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Microlending For Women In Ontario


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.


The deadline for submissions for projects ending in September 2015 has passed.


The following organizations may apply for funding:

• an organization incorporated federally or provincially as a not-for-profit corporation; or

• broader public sector organizations; or

• Aboriginal organizations that are a legal entity.

Organizations that do not meet the above criteria may be part of a collaborative or consortium that includes at least one eligible member. The eligible member would act as the lead applicant and would accept any legal and financial responsibility for an approved grant.

All applicants must operate in compliance with the Ontario Human Rights Code.

Not Eligible for Funding

The following applications will not be considered for funding:

• from individuals or profit-based organizations;

• seeking deficit or emergency funding;

• for projects headquartered outside of Ontario or with programming occurring outside of Ontario;

• for religious and/or political activities;

• for projects not focused on women.


Selection Process

All applications will be reviewed for completeness and eligibility once they are received. Only complete and eligible applications will be considered for funding.

All applicants will receive written notification of the final decision whether their application is approved or declined. Applicants may also sign in to Grants Ontario to check on the status of their application(s).

Assessment Criteria

Proposals will be evaluated on how well a proposal can demonstrate that the project meets the following criteria. Each criterion will have a weighting.

1. Applicant’s capacity to deliver the proposed project

2. Soundness of the proposed approach

3. Value for money through the budget and financial information

4. Accessibility, diversity and gender-based analysis

Program Guidelines

Frequently Asked Questions



Last updated: July 24, 2014