About the Project


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© Ana Caroline de Lima/FotoDocument

Empowering Women Entrepreneurs Worldwide is an exciting photography project 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: Pakistan, Ecuador, Zimbabwe, The Philippines and Zambia.

FotoDocument has commissioned five talented emerging and established documentary photographers to each produce a compelling and cohesive photo essay focusing on women entrepreneurs in the commission country which clearly demonstrates the positive impact of micro lending.

Local documentary photographers have been commissioned to produce the photo essays, where possible, thereby engaging artists from developing countries, leveraging their knowledge of local customs and language and reducing the need for international air travel.

The work will be used in campaigns by the core partners and key sponsors to promote the benefits of micro finance lending schemes which help some of the world’s poorest women. It is also intended that the work will be exhibited at a central London location in 2017.

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.

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.


We are delighted to announce our five commissioned photographers for Empowering Women Entrepreneurs Worldwide:

Veejay VillaFranca – The Philippines

Shai Chishty – Pakistan

Cynthia Matonhodze – Zimbabwe

Ana Caroline de Lima – Ecuador

Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi – Zambia

The work will launch at an exhibition at Oxo Tower Gallery on 27 February 2018.

Here is a taster:


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Cynthia LRES FINALS_10




Akhuwat Women's Empowerment Project










How the Lending Works




For more information and to apply for one of the commissions please download the Call for Submissions document and the Application Form and send your completed submission with accompanying documents to info@fotodocument.org by 5pm on 29 April 2016.


CARE trip to Togo via Ghana 13/02 tp 16/02/2011