Friday, 10 April 2015

The new Lendwithcare website - a lender perspective

I’ve been using the old Lendwithcare website since 2013, and although I didn’t have any major problems with it there were signs it was starting to show its age, having been originally launched back in 2010. It was great to discover it was going to be getting a lick of paint, as well incorporating some other changes suggested by existing lenders, and so I jumped at the chance to kick the tyres on the new site before it launched.
 

Behind the scene shots of the website redesign process

Friday, 27 March 2015

Lendwithcare News: The launch of our new and improved Lendwithcare website

From early April (assuming everything goes to plan!), when you visit the Lendwithcare website you will be presented with the new and hugely improved version of the site.

Screenshot of the 'new visitor' homepage

The initial motivation behind making changes to the current website was to make it a lot easier for lenders to use on mobile devices. We noticed that over 50% of our lenders were accessing the website either on their mobile phone or tablet and yet the current website made it very difficult for them to read about our entrepreneurs, make loans or purchase gift vouchers. However, as the project developed (and after some market research among lenders) it became obvious that we also needed to use this opportunity to enhance some of the site’s features to improve user experience for both new people coming to the site and for existing lenders.

Monday, 23 February 2015

Crowdfunding: A Cure to the World's Social Problems?

This blog was written by Lendwithcare lender, Jan Tchamani, and originally posted on DuCredit's website. It has been re-posted here with permission.

 

The Chitimba Women's Group, supported by Jan through Lendwithcare

Crowdfunding activity has been on the rise for a few years. With the rise of Kickstarter and other platforms, no sector benefits more fruitfully from crowd funding initiatives than the 3rd sector.

Micro-finance initiatives allow anyone to invest small amounts of money which make a huge difference to entrepreneurs and workers in the third world. Allowing them to provide a sustainable future for their families.

We asked one UK based donor, Jan Tchamani, one of AgeUK’s current internet champions, why she chose to give through crowdfunding and tell us a little about her experience of charitable giving through LendWithCare.


Saturday, 14 February 2015

Diary from the field - cycling from Vietnam to Cambodia

Head of Lendwithcare, Tracey Horner, has embarked on a challenge of a lifetime. For the past seven days Tracey, along with ten other CARE supporters, has cycled from Ho Chi Minh city in Vietnam to Battambang in Cambodia (a gruelling 460km) to raise vital funds for CARE's poverty-fighting programmes. 


Before peddling off into the Mekong Tracey met with one of Lendwithcare's newest microfinance partners, MACDI, who are based in northern Vietnam. 

What follows is her diary from the first six days.

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Promoting solar power in Pakistan

The city of Lahore is renowned as the literary, educational and cultural heart of Pakistan and has a long history of beautiful architecture dating in particular from the Mughal period with buildings such as the Badshahi Masjid and the Shahi Qila or Lahore Fort.

Shakeel and Rehan from Akhuwat on the roof  where the solar panels are located

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Unprecedented floods in Malawi

A few days ago, terrible floods destroyed homes and livelihoods in Southern Malawi.

Flooded areas in Nsanje ©Innocent Mbvundula/CARE
















The true extent of the damage is still not known but Lendwithcare's microfinance partner in Malawi, the MicroLoan Foundation, has told us that clients from at least two of their branches have been badly affected. It will take around six weeks for the water to subside enough for  MicroLoan Foundation staff to assess the impact of the floods on their client’s lives and businesses and in the meantime they are simply going out to reassure all their clients that they will help them through this crisis.

