Taking on the rent-to-own sector with ethical loans for essential items – with Angela Clements

Angela Clements is Chief Executive of Fair for You Enterprise Community Interest Company, an ethical alternative to high cost weekly payment and “rent to own” stores.

Fair for You is a lending company, wholly owned by a charity, providing small loans for people to buy essential items for they homes. It does not give cash loans, it gives access to affordable credit.

On an average Fair for You loan, a borrower will save £500 in interest compared with rent-to-own stores, according to research by the The Centre for Responsible Credit. With an average loan size of £300 this is a staggering amount.

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Running this multiple-award-winning social enterprise is Angela’s dream job despite the initial “battle for survival and fight for funds” and other challenges competing with huge, well-resourced competitors.

She believes all and any credit should benefit a household, not create legacy debt.

In this episode, Angela describes:

  • After working in a bank she ran one of the UK’s largest Credit Unions for 10 years
  • When high cost credit expanded it made a huge impact on poverty
  • The path to launching Fair for You, including the most effective research, why the business plan had to be thrown away, and securing regulatory compliance
  • Competing with high cost, high interest lenders with enormous marketing budgets
  • How social investors support Fair for You
  • The five most important things she learned from market research about people who are vulnerable and need
  • credit for essential purchases
  • How Fair for You measures its impact and the difference it makes
  • Making ethical credit mainstream and commercially sustainable

What next?

  • Enjoyed the podcast? Listen to other episodes here
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  • And if you are interested in being interviewed and are from an existing social enterprise creating a proven impact, please contact presenter Heidi Fisher at Make An Impact CIC