Christmas really was the season of goodwill at CARE International UK. For lendwithcare.org, December was our best month yet. With more than 1300 gift vouchers purchased in December alone, it is clear that our lenders wanted to pass on the pleasure of lending and the message of lendwithcare to friends and family this Christmas.
So too did the newspapers. Our gift vouchers lead to prominent features in both The Guardian and The Independent in December. This added to the significant impact of our feature in the members' magazine of our partner The Co-operative in November.
As a result, December was a record month of lendwithcare. It saw more than 1000 new lenders sending money to help entrepreneurs to pull themselves out of poverty - 400 more lenders than any other month since lendwithcare was launched.
With this final hurrah to the success of 2011, what will 2012 hold for lendwithcare? This spring we look forward to launching our new group lending feature. This will allow lenders to team up and lend as part of a community - be that as a school, church, sports team or simply with other lenders with a similar ethos. Whislt one person may only be able to lend £15 at a time, club together with friends, families or collegues and you could full fund an entrepreneur. Set targets as a team and compete against others to see how far your money can go!
Indeed, your money could go halfway around the world. Lendwithcare is currently operational in five countries: Benin and Togo in West Africa, Cambodia and The Phillippines in Asia as well as Bosnia & Herzegovina in Europe. Yet as the number of lenders rises, so too can the number of countries we work in. Although it is not yet certain which countries we will be able to extend lendwithcare into, current countries up for consideration include Ecuador and South Africa.
With this and more planned for the new year, here's to 2012 and another fantastic year for lenders and entrepreneurs around the world.
By Emma Howard, assistant at lendwithcare.org