Canada’s largest charitable microlender for newcomers is now offering low-interest loans in Québec for the first time.
Montreal – Le Moulin Microcrédits / Windmill Microlending, Canada’s largest charitable microlender for newcomers, is now offering low-interest loans in Québec for the first time. The organization, which offers up to $15,000 in low interest loans to help immigrants obtain Canadian credentials, has supported over 4500 newcomers across the country since 2005.
Microloans from Le Moulin help immigrants and refugees who arrive with education, skills and experience obtain the training and credentials they need to achieve professional success. Last year, Le Moulin supported over 800 newcomers with its loan program, which has a repayment rate of over 97%. On average, immigrants supported by a loan from Le Moulin more than triple their income.
“We are excited to offer our program to skilled immigrants and refugees in Québec,” said Le Moulin/Windmill CEO, Claudia Hepburn. “As in the rest of the country, too many experienced, well-educated newcomers are under-employed because they cannot afford to obtain the training and credentials they need. This is wasted potential, for newcomers and for Québec.”
The costs of licensing and reaccreditation can be significant, even for immigrants who have years of experience in their field. Nationally, over half of Windmill’s clients are in healthcare, a field that includes some of the higher costs for training, exams and licensing. Internationally trained dentists, for example, may require anywhere from $40,000 to $100,000. Windmill has supported hundreds of newcomers to re-enter nursing in Canada, as well as immigrants seeking to continue careers in IT, engineering, education, law, trades, marketing, management, finance, transportation and many others.
Originally from Cameroon, Emmerencia Tabufor came to Canada in 2013 with her family. As an experienced nurse, she was surprised at the length and expense of the credential process and came to Windmill for support. She is now a Registered Nurse in Edmonton.
“We were shocked to find that we needed to take English exams, with the option of taking more classes, to match our degrees, licenses and studies to those of Canada. This would require a huge amount of money,” said Tabufor. “Although we migrated with sufficient funds, we were worried about having no money before finding a job. Windmill filled the financial gap for us. We are very grateful for the loan and encouragement.”
“Immigrants to Quebec often struggle with the costs of accreditation. They will certainly welcome Windmill’s offer enthusiastically”, said Aïcha Guendafa, Executive Director at CARI St-Laurent, a Montreal non-profit which supports immigrant integration. “Our province will undoubtedly benefit by removing this barrier to professional success for newcomers.”
According to Statistics Canada’s analysis of the 2016 census, the percentage of all immigrants with a master’s or doctorate degree is twice that of the Canadian-born population. Nevertheless, under-employment of immigrants costs Canada as much as $12.7B annually according to the Conference Board of Canada.
The Rossy Foundation is a lead supporter of Le Moulin’s expansion into Quebec. The Rossy Foundation is a Montreal-based private foundation whose mission is to contribute to civil society and to improve the lives of Canadians with a focus on cancer care, mental health, civic engagement, education and the arts.
Le Moulin / Windmill has an office in the Mile End neighbourhood of Montreal. Geneviève Morin, Présidente-directrice générale of Anges Québec Capital, and Nicolas Plourde, partner in Sarrazin Plourde, have recently joined the board of directors of Le Moulin/Windmill.
About Le Moulin Microcrédits / Windmill Microlending
Le Moulin Microcrédits / Windmill Microlending is Canada’s largest and most successful microlending charity for skilled immigrants and refugees. Windmill converts potential into prosperity by offering low-interest loans to help skilled newcomers obtain the credentials they need to restart their careers in Canada. Windmill has offices in Montréal, Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton, Saskatoon and Vancouver, and serves clients across the country. Windmill Microlending is a registered charity supported by donors, government, sponsors and granting agencies.