CARE Runs Lendwithcare Microfinance Platform

CARE International UK runs the p2p microfinance platform For a minimum investment of 15 GBP anybody can help funding a loan to entrepreneurs in Africa or Asia.

Lendwithcare has partnered with local MFIs in Benin, Togo, Philippines, Cambodia and Indonesia that disburse the loan to the borrower. Lenders do not receive interest. Aside from the default risk (Lendwithcare claims less than 2% bad debt) lenders also bear the currency exchange rate risk. Lenders do fill their account via Paypal or credit card, withdrawels are through Paypal.

Though the concept closely resembles Kiva’s, it is interesting to see the approach used by a long-time established aid and development organisation. The site shows the experience CARE has with marketing and fundraising. It looks much more flashy (at least compared to the old Kiva page).

Lendwithcare was launched in April 2010. Since then 243 loans were funded. At the moment there are about 32 loan request by entrepreneurs listed.

Viral Kiva video

A Fistful Of Dollars: The Story of a Loan from Kieran Ball.

The video was made by Kiva fellow (volunteer) Kieran Ball, who worked for Kiva in Cambodia. It explains the transfer of the money for a Kiva loan from a lender in London to a borrower in Cambodia.

This is a great example how many people can be reached over the internet with a well made video in a short time. Online since only 8 days the video has been watched over 32,000 times and was embedded in many websites (at least 50).

Babyloan microfinance

Launched in summer French has about 1750 lenders financing peer to peer micro-loans to entrepreneurs in developing countries. I signed up yesterday when I found the service (thanks to Jean Christophe Capelli for the pointer) and helped to fund 5 loans to borrowers in Benin, Cambodia and Tajikistan. One of them is Kheav Sitha who runs a small restaurant stand at her house in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. She wants to borrow 140 Euro for 6 months.

Signing up went smoothly. I liked the user interface for selecting the loans. It features summaries of the loan detail that are shown with AJAX on the right side of the screen while moving the mouse over photos of the borrowers seeking loans on the left side. The website is in French and English, but on some points the English translation seemed to be missing. Funds are transferred in via credit card payment – I have not yet found out how they can be transferred out after the loan term ends if they are not re-lend.

Like other platforms Babyloan partners with local microfinance institutions (MFIs). The MFIs screen the borrowers and handle the payout to the borrowers – in the case of Babyloan the payout has actually taken place BEFORE the loan is placed on the platform – and the MFI takes the sum to refinance the loan.
Unlike at MyC4 lenders do not receive interest. While Kiva asks for voluntary donations to fund its operations, at Babyloan a fee of 1 Euro per 100 Euro funded is compulsory . (Minimum a lender can lend is 20 Euro).

Babyloan is backed by Acted (a NGO), Bred (a regional bank in France) and Credit Cooperatif.

The following presentation explains what Babyloan does for MFIs: