MONTREAL, March 6, 2020 /CNW Telbec/ - Temporary workers and their spouses, as well as accepted refugees, will now have access to a source of funding to smooth their integration to the Québec workforce. Thanks to new measures introduced by Microcrédit Montréal, a member of the MicroEntreprendre network, these newcomers will be able to get a loan to acquire specialized tools, for example, or to take refresher training which, in many circumstances, is a basic hiring requirement. For temporary residents, the interest rate will be very low – 4% – and for accepted refugees, it will be 0%.
Through this new initiative, newcomers will also be able to finance career reorientation and refresher courses to facilitate their integration to the workforce. The loans will be for $10,000, and up to $15,000 for healthcare professionals.
"The temporary status of these newcomers currently prevents them from obtaining financing from traditional institutions," explained Indu Krishnamurthy, Executive Director of Microcrédit Montréal. "We are confident that these new measures will help many of them find jobs more easily."
An Evolving Support Program
Since 2012, Microcrédit Montréal has been financially supporting internationally trained professionals in their competency recognition processes. The organization has financed hundreds of people and granted more than 435 loans, for a total amount of over $1.35 million, with a reimbursement rate of 99%. Today, nearly 40% of these highly qualified professionals are contributing to the prosperity of Québec and living with dignity in their adoptive country. According to the latest Microcrédit Montréal survey, the salaries of professionals who complete the access to the profession process have tripled, thanks to the microcredit.
Currently, the not-for-profit organization grants microcredit in amounts of up to $10,000 for internationally trained professionals, to speed up the recognition of their competencies and allow them to work in their field in Québec (engineers, nurses, doctors, architects, etc.).
With the new measures, more categories of workers, such as technicians, will be added to the program beneficiaries. To access the microcredit, they will have to be accompanied by an authorized person who sponsors them.
"We hope that these new measures will facilitate the process for immigrants who want to pursue their dream of settling in Québec. It is a good opportunity to remember that our investment in human potential has social and economic benefits for families in Montréal and all across Québec, and we can be proud of that!" added Ms. Krishnamurthy.
The project is starting with a sum of nearly $200,000 and should support about fifty beneficiaries.
Microcredit speeds up the workforce integration process for immigrants by allowing them to choose to reorient their career or work in their field of competency, rather than in a subsistence job.
Luiz is a Brazilian pharmacist who started the access to the profession process in 2015. As the father of a family, he had to work hard: courses, exams, working as a technician in a job that did not pay as well but allowed him to support his family. Now, after five long years of relentless work, he is completing his internship, the very last step in his long and victorious journey. Soon he will be able to use the professional title of pharmacist in Québec. "Not giving up was really important, not just for me, but also for my kids. They are proud of me, and that makes it all worthwhile!" exclaimed Luiz.
Carmen was a lawyer in Venezuela. When she arrived in Québec, having assessed her chances of practising her profession, she decided to reorient her career and make rapid progress. Recently, we financed her application with the OACIQ. In a few months, she took her exam and is now working as a real estate agent in a prestigious Montréal agency. She is pleased with her new life.
Since 1990, Microcrédit Montréal has been a pioneer of the microcredit movement in Canada, relying on partnership with investors in the private and public sectors. The organization fights poverty and exclusion using social impact investments, specifically, microcredit, small loans that change lives and give a lot back to society! With capitalization of over $2 million, Microcrédit Montréal has lent $5.8 million and helped create or maintain over 3,000 jobs and coached 9,500 people. All capital retained by Microcrédit Montréal in our loan fund is composed entirely of socially responsible investments. 75% of the loans were granted to people from diverse backgrounds. The loans have created a leverage effect of over $18 million in the local economy. The five-year survival rate of the businesses is 66%. These trust loans of up to $20,000 allow entrepreneurs, social economy businesses and foreign-trained professionals to contribute to the economic vitality of Montréal. Until recently, Microcrédit Montréal was known as ACEM Microcrédit Montréal. It will celebrate its 30th anniversary this year.