Edmonton Community Foundation Guarantees $2-million for IAF Micro Loans


The Edmonton Community Foundation has made $2 million in loan capital available to Immigrant Access Fund Canada (IAF). This social finance arrangement, which adds $2 million in security against IAF’s line of credit, will enable thousands of Canada’s immigrants including refugees to access funds to pay for the licensing and/or training they require to work in their field in Canada.

Edmonton Community Foundation is the first of Canada’s community foundations to participate in IAF’s loan capital program, and joins 27 individuals and private foundation guarantors. This commitment marks the largest guarantee in IAF’s history. It will make a profound difference in the lives of thousands of newcomers.

IAF deploys an innovative solution to ensure sufficient loan capital for the millions of dollars in character loans it approves each year. IAF’s strategic banking partner, RBC, provides a customized line of credit which is secured by guarantees signed by philanthropists and foundations. IAF draws on the line of credit to fund advances to immigrants including refugees who have been approved for loans.

“I’d like to thank the Edmonton Community Foundation for their support and vote of confidence as IAF addresses the barriers newcomers face in paying for their licensing and training,” said Vanessa Desa, board member, Immigrant Access Fund. “Too many new Canadians get stuck in unemployment or survival jobs because they are not able to work in their field. When immigrants succeed, we all succeed. This investment is an investment in Canada.”