Last Friday, Manitoba launched its new micro loans program designed to assist skilled immigrants in becoming Canadian-certified, and therefore qualified to work in their professions, sooner.
Eligible participants of the two-year pilot program, Recognition Counts! Micro Loans for Skilled Immigrants, will receive low interest loans of up to $10,000 to be used towards costs associated with certification like: living expenses, child care, training tuition, certification exams, equipment, and professional attire. After finding employment, recipients will have 90 days to begin repaying the principal, and five years to repay the micro loans.
Recognition Counts! will be run by Supporting Employment and Economic Development (SEED), a Winnipeg-based organization working to reduce poverty in low-income communities, and Assiniboine Credit Union (ACU).
Over a three-year period, the Program will receive a total of $250,000 in funds from the government of Manitoba and an additional $1.2 million (including $1 million for a loan loss reserve), from Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC).
The Program is open to a skilled immigrant who:
- Is a permanent resident of Canada; OR
- Is a Canadian citizen born outside of Canada
- Is a Manitoba resident
- Has an income at or below the current Low-Income Cut-Off (LICO)
- Agree to the terms of SEED Winnipeg Inc./Micro Loan Program staff
- Submit a Career Action Plan