Friday, 19 December 2014

Guest Blog - A gift that keeps on giving


When for my birthday I asked for donations to my charity instead of presents none of my friends or family thought that was such a good idea. To be fair many of them give already but generally people like to give gifts, to pick something out and see it be appreciated. To me the idea of getting donations without painful form filling, standing in the cold or embarrassing ‘asks’ seems like a great gift but for people who can’t see it being spent, see the money making a difference or people enjoying what it provides for them it’s perhaps less rewarding.
With donations as with gifts it’s great to be able to see it make someone happy.
One of my friends, Helen, was listening when I told her about how much I loved Lendwithcare. How not only was the scheme a great concept but one that comes with an amazing amount of consideration and attention to lenders. My enthusiasm for Lendwithcare led me to ask to visit their partner in Manila, something I wrote about in a previous post and since then I have continued to be impressed with the varied and regular updates, enthusiastic blogs from staff and frank explanations when things have gone awry.
I’ve bought Lendwithcare for three people that I can remember. For my young niece as a nicer way of giving her some money, although I hope she’ll never withdraw from the account, for my dad I chose an entrepreneur from Malawi as he’d spent time there many years ago and for someone who I suspect might never have cashed it in. And this is where vouchers really come into their own.
 We’ve all received presents we didn’t want. Without wanting to name and shame I’m sure my whole family would understand that we don’t really want to receive any more t-shirts or key rings bearing pictures of holiday destinations. But this present doesn’t get abandoned in a drawer or only worn to bed. Even if that person never looks at it again the money is already in the right place doing its job.
For my birthday last year Helen got me a Lendwithcare gift voucher. So now even though I’ve put money of my own in over the years I now think of her gift every time I get a repayment or have enough in my account to make a new loan. That’s an awful lot of enjoyment already out of one voucher. I’m sure it will carry on for years to come.
With donations as with gifts it’s great to be able to see it make someone happy.
One of my friends, Helen, was listening when I told her about how much I loved Lendwithcare. How not only was the scheme a great concept but one that comes with an amazing amount of consideration and attention to lenders. My enthusiasm for Lendwithcare led me to ask to visit their partner in Manila, something I wrote about in a previous post and since then I have continued to be impressed with the varied and regular updates, enthusiastic blogs from staff and frank explanations when things have gone awry.
I’ve bought Lendwithcare for three people that I can remember. For my young niece as a nicer way of giving her some money, although I hope she’ll never withdraw from the account, for my dad I chose an entrepreneur from Malawi as he’d spent time there many years ago and for someone who I suspect might never have cashed it in. And this is where vouchers really come into their own.
We’ve all received presents we didn’t want. Without wanting to name and shame I’m sure my whole family would understand that we don’t really want to receive any more t-shirts or key rings bearing pictures of holiday destinations. But this present doesn’t get abandoned in a drawer or only worn to bed. Even if that person never looks at it again the money is already in the right place doing its job.
For my birthday last year Helen got me a Lendwithcare gift voucher. So now even though I’ve put money of my own in over the years I now think of her gift every time I get a repayment or have enough in my account to make a new loan. That’s an awful lot of enjoyment already out of one voucher. I’m sure it will carry on for years to come.
This blog has been reposted here with permission from Amy Lythgoe.
Originally posted here




When for my birthday I asked for donations to my charity instead of presents none of my friends or family thought that was such a good idea. To be fair many of them give already but generally people like to give gifts, to pick something out and see it be appreciated. To me the idea of getting donations without painful form filling, standing in the cold or embarrassing ‘asks’ seems like a great gift but for people who can’t see it being spent, see the money making a difference or people enjoying what it provides for them it’s perhaps less rewarding.
With donations as with gifts it’s great to be able to see it make someone happy.
One of my friends, Helen, was listening when I told her about how much I loved Lendwithcare. How not only was the scheme a great concept but one that comes with an amazing amount of consideration and attention to lenders. My enthusiasm for Lendwithcare led me to ask to visit their partner in Manila, something I wrote about in a previous post and since then I have continued to be impressed with the varied and regular updates, enthusiastic blogs from staff and frank explanations when things have gone awry.
I’ve bought Lendwithcare for three people that I can remember. For my young niece as a nicer way of giving her some money, although I hope she’ll never withdraw from the account, for my dad I chose an entrepreneur from Malawi as he’d spent time there many years ago and for someone who I suspect might never have cashed it in. And this is where vouchers really come into their own.
 We’ve all received presents we didn’t want. Without wanting to name and shame I’m sure my whole family would understand that we don’t really want to receive any more t-shirts or key rings bearing pictures of holiday destinations. But this present doesn’t get abandoned in a drawer or only worn to bed. Even if that person never looks at it again the money is already in the right place doing its job.
For my birthday last year Helen got me a Lendwithcare gift voucher. So now even though I’ve put money of my own in over the years I now think of her gift every time I get a repayment or have enough in my account to make a new loan. That’s an awful lot of enjoyment already out of one voucher. I’m sure it will carry on for years to come.
When for my birthday I asked for donations to my charity instead of presents none of my friends or family thought that was such a good idea. To be fair many of them give already but generally people like to give gifts, to pick something out and see it be appreciated. To me the idea of getting donations without painful form filling, standing in the cold or embarrassing ‘asks’ seems like a great gift but for people who can’t see it being spent, see the money making a difference or people enjoying what it provides for them it’s perhaps less rewarding.