What we do and how it helps
Our Patrons and Ambassadors
Our Team in Australia
What we do
—Small Loans and business training
- We make loans of as little as $50, that are repayable over four to twelve months
- The loans are designed to help our clients set up small businesses and trade their way out of poverty
- before we make our first loan we provide 8 business trainings sessions
- Our loans are tailored to correspond with each individual’s business plan and personal circumstance
- Our loan officers provide ongoing mentoring support to aid with the development of our clients’ businesses
- Commercial interest is charged which helps to cover the high costs of managing such small loans, as well as the associated training and ongoing mentoring. By charging interest the program will become self supporting, and, once established, further monies raised wouldbe used to expand the loan base
- Although our clients have virtually no income, and no collateral, MicroLoan manages to recover 99% of all the loans and interest it makes so that the money can be recycled over and over again
- We have set up a business support arm, Microventures, which is designed to give our more experienced clients training in the skills they need to build more sophisticated and resilient businesses, these businesses include sewing and dress making and irrigation schemes
How it helps
- Profits from businesses set up by our clients help: put extra food on table (78%); improve health (92%); improve education (67%); improve homes (75%); allow better support of dependents (78%) - per MLF UK survey
- Empower women to: learn new skills; improve self esteem; inspire future generations of daughters; help men to see the contribution women can make
- Encourages an independency attitude (which may reduce the long term need for development aid from the West)
- Non corruptible – small loans given directly to individuals cannot be “re-directed” by government agencies
- Businesses established are relevant to local demands
- Environmentally low impact. Small businesses – small effect
- Self sustaining business model
- Addresses all 8 of the UN Millennium Goals
Our Patrons and Ambassadors - We are delighted to have Simon Tedeschi, the world renowned pianist as our Australian Patron and Peter FitzSimons as an Ambassador. Bob Geldof KBE is our Global Patron. You can read what these significant contributors have to say about MicroLoan in ‘Patrons and Ambassadors” web page
Our Team in Australia
Brian lives on the Gold Coast in Queensland; he arrived in Australia from Malawi in 1975 with his Malawi-born wife Prue and their two daughters; he was born in Uxbridge on the outskirts of London and emigrated to Blantyre, Malawi in 1966 where he soon started his own building construction company.
Whilst living in Blantyre Brian relished the opportunity to travel widely throughout countries in the region and grew to appreciate the special nature, resilience and humour of the people from ‘The Warm Heart of Africa’.
It was whilst researching a suitable charity to which he could contribute effectively from Australia that he learned of the MicroLoan Foundation (MLFUK); he immediately appreciated the wisdom of the approach and the methods that the organisation employed and in August 2007 Brian was fortunate to be able to visit the MLFUK head office and meet most of the team, including Chairman Peter Ryan and a number of the Trustees.
The seeds of a sound relationship were quickly formed and Brian has now established MicroLoan Foundation Australia (MLFA). Brian looks forward confidently to expanding MLFA’s strong and motivated team to complement the rapidly growing international organisation that he holds in such high respect.
“I believe this is a wonderful project and am putting all my support behind it.” Brian said, “and I appeal to you to do the same: Just by subscribing for our free newsletters you will be helping the cause of these women and their families in need.” Brian is the Chairman of MLFA and is focused on supporting the Australian team in achieving their objectives, with a particular focus on sourcing new volunteers and fundraising.
Clive is a Chartered Accountant who has been the Finance Director of a number of private and publicly listed companies over the last two decades, and, until recently, was the CFO of a property investment company based in Sydney. He is married with two young children and lives in Freshwater Sydney.
Before emigrating from Wales in 1984, Clive travelled extensively, and he particularly enjoyed his time in south east Africa where he felt that the people had a positive and balanced attitude to life. He has been drawn to the concept of micro finance as a way to give people the tools they need to create the life they want, rather than create the life we believe they should have.
Clive travelled to Malawi in June 2009, and was hugely impressed by what MLF was achieving in the country, both with respect to benefits to our clients and the efficient manner in which the local operation was being run. Further details of his visit can be found on our Home page in the article “Our first office is open!”
Clive is our CEO and Development Director, and has been responsible for much of our initial set up, and a good deal of our fundraising in New South Wales.
Liz was born in Malawi in 1974 but her family migrated to Western Australia soon after she was born. She travelled back to Malawi in 1994 and was amazed to find herself deeply connected to the country she left as a small baby.
After returning to Australia, Liz moved to Sydney. She worked in 2SER Community Radio and ABC Radio News before breaking out to work as a freelance radio and print journalist.
Liz currently lives on the mid north coast of New South Wales with her partner and their three young children. She is on the board of MLFA.
“I am excited to be part of MLFA. It makes sense as a way of helping people in a long term, physical way.”
Chris McArdle is the Principal of McArdle Legal, a Sydney law firm specialising in Employment, Contracting, and Anti Discrimination Law and is on the board of MLFA. He has been in practice for 20 years, and is accredited as a Specialist in Employment and Industrial Law by the Law Society of NSW.
Prior to entering practice, Chris served as a judicial officer as a Commissioner of the Industrial Relations Commission of NSW.
Chris – like many in his profession, despite the reputation – has served on a number of volunteer and charitable bodies during his time in legal practice. He tells us that he has developed a passion for the work of MLF due to its aim of helping without patronising, and its emphasis on self sufficiency and dignity.
Chris lives in Sydney with his wife Mary Anne, and they are both keen minders of grandchildren. Chris provides the secretariat to MLFA and his firm provides the Sydney premises. This is in accordance with our philosophy of keeping overheads to a minimum, and ensuring that all donated funds get to their intended recipients.
Sebastian Bryks is a manager at Hall Chadwick, a national Chartered Accounting firm who specialise in a broad range of business, audit and insolvency services. He has been part of the team at Hall Chadwick for over 8 years and is also a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants Australia.
Sebastian is on the board of MLFA.
“With so many charities today providing short term hand outs to those in need, the MicroLoan Foundation has presented me with a unique opportunity to utilise the skills attained in my industry to provide underprivileged communities with long term financially viable and economically sustainable development solutions.”
David is director of Brisbane publicity firm Bateson Publicity firm and email marketing agency NewsBusiness. He has a background in sales and marketing, having worked for large corporates in the UK in national and international roles. He moved from the UK to Sydney in 2000 – just in time for the Olympics. David is responsible for PR and looks after the website for MLFA.
All directors and staff at the MicroLoan Foundation in Australia are volunteers, and monies raised are transferred directly to Malawi to fund the expansion of the loan book of our Mulanje office.