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About Windmill Microlending

Windmill Microlending is a registered charity serving newcomers since 2005. We offer microloans to help skilled immigrants and refugees continue their careers in Canada. Funded by the public and private sector, Windmill is Canada’s largest and most successful microlending program for immigrants and refugees.

Windmill Microlending empowers skilled immigrants to achieve economic prosperity by providing microloans and support.

Who We Help

Windmill supports immigrants and refugees who come to Canada with education, skills and experience but struggle to resume their careers here. Our clients may be under-employed in “survival jobs” because they cannot afford the cost of Canadian credentials or licensing. They are likely unable to access mainstream credit in Canada because they have low income and/or no Canadian credit history.

How We Help

Windmill provides microloans of up to $15,000 to skilled immigrants and refugees so they can succeed in their careers. We support clients to obtain the Canadian licensing or training required to work in their field, or to secure a position which matches their level of education, skills, and experience. Our loans can pay for exams, training, assessments, books and materials, living allowance, relocation costs, professional association fees, and other expenses related to advancing their career.

A microloan from Windmill helps clients significantly increase their income. On average, our clients triple their income by the time their loan is repaid. Our loans are managed with the challenges of immigration and settlement in mind and with client success as our goal. Read more.

Who We Are

Learn about Windmill’s leadership team.

We need your support

Get involved with others who believe in the power of microloans to help skilled immigrants and refugees achieve career success in Canada.

 

Have more questions?

Read our Frequently Asked Questions for more information.

Dr. Maria Eriksen Windmill MicrolendingOur Founder

In 2004, Dr. Maria Eriksen, a Calgary-based clinical psychologist, was frustrated. Many of the janitorial staff at the hospital where she worked were internationally-trained health professionals, unable to practice in their professions because of obstacles in licensing and accreditation.

Together with her friends, she organized the first six loans to support the costs of training and reaccreditation. Since then, Windmill Microlending (known at the time as Immigrant Access Fund) has made over $35M in loans and has supported over 5,000 skilled immigrants and refugees.

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profession' >Licensing in your pre-immigration profession</option><option value='Canadian education in your field' >Canadian education in your field</option><option value='Career advancement/upskilling' >Career advancement/upskilling</option><option value='Changing careers' >Changing careers</option><option value='Relocating for better career opportunities' >Relocating for better career opportunities</option></select></div></li><li id="field_8_10" class="gfield gfield--width-full gfield_contains_required field_sublabel_below field_description_below gfield_visibility_visible" ><label class='gfield_label' for='input_8_10' >Which of the following best applies to you?<span class="gfield_required"><span class="gfield_required gfield_required_asterisk">*</span></span></label><div class='ginput_container ginput_container_select'><select name='input_10' id='input_8_10' class='large gfield_select' aria-required="true" aria-invalid="false" ><option value='I am an immigrant' >I am an immigrant</option><option value='I am a refugee/Protected Person' >I am a refugee/Protected Person</option><option value='I work directly with immigrant clients' >I work directly with immigrant clients</option></select></div></li><li id="field_8_7" class="gfield gfield_html gfield_html_formatted gfield_no_follows_desc field_sublabel_below field_description_below gfield_visibility_visible" ><style> .form-footer { text-align:center; font-size:16px; margin:20px 0 !important;} .form-footer p { margin-bottom:12px !important; } .form-footer a { display:inline-block; padding:5px; background-color:#71A850; border-radius:3px; color:#fff;} </style> <div class="form-footer"><p>For additional career success information, please follow us on social media</p> <p><a class="" rel="nofollow noopener noreferrer" title="Facebook" aria-label="Facebook" href="https://www.facebook.com/windmillcanada" target="_blank" data-kmt="1"><i class="lsicon lsicon-facebook"></i></a> <a class="" rel="nofollow noopener noreferrer" title="LinkedIn" aria-label="LinkedIn" href="https://www.linkedin.com/company/windmill-microlending/" target="_blank" data-kmt="1"><i class="lsicon lsicon-linkedin"></i></a> <a class="" rel="nofollow noopener noreferrer" title="Twitter" aria-label="Twitter" href="https://www.twitter.com/windmillcanada" target="_blank" data-kmt="1"><i class="lsicon lsicon-twitter"></i></a> <a class="" rel="nofollow noopener noreferrer" title="YouTube" aria-label="YouTube" href="https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCu05FSusXmwZcb41MQGQJ6g?feature=emb_ch_name_ex" target="_blank" data-kmt="1"><i class="lsicon lsicon-youtube"></i></a></p></li><li id="field_8_11" class="gfield gform_validation_container field_sublabel_below field_description_below gfield_visibility_visible" ><label class='gfield_label' for='input_8_11' >Name</label><div class='ginput_container'><input name='input_11' id='input_8_11' type='text' value='' /></div><div class='gfield_description' id='gfield_description_8_11'>This field 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