Help a small business rather than waste a gift


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The Independent Online

Britons will waste £240m on unwanted presents this Christmas, with one in four people panic buying and wasting  £46.25 on average.

That is one of the findings of a survey by the microfinance initiative Lendwithcare, which offers an alternative gift – one that can help struggling people overseas start their own business.

Lendwithcare, which was set up by the poverty charity CARE International UK and the Co-operative, sells gift vouchers and uses the cash raised to lend small sums to people running businesses in poor communities across the world. The loan, typically £15 or £30, goes to an entrepreneur selected by the donor. Later on, the money will be paid back to the voucher recipient to keep for themselves or to re-invest in different entrepreneurs.Tracey Horner from Lendwithcare said: “Too many people feel an obligation to waste money on useless gifts they cannot afford for people who won’t use them. Presents can be memorable without breaking the bank.”

There are stories of people across the world looking for loans – along with guidance on how to buy a gift voucher – on

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