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Windmill Microlending supports skilled immigrants and refugees to reach their economic potential

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Windmill Microlending supports skilled immigrants and refugees to reach their economic potential

Skilled immigrants and refugees come to Canada looking for a better future, at a personal and professional level. Even though they are highly educated and skilled, it gets difficult to find work appropriate to their skills, education and experience.

Newcomers face unique challenges as they settle in Canada: having their credentials recognized and the high cost of additional education, training, assessments, credentials or licensing. Many of them deal with costs in the tens of thousands. The Healthcare field includes some of the higher costs for training, exams and licensing. Internationally-educated dentists, for example, may require anywhere from $40,000 to $100,000. Pharmacists and physicians may expect to pay between $20,000 and $35,000.

Windmill Microlending understands this reality and is here to help. Windmill is a Canadian charity with a unique microlending program. It provides low-interest loans of up to $15,000 to skilled immigrants and refugees who may not have access to other credit because they have a low income or no Canadian credit history. Loans for refugees are interest-free.

The charity’s loans are available across Canada, in every province and territory. To be eligible, an applicant must be internationally educated and currently living in Canada as a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, protected person, convention refugee or provincial nominee. Also, applicants must plan to pursue training, licensure or a course of study to achieve their career goals and not have an undischarged bankruptcy.

Windmill can support newcomers in a broad range of professions, including healthcare (doctors, nurses, pharmacists, dentists, physiotherapists and medical technicians), engineering, finance, education, law, IT, business, trades and others.

A loan from Windmill can be used to pay for:

  • Education and training programs of two years or less.
  • Fees for licensing and qualifying exams.
  • Courses to help you further your career.
  • Relocation costs for employment.
  • Travel expenses to take courses or exams not available in your area.
  • Books, supplies and course materials.
  • Professional association fees and living allowance during a period of study and other related expenses.
  • Childcare or caregiving expenses while you’re studying

For under-employed or unemployed skilled immigrants and refugees, a loan from Windmill can be just what they need to advance in their Canadian career. The charity’s loans can have a significant impact on clients allowing them to find work that makes better use of their skills, education and experience, which increases their incomes significantly.

According to the Conference Board of Canada, immigrants’ underemployment costs Canada as much as $12.7B annually. Since 2005, and thanks to the generous support received by the government and the private sector, as well as from private donors, Windmill has helped over 5,000 newcomers restart their careers in Canada with over $36M in low-interest loans.

On average, the charity’s clients double or triple their income by the time their loan is repaid and unemployment drops from approximately 40% to 10%. The repayment rate for Windmill loans is 97%.

To learn more about Windmill and find out if you may be eligible for a loan, visit windmillmicrolending.org or call them at 1-855-423-2262. They are pleased to offer services in both English and French.

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