The Foundation's invesment, a 5-year community bond, with Windmill Microlending was made in 2018. This impact investment has not only provided predictible returns for our ELFEC and our investment partners, but made a significant impact for new immigrants in Canada who benefit from Windmill's loans and coaching programs.
In 2021, immigration accounted for almost 100% of Canada’s labour force growth and nearly 80% of our population growth. Despite the invaluable contributions by immigrants to Canada’s community and economic well-being, there remain significant barriers to achieving prosperity. Immigrants have lower employment income than non-immigrants, and this discrepancy is even greater amongst immigrant women, racialized immigrants, and for immigrants admitted in the family and refugee class.
Windmill’s loans and coaching supports are important tools for addressing this problem, and our community bond continues to resonate with investors across Canada. To date, Windmill has raised over $18 million in community bonds. Thanks to community-minded investors such as ELFEC, the program has become a keystone source of loan capital to meet the needs of Canadian newcomers who come to Windmill for help in financing their accreditation to restart their careers. For Windmill’s 21-22 fiscal year end, loan approvals are on track to exceed last year’s and, most importantly, our clients continue to triple their incomes and repay their loans.