Five Dot Botanics' Social Impact Fund
As a business, we are always thinking about the ways in which we can improve the lives of others. It is not enough for businesses to exist to simply make profit. They must contribute to a better society. Although we are still a small company, we never underestimate the power of small actions to drive change.
We are pleased to announce the launch of the Five Dot Botanics’ Social Impact Fund which is designed to make micro loans to women around the world to help them run their own businesses.
What is microfinance?
Microfinance is seen as a long-term and more sustainable approach to helping low-income people. Many consider microfinance to be a 'hand up rather than a hand out' as it focuses directly on helping low-income people to work and become more self-sufficient.
Support through Lendwithcare
Our fund is being managed through Lend With Care. They help lend small amounts of money to entrepreneurs running their own businesses in poor communities around the world. We have made five initial loans to women running a variety of businesses.
In the poorest parts of the world it is almost impossible for micro-entrepreneurs to raise the investment they need to grow their businesses, such as purchasing a sewing machine, tools or seeds and fertiliser to plant crops. By setting up a social impact fund our aim is to increase the size of our fund over time to make more loans as our businesses grows.
Why we decided to do this
We decided to create this fund as a way of supporting other entrepreneurs around the world to run their own businesses. Less than 2% of people who run a small business worldwide have access to the funding they need, creating a permanent barrier to escaping poverty. Banks will usually refuse to lend to poor people in small communities, citing a lack of collateral and the high costs of processing loans of small amounts of money, often to people in hard to reach, rural locations.
Lend With Care is currently operating in eleven countries; Cambodia, Ecuador, Malawi, Pakistan, the Palestinian Territories, Peru, the Philippines, Rwanda, Vietnam, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Loans to women matter
80% of the loans made through Lend With Care go to women, who are frequently bringing up their families on less than $2 a day. By making credit available, we enable them to grow their income, providing their family with a better diet and better access to clean water and healthcare. The children of entrepreneurs’ families are more likely to go to school and there is often a knock on benefit to the wider community as a result of the increased expenditure, including new employment.
We chose to support Lendwithcare as they work with partner microfinance institutions who, along with the loan, provide training and support to the entrepreneur to maximise the chances of the business being successful.
We know that the five loans we have made is a small start, however we believe that the power of helping one person, collectively can shape society for the better.
How can I get involved?
In the future, we plan to extend our relationship with Lend With Care so that our Five Dot Family can contribute to our micro-financing too. However, if you'd like to start your own donations now, you can contribute to any loan at Lend With Care from just £15.
You can learn more about the five loans we’ve given here.