Canadian charity will now offer low-interest loans of up to $15,000 to help immigrants and refugees obtain the credentials needed to continue their careers in Canada
TORONTO, April 11, 2019 /CNW/ - Windmill Microlending is significantly increasing the value of low-interest loans it can offer to skilled immigrants and refugees. Since 2005, the maximum loan available from Windmill has been $10,000. Today, the charity is increasing that amount to $15,000.
"The costs of licensing and reaccreditation are increasing each year, and we need to keep pace in order to offer newcomers the support they need," said Windmill CEO, Claudia Hepburn. "Many internationally-trained professionals face Canadian licensing costs in the tens of thousands and need more from us."
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. Pharmacists and physicians may expect to pay between $20,000 and $35,000.
"We're very proud to be able to increase our support for newcomers," said Laura Wood, chair of Windmill's board of directors. "Immigrants bring education, skills and experience that too often go to waste. Our role is to help convert the skills and experience of newcomers into prosperity – for our clients, and for Canada."
Calgary veterinarian, Dr. Eva Hadzima, came to Canada from Slovakia with experience as a vet, but struggled to afford the practical exams required to gain Canadian veterinarian credentials. "I was thrilled that Windmill would lend me this money," said Dr. Hadzima. "It showed that Canada had confidence in me, and it allowed me to focus on my goal and establish my career again."
Underemployment of immigrants costs Canada as much as $12.7B annually according to the Conference Board of Canada. Since 2005, Windmill has helped over 4,000 skilled immigrants and refugees restart their careers in Canada. Windmill clients double or triple their income, on average, by the time their loan is repaid. The repayment rate for Windmill loans is 97.5%.
About Windmill Microlending
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 is located in Calgary, with offices in Toronto, Edmonton, Saskatoon and Vancouver, and serves clients across the country. Windmill Microlending is a registered charity supported by donors, government, sponsors and granting agencies.