We do this by connecting people with the resources, training and support they need to move from idea to action. Through this work, we help grow vibrant, resilient communities one entrepreneur at a time.
How do we do this?
We connect local lenders and borrowers through our loan programs, brokering small loans for business start-up and expansion or training related to employment. We do this as a peer-to-peer intermediary with all funds borrowed from and invested in the community. Our lenders are people based in B.C. who want to make a patient investment that supports their community with a return of 2%. Our borrowers are people with barriers to traditional lending who are working to build a better future for themselves, their families and their communities.
For several years, Community Micro Lending has offered programs, workshops, events and support to help people connect with the knowledge, tools and networks they need to bring an idea to life.
These activities strengthen financial literacy and entrepreneurial capacity. They typically run in partnership with community organizations already working with those who don’t fit the profile of typical bank borrowers, including women who have experienced violence, single parents, low-income youth, newcomers and others.
Current and past program partners include Victoria Immigrant and Refugee Centre Society (VIRCS), Bridges for Women Society, 1Up Single Parent Resource Centre, Métis Nation of Greater Victoria, Songhees Innovation Centre and other community centres and associations in the Capital Regional District.
We also refer our clients to programs, workshops and events offered by partners and others in our community to help people connect with the kind of support that fit them best. Past and current partners include seCatalyst, Groundswell Social Ventures and Rise Asset Development.