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World Vision UK launches microfinance fundraising site

Tuesday, 12 Jul 2011

People with solid business ideas in the developing world have a new opportunity to build sustainable livelihoods and break the cycle of poverty, thanks to an exciting new initiative from World Vision UK (WVUK).

WVUK has launched a new fundraising website called “Microloans,” which gives UK donors the chance to support an individual in a poorer community with their small business.

Supporters fund a small loan to help the recipient get started or expand a business, for example, by buying seeds to grow crops, carpentry tools, or stock for their small shop. Once the individual repays their loan, the donation is reinvested to help another person start a business. 

Microloans was launched in the UK as a result of very positive customer research. Prospective donors were enthusiastic at the prospect of helping people in the developing world to help themselves. It was viewed as a proactive method of helping the entrepreneurial poor to work their way out of poverty. WVUK has supported the launch of Microloans with a significant online marketing campaign comprising of online advertising, search engine advertising and placement, and outbound email campaigns. 

“Microloans provide a great way for people living in poverty to help themselves and build a better life,” said Mathew Neville, Director of Public Engagement at World Vision UK. “Successful small businesses have the potential to transform not only the lives of individuals and their families, but also the communities in which they live.”

Supporters can connect one-on-one with the individual of their choice — each with a sound business idea, but no access to credit to qualify for a traditional loan. Then through regular updates from the entrepreneur, WVUK supporters can share in their success as the entrepreneur builds their business.

Mother-of-six Chheang Leang, a farmer from Cambodia, was struggling to support her family on 30 cents a day before a series of small loans helped her to realise her dream of an education for her children.

Microloans helped Chheang to start an ice-cream and fruit juice business and buy livestock. 

“My family and I are happier,” she says. “We have enough food and enough to send my children to school.”

Visit Microloans online, and fund an entrepreneur by visiting: http://microloans.worldvision.org.uk