Loans that Change Lives
Being socially responsible is one of Bramble Berry’s core values. That means a lot of things (from recycling, to paying extra for green energy, to being a ‘water wise’ workplace), including donating time and money. To that end, since our inception in 1998, we’ve always donated a portion of our profits every year to worthy non profits.
Last year, we started doing some micro-loans as well as straight donations through a lending program called Kiva whose mission is to connect people through lending for the sake of alleviating poverty. Kiva is an awesome organization that allows you to loan money to low income micro-entrepreneurs. Why? To help them make great strides towards economic independence as they go down the path to self-employment. And another great thing? You’ll have your money back with in 6-12 months to either re-fund a new loan or take it out to help fund your own needs.
One of our recent loans went to Cecilia, a soapmaker from Ghana who uses the money to purchase raw materials and processing equipment. She lives with her husband and seven children in the outskirts of their town. She is a hard working mother and wants to give her children a quality education. I am so happy that my donation could potentially help her achieve that goal.
Another loan went to a young entrepreneur, Kerlyn Echavarria, who sells perfumes and cosmetics door to door in the Dominican Replublic. She hopes to one day expand into other cosmetic areas like facial creams, lipstick and makeup. Kerlyn is a single mother raising her two-year-old daughter. Kerlyn’s business is successful so far, she is just constrained by how much she can purchase at one time. This loan will help Kerlyn buy more perfume and other cosmetics to expand her business.
Do you want to lend money to help someone get started? Lend here. You won’t regret it!
In other non-profit news…
“A Lather Goes a Long Way: Soap Hope and The PLAN Fund Announce New Anti-Poverty Partnership”. Read the press release here. Soap Hope donates 100% of their net profits to funds that invest and make loans with women owned microbusinesses. Salah, from Soap Hope also has another company, MyObamaBar.com. Check out the old blog post here to see the “audacity of soap”. I’ve been chatting with Salah via email and she’s thrilled that her sales have grown 20% each month for the last 6 months thanks to the support of the soaping community! You guys rock!