Pentland Brands is supporting Lendwithcare, in an initiative created by CARE – one of the world’s leading aid and development organisations – to help entrepreneurs in emerging markets to establish or expand their businesses through a series of small loans.
So far, 81 entrepreneurs have been supported through a total of 31 loans, creating 24 new jobs and supporting owners to grow their businesses for the long-term.
Our focus is on supporting businesses that align with our own roots in the footwear and apparel industry, many of which repurpose clothes and fabrics to create the products they sell. Businesses we’ve supported include the Glorious Group – a second-hand clothes outlet in Zambia – as well as artisan clothes makers, shoemakers, tailors and embroiderers.
Pentland employee representatives, from across the UK, Europe, Asia, Australia and the USA, select entrepreneurs to support with a loan and, when the loan is repaid, the funding is returned and used to support CARE’s wide-reaching poverty fighting programmes.
In response to the challenging environment created by COVID-19, Lendwithcare has been working in new ways to support low-income entrepreneurs.
Tracey Horner, Head of Lendwithcare, says, “In March 2020, we launched the Small Business Solidarity Fund, which has funded 12 different projects across eight countries, assisting over 18,000 vulnerable people in dealing with the impact of COVID on their lives and livelihoods.
“Success for us in 2021 will mean building on the already incredible 135,000 loans worth £4.5 million that supported entrepreneurs in 2020. With support from Pentland, we are confident this will be the case.”
Sara Brennan, Positive Business Director at Pentland Brands, says, “As a fourth-generation family business, we believe in helping people to grow and succeed and we’re committed to being a positive business that takes-action for people and our planet. We’re really proud that we can play a small part in providing routes out of poverty by collaborating with charities that are already changing lives.”
Photo credit: CARE/Peter Caton