Lendwithcare now has a community of over 33,000 lenders, supporting over 45,000 entrepreneurs around the world.
One lender is ethical swimwear company RubyMoon, who uses 100% of their net profits to lend to women entrepreneurs through Lendwithcare. RubyMoon has been lending for 5 years, and so far has made 179 loans to women entrepreneurs and entrepreneur groups. We got in touch with founder Jo to find out more about why she wanted to involve RubyMoon in Lendwithcare, and her lending story so far.
|Jo, founder of RubyMoon|
1. Tell us a bit about your company Ruby Moon.
RubyMoon is a swim and activewear company that sells products with both durability and style in mind. What makes RubyMoon unique, however, is that it is sustainably and ethically produced. Instead of using petroleum to produce the nylon for the fabric, RubyMoon uses waste fibre from collected ‘ghost’ fishing nets, which produces 42% less carbon emissions. The swimwear is also manufactured locally in Europe, in an ethical and transparent supply chain. RubyMoon also lends all net profits through Lendwithcare. To date, RubyMoon has made 179 loans, supporting 334 women.
2. How did you first hear about Lendwithcare?
I knew when I was setting up RubyMoon that I wanted to be able to support microfinance initatives with it. I researched various options and Lendwithcare really stood out. What particularly appealed to me most was how personable and accessible Tracey and the team were. I was able to contact them easily and we have collaborated freely ever since.
3. What was it about Lendwithcare in particular that made you want to get involved?
I love that you can invest in both individual entrepreneurs and women’s groups through Lendwithcare, and also how easy Lendwithcare makes it to see the impact of your investment.
4. How is it different supporting through your company, rather than just as Jo?
It’s very different! Supporting women through microfinance is the very reason that RubyMoon exists. Also, it helps us measure our impact in a visual way, which our customers really connect with. I think it creates a lovely link of women investing in women across the world.
5. How do you choose which entrepreneurs you want to invest in?
RubyMoon only invests in women, and so this is our first priority when we choose who to invest in. We particularly want to lend to those with children, as we know it is important for these women to have a sustainable income to support their families. So this helps narrow down which entrepreneurs we choose. But beyond this we have invested in farmers and seamstresses, market stall owners and drivers, from around the world - Pakistan, Ecuador, Cambodia, Malawi, Zimbabwe…
6. Do any of the entrepreneurs you’ve supported really stick out in your memory?
All of the pieces in our product range are named after women we have helped through Lendwithcare - for example, Victorine, Solange and Zarina. Zarina from Pakistan in particular sticks out in my mind, because she has a textile business recycling yarn from used sweaters, which reminds me of RubyMoon creating our pieces by spinning ‘ghost’ fishing nets into nylon. Zarina is so memorable that we named our latest multi-sports bra (a bra that you can work out and swim in) after her.
|Zarina Bibi, entrepreneur from Pakistan|
7. What would you like to say if you got to meet any of the entrepreneurs you’ve lent to?
I would like to know more about the entrepreneurs that RubyMoon has invested in - their work and their families. I would also like to ask them about the impact that Lendwithcare loans have had on their lives.
8. What future plans do you have for Ruby Moon and Lendwithcare?
At RubyMoon we are currently pitching to retailers as we would like to take our product to the mainstream market so that it is accessible to more customers. This would hopefully increase sales, and as we lend all our net profits to women entrepreneurs, this would ultimately raise the number of loans we make to Lendwithcare.
We are also collaborating with Lendwithcare and FotoDocument on an exciting photography project about women entrepreneurs.
On behalf of the hundreds of women entrepreneurs lent to, we want to thank Jo so much for supporting Lendwithcare through RubyMoon. Not only is the company ethical and sustainable, but she has also chosen to share its success with women entrepreneurs around the world.
If you would like to support Lendwithcare entrepreneurs through your company, or involve your workplace with lending, please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we would be happy to help.