Philanthropy | For Goodness’ Sake

How tweets can help struggling entrepreneurs

Status updates can add up to something worthwhile

How tweets can help struggling entrepreneurs

August 04 2010
Sibéal Pounder

With the Twittering classes sending more than 50m messages a day and Facebook hosting more than 45m daily status updates, the MicroLoan Foundation – a London-based charity providing loans to female entrepreneurs in the poorest areas of Malawi, Zambia and Namibia – felt it was missing a trick. Its response? The Pennies for Life app that allows users to donate 1p to the MicroLoan Foundation every time they tweet or update their Facebook status.

The donated funds are then pooled and distributed as micro loans (ranging from £20-£250) to the entrepreneurs. If the business succeeds, the original loan is repaid in full to the Foundation, which then redonates the money. It has a 99 per cent repayment rate and more than 40,000 women in southern Africa are on their way to becoming self-sufficient – surely something worth tweeting about.