.
The photo essays will achieve the following main objectives:-
• Raise awareness in the UK of the social and economic benefits of microfinance in developing countries which enables women to build a sustainable income for themselves, their families and communities
• Directly engage and inspire more people in the UK to lend to women in developing countries through Lendwithcare
• Directly engage and inspire more businesses in the UK to lend to women in developing countries through Lendwithcare
• Increase engagement of local photographers in developing countries in the arts by commissioning the work locally
CASE STUDY FROM LENDWITHCARE
Christina Reyes – Philippines
Christina received a loan through Lendwithcare to create her own business, Project Lily. Hyacinths, also known as water lilies, are free-floating aquatic plants common in the Philippines. They grow incredibly quickly and can be damaging to their natural habitat: preventing the regular flow of water currents and trapping waste in lakes and rivers, causing flooding and increasing the risk of spreading diseases such as dengue fever.
Christina collects the plants and weaves them into a variety of wares including flip-flops, baskets, traditional bags, lampshades and furniture. She employs 25 single mothers from her community, who mostly work from home so they can continue to look after their children. The Lendwithcare loan enabled her to buy the equipment she needed to run the business, providing a solution to an environmental problem and creating an income for both her family and the local community.
The launch event and exhibitions will generate extensive broadcast and print media coverage, supported by a lively social media campaign. The London exhibition is expected to attract 300,000+ visitors. High profile celebrities will support the launch event and exhibition. CARE International’s 2015 International Women’s Day event generated 300+ pieces of coverage across print, online, radio and television, including the BBC news channels. The event was attended by many celebrities including; Paloma Faith, Gemma Arterton, Annie Lennox, Gemma Cairney and Helen Pankurst, granddaughter of Suffragette Sylvia Pankhurst.
HOW THE LENDING WORKS
Investing directly through Lendwithcare:
• Viewers scan QR codes on the exhibition panels. They can choose to make an instant loan on the Lendwithcare online lending platform or save the web links to select an entrepreneur later.
• As the entrepreneur’s loan is repaid (the average repayment schedule is 12 months), Lendwithcare credits the UK investor’s Lendwithcare account.
• The investor can then choose to withdraw their money, relend it to another entrepreneur or gift it to CARE. 67% of Lendwithcare lenders make more than one loan.
Supporting RubyMoon’s lending with a purchase of ethical swimwear:
Alternatively viewers may choose to purchase swimwear via RubyMoon which lends 100% of their net profits to women entrepreneurs in developing countries through Lendwithcare. Once the loan is repaid, RubyMoon reinvests the money with Lendwithcare to lend to another entrepreneur.
FUNDING PARTNERS & SPONSORS & VOLUNTEERS
We are actively looking for funding partners, sponsors and volunteers for this exciting and impactful new project which will commence in April 2016.
Please contact us at email@example.com to express an interest and for more information.