Innovation in a multi-layered approach to supporting newcomers

October 5, 2021


Every newcomer’s experiences in achieving their Canadian dreams are unique. From the moment they arrive until they thrive, immigrants find different barriers along the way, and unfortunately, some face more challenges than others.

Thirty percent of immigrants and refugees experience poor mental health. Others may be survivors of domestic or sexual violence, face housing and food insecurity and barriers to employment. When newcomers encounter these additional challenges, it can be overwhelming on top of the already complex reality of immigration. Providing support to work through these issues requires creativity and additional resources.

Understanding this reality, Windmill Microlending is partnering with Up With Women (UWW) and Rise to form a unique relationship –the first of its kind for Windmill. UWW is a national not-for-profit that helps recently homeless, and at-risk women build sustainable, prosperous careers and businesses so they can move from poverty to prosperity. Rise is a national organization supported by the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto helping those struggling with mental health and addiction challenges start a business.

Collaboration among the three organizations will result in a unique solution to help participants secure the support they need to rebuild their careers, pursue their entrepreneurial dreams and obtain financial independence. And, at the same time, clients will receive the social support they require to deal with the additional challenges they face on their pathway to achieving career success.

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