Pelu Nanyangwe lives in the Kasama District in the north of Zambia. She is a member of the Misoda Group, which is made up of five women between the ages of 31 and 58. Collectively, the women take care of 19 children – their own and orphans they look after. The Misoda Group members started their businesses so they could financially support their families.
In August 2019, the group asked for a loan of under £700. They paid it back within four months.
Pelu runs a restaurant and used her part of the loan to order more ingredients, including chicken, rice and kapenta (a type of small fish), helping her to attract more customers, increasing her profit.
She is now able to pay school fees for her children and provide meals for her family, two things which had previously been challenges.
Rehana Sharif is 36 and is from Pakistan. She is married and has three sons, all of whom are in education. Her husband is a factory worker who earns £71 per month. For years, she and her children relied on her husband's salary.
In a bid to become self-sufficient and provide better living standards for her family, Rehana started working as a tailor. She works from home, sewing made-to-order clothes for women in her area.
Rehana applied for a loan so she could bulk buy fabric, saving money and allowing her to increase her output. She wanted to give her children a quality education so they could grow up to be successful.
Rehana's loan was under £250 and she paid it back over 15 months.
Since receiving her loan, Rehana has increased her sales. With the increase in profits, she has been able to buy a washing machine. Rehana has also started to teach a young local girl the art of tailoring, aiming to build entrepreneurship in the next generation.
Teofilo Tapales is a 57-year-old restaurant owner from the Cebu province of the Philippines. He and his wife Tarciana started their restaurant business 25 years ago so they could provide for their children.
The business has allowed Teofilo and Tarciana to help their children to go through full-time education and find highly skilled jobs overseas. They are now responsible for looking after and providing for their grandchildren.
Teofilo employs three people on an ad hoc basic – a chef, a cleaner and someone who sells his products in a local school. He received his first LendwithCare loan in November 2016, which allowed him to put money into savings and invest in his café by putting up a ceiling.
In 2019, Teofilo applied for a second loan. He received £500, which he paid back over three months.
Since receiving the second loan, Teofilo has been able to increase the variety of dishes he serves, which has led to a boom in business. He has also bought a truck to transport resources for the restaurant, eliminating transportation rental costs. He hopes to further develop his restaurant by expanding the size of the premises and employing his staff permanently.
Raúl Campoverde is 50 years old and lives near the small town of Catacocha in southern Ecuador. He has seven children; the youngest five live at home and are still in school.
Raúl is a smallholder and has been building up his farm business since 1989. He grows maize and peanuts on nine hectares of land, making approximately £4,000 per year.
He applied for a loan of £950 and paid it back over 12 months.
The loan enabled Raúl to extend the lease on his farmland, meaning that he now also has space to grow tomatoes. He has been able to hire labourers to help him with the harvest. Crucially, he has been able to save up some of his profits and invest in a plot of land. This land will be dual use: some of the space will be for farming, with the rest to build a family home.
Raúl is proud to be supporting his children and building a house, explaining that not having to pay rent will give him peace of mind and allow him to pay for his children to go to university.