Lendwithcare has written to all investors advising what steps they have taken to continue to support their entrepreneurs saying: “Thank you so much for supporting hard-working entrepreneurs through Lendwithcare. You will notice that this month you did not receive any repayments into your Lendwithcare account from some (or all) of the entrepreneurs you are supporting. This does not mean that your chosen recipients are not doing well enough to pay back instalments on the loan they received from you. Instead, we have decided to offer a temporary pause on repayments while our local partners and their customers deal with the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. Once lockdown measures are lifted and operations start to resume, it will be more important than ever that Lendwithcare and our local partner organisations are in a position to start supporting small scale entrepreneurs to get back on their feet. In the meantime, the Lendwithcare team is working hard to support small scale entrepreneurs through the Small Business Solidarity Fund and preparing for lending to resume soon.”
Several of the people the Club are supporting through Lendwithcare live and work in Ecuador.
Carmen Casimba is 31 years old and lives in Carabuela in the district of Otavalo which is in the province of Imbabura. She is single and has been making and selling textile products for 4 years. She spends 10 hours a day in this activity. Carmen requested a loan of $3,000 to be repaid over 24 months. She will invest $2,000 in a stamping machine and $1,000 in three types of fabric, which she will use to make clothes. The loan will help her to make school uniforms.
Víctor Cabrera is 47 years old and lives on the outskirts of the city of Loja in southern Ecuador. Don Víctor prepares popular traditional food such as ‘humitas’ and ‘tamales’ which are made from maize. He sells them as a street hawker around the wholesaler markets in Loja. They are popular snacks eaten throughout the day, typically with coffee. Over time he has been able to buy his own tools and equipment. Don Victor helps to support his nephews and his mother. The business is now well-established and he requested a loan to buy an industrial food mixer. The loan is repayable over 20 months.
The pandemic has obviously had a huge impact on all the businesses supported by Lendwithcare. To contain the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic Ecuador has imposed strict quarantine regulations. The government has prohibited people from leaving their homes except to buy essential items such as food and medicines. Even then movement is severely limited. In Ecuador, the day when people can leave their homes is determined by the final digit on their national identity cards. On Mondays no-one is allowed outside. A curfew has been imposed from 14.00 to 05.00 and is enforced by armed military and police patrols. The restrictions have forced many workshops, restaurants and retail outlets supported by Lendwithcare to temporarily close.