Canada’s largest microlending charity for skilled immigrants, Windmill Microlending, has increased the loan amount available to newcomers by 50%.
By doing so, the charity hopes to solve a common problem faced by immigrants when they arrive in Canada, namely the difficulty in getting jobs in their field if the cost of acquiring Canadian certification is too high. This ends up costing Canada as well; according to the Conference Board of Canada, newcomer underemployment costs the country up to $12.7 billion per year.
Windmill Microlending has been working to improve this situation since 2004, when the charity started with its first five loans. In the past fiscal year, they have helped 819 newcomers by providing low-interest loans to skilled immigrants, over half of whom are in the healthcare industry.
Overall, 4,000 immigrants have borrowed money from the charity, with a repayment rate of 97.5%, and they can now borrow up to $15,000 to help get the credentials they need to put their skills to work.