For many years now I’ve invested with  lendwithcare. I make loans to people in the developing world that tick along nicely in the background, apparently changing lives.  It’s such a wonderful idea that I thought I’d bring it to the attention to anyone that doesn’t know about it. Those who think that they might be able to make a quick buck should walk away. I receive no interest and small donations to cover administration costs means that I’m firmly down on my money. What I’m investing in is a better world a tiny step at a time.

My dashboard tells me that I’ve got about £250 in my account, added in dribs and drabs over the years.  It gets recycled as instalments are repaid. As people reduce their loan I lend again to someone else whose business needs a boost. I  view the money as a gift that I’ll never drawn back. I’ve now lent nearly £1,200 to 142 people in lots of different countries, Zambia, Pakistan, Ecuador, Vietnam, Malawi…. Someone has defaulted on the loan just once.

I love the diversity of what people do with my money.  There is a wedding photographer, a rickshaw owner, an internet cafe owner, a soapmaker and a woman who is now able to recycle her pig poo with a biomass plant  What strikes me is the tiny needed to help people make significant improvements to their lives.  Some people are only asking for a couple of hundred quid, perhaps so that they can increase the amount of stock that they hold in a tiny shop. Yet the income gains from these investments seem to hold so much potential to dramatically improve their lives in a way that promotes dignity.

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