Meet the Team
We are the Lendwithcare team, although we are also supported by other departments within CARE International UK, including Finance, Communications and Supporter Care. We are also lucky enough to have the support of a small number of Honorary Advisors.
Our small team works hard to ensure you have the best experience possible supporting poor entrepreneurs and that your money is lent responsibly and fairly to ensure Lendwithcare entrepreneurs and their families have the best chance of working their way out of poverty. As you can imagine there is a lot involved in facilitating 350,000 loans from over 33,000 lenders to over 45,000 entrepreneurs and ensuring we maintain the high quality of loan profiles which are written by our 13 Microfinance Institution partners and edited by us and our volunteers.
I have overall responsibility for Lendwithcare and have been responsible for the programme from its inception and launch in 2010, I have seen it grow from an idea that CARE should use our decades of experience in Microfinance to create something that is connecting thousands of people to make the world a better place. Previously I was responsible for individual fundraising at CARE and prior to that I was Head of Consumer Fundraising at WWF. As well as overseeing Lendwithcare’s operation, I am responsible for raising funds from foundations, companies and individuals to enable Lendwithcare to operate effectively. One my most memorable moments has been my recent cycling trip between Vietnam and Cambodia with 9 other Lenders and seeing a Cambodian farmer welcoming some very excited Lenders in cycling gear and explain how her loan was helping her family earn a living from their soya bean crop.
Dr Ajaz Ahmed Khan
I am responsible for the selection and management of our Microfinance Institution partners around the world. I am fortunate enough to spend around one-third of my time each year abroad working directly with our partners and visiting the small businesses lendwithcare has supported. I have a PhD in Development Economics and more than 16 years practical field experience from living and working in countries as diverse as Honduras, Nicaragua, Ecuador, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Kosovo, Pakistan and Sudan. I have helped create and develop microfinance programmes in several countries that provide loans and other financial services to thousands of micro entrepreneurs. I have also written a number of articles and books on microfinance in general and Islamic microfinance in particular.
I am lucky that I get to work on all areas of Lendwithcare. My role is incredibly varied and includes supporting Ajaz on the management of our Microfinance Institution partners and developing our social impact assessment programme. I have a Master’s in Chinese Studies from SOAS where I completed my thesis on the impact of peer-to-peer microloan platforms in China. Before joining CARE, I lived and worked in Beijing, China. Since joining CARE in 2011, I have been fortunate enough to meet many Lendwithcare recipients but perhaps the trip that stands out to me the most was my visit to Togo and Benin in 2014. Not only was this the first time I had ever visited Africa but I also met some hugely impressive entrepreneurs, including market stall holder Marcelline Dahomi (whose picture we use in a lot of our marketing material) and Philippe Adanglo, a tailor who had used his small loan of £400 to expand his training school and take on more apprentices. When we met Philippe he had trained 80 young people from his local area in sewing and tailoring.
I am the newest addition to the Lendwithcare team! My role is very varied, which I love, as it means every day is different. I focus a lot on our communications to lenders, our digital marketing and social media. Before joining the Lendwithcare team I was working in the Supporter Care team at CARE International. I loved learning about all of CARE’s different work and projects, and I was always inspired by Lendwithcare. My most memorable moment with Lendwithcare so far was when I visited our microfinance partner in Malawi. As my first visit to Africa it was a real adventure, and it was so humbling to finally be able to meet some of the Lendwithcare entrepreneurs, and to hear their inspiring stories. I will always remember how welcome they made us feel, and how much they loved to sing and dance!
We have the support of a small number of Honorary Advisors who support the Lendwithcare team with help and advice in a number of areas. As Lendwithcare is an initiative of CARE International, the operation is overseen by the CARE Board of Trustees.
Julian is the founder and former CEO of a telecoms manufacturer - Vocality. He is actively interested in all forms of technology, and is a busy marketing and web design person for band The Blow Monkeys, as well as doing some singing and playing himself. He’s excited about paying forward to the next generation of entrepreneurs worldwide given the strong support he has received during his time as an entrepreneur.
Alison Fielding is an experienced entrepreneur, creating, building and investing in start-up companies. She coaches CEOs, as well as acting as NED on high-growth businesses. Previously, Ali was a trustee at CARE International UK for nine years. She is excited about being involved with Lendwithcare and seeing the impact it has on so many lives.
Theresa Lloyd is a philanthropy expert and leading consultant in strategic planning, fundraising and governance in the non-profit sector. Theresa was the Founder Director of Philanthropy UK (2001-04). She has written A Guide to Giving (2003), Why Rich People Give (2004), Cultural Giving (2006) and, with Dr Beth Breeze, Richer Lives (2013). www.theresalloyd.co.uk.
Fiona Thompson is an experienced board member of not-for-profit organisations involved in international development, anti-corruption, education and sustainability. She was previously Vice-Chair of CARE International UK, and was part of the Trustee group overseeing lendwithcare from the first germ of an idea. She is a Chartered Accountant and has advised on investment issues in emerging markets, living and working overseas as well as the UK.
Neville Wright is an entrepreneur, writer, investor, mentor and motivational speaker. Neville and his wife Marilyn set up successful online retailer of nursery products, Kiddicare which won numerous awards for its website and customer service. www.nevillewright.com
Looking to work or volunteer for CARE International?
Lendwithcare could not function effectively without the support of volunteers who help in various roles, including editing and translating the hundreds of entrepreneur profiles and providing administrative support in the office.
CARE’s equal opportunity policy extends to volunteer posts, this ensures everyone gets equal access to volunteer opportunities. If you are interested in volunteering for Lendwithcare you can view all CARE’s opportunities on the CARE website.