Microlending programs provide small loans to individuals to support personal entrepreneurship. Recipients of microloans are traditionally low-income individuals who lack the credit history, steady employment or collateral necessary to obtain conventional forms of credit.
Microlending programs are most successful when they provide or ensure that loan recipients also receive other required supports, such as financial literacy education, business development training, mentorship, access to childcare, and life skills supports.
The goal of Microlending for Women In Ontario is to help low-income women start and build successful businesses. To achieve this goal, OWD is inviting applications for microlending projects that will:
• increase or improve the knowledge base of microlending in Ontario
• address service gaps in existing microlending programs; and/or
• establish new microlending programs.
Funding under this program would enable existing microlending programs to add a range of supports for their loan participants. Funding would also support the development of new microlending programs in communities where none currently exist.
As microlending is still in its infancy, this program can also support research, information sharing and program evaluation. These activities will help the sector to identify successes to date and address barriers to success.