New provincial microloan program will give more than 800 Ontario women a chance to become entrepreneurs. Possibilities are limitless, Broten says.
Ontario will spend about $760,000 over the next two years to help more than 800 low-income women become entrepreneurs.
The initiative, announced Tuesday by Women’s Issues Minister Laurel Broten, includes financial training and microloans of $500 to $5,000.
The money could help a single mother start a new culinary business or a recent university graduate open her own fitness centre, she said.
“The possibilities are truly limitless,” said Broten, who made the announcement at the Women’s Centre of York Region. It is one of six community organizations receiving provincial funding to run the program.
“Women are best able to support themselves and their families when they are empowered to become financially self-sufficient,” she said. “Microlending has been proven effective in lifting women
out of poverty here in Ontario and around the world — allowing women not only to survive, but to thrive.”
Microloans usually are offered to people who have difficulty getting credit or aren’t eligible for traditional loans.
Participants in the Microlending for Women in Ontario program will have access to financial literacy training, entrepreneurial mentoring, skills development and life skills support. Those ready to strike out on their own will be eligible for up to 400 microloans.
The Women’s Centre of York Region is receiving about $49,000 to develop a new microlending program and business incubator.
Almost $400,000 will go to two organizations in northeastern and northwestern Ontario to help Aboriginal, Francophone and rural women. Another $270,000 will help immigrant and Francophone women in Niagara region. The YWCA of Hamilton is receiving $45,000 and Connect Legal will get $17,551 to provide legal education workshops.
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