New $1.1 million partnerships with the Definity Insurance Foundation and Definity Financial Corporation.

January 9, 2024

Windmill Microlending is delighted to announce a new $1.1 million partnership with the Definity Insurance Foundation. Their investment will help us offer even more low-interest career loans to skilled newcomers, enabling them to advance their careers in Canada.

The below press release was originally published on December 12, 2023.


The Definity Insurance Foundation in collaboration with Definity Financial Corporation, announced a $1.1 million partnership with Windmill Microlending. Windmill provides affordable loans to help skilled immigrants and refugees pay for accreditation, training and career development in the pursuit of their desired career plans. This partnership addresses barriers to socio-economic prosperity through innovative blended financing.

The Definity Insurance Foundation is making a $750,000 investment in Windmill's Community Bond program, and in addition providing a $350,000 charitable gift, at the recommendation of Definity Financial Corporation, to support Windmill's Impact Fund. This fund is used to provide career-development low-interest loans, client success coaching, mentorship and other wrap-around supports. These loans help immigrants and refugees triple their incomes on average and in so doing break the cycle of poverty and underemployment, fostering economic prosperity, diversity, and inclusivity. This loan capital will be loaned out repeatedly every 3-4 years to more newcomers.

Supporting Windmill Microlending aligns with Definity Insurance Foundation's mission to advance socio-economic inclusion and, Definity Financial Corporation's commitment to inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility, together building resilience in Canadian communities. 

"We recognize that Black, Indigenous, and other racialized communities disproportionately face barriers to socio-economic opportunities," said Arti Freeman, President and CEO, Definity Insurance Foundation. "Access to financial tools and services will uplift people, especially refugees and newcomers, to be able to thrive in Canada. As a philanthropic organization, we seek opportunities to utilize all our assets to meet our mission and our partnership with Windmill enables us to mobilize grant and investment capital for social good. This blended finance model is an innovative way to steer more of our capital toward positive impact and more equitable outcomes."

"Community investment is a key aspect of living up to our purpose of building a better world by helping our communities adapt and thrive," added Rowan Saunders, President and CEO of Definity Financial Corporation. "We believe in the transformative power of education and training in unlocking opportunities for newcomers and are proud to contribute to Windmill Microlending's impactful work, providing financial and other supports to empower those striving for a better life in Canada."

"We are so grateful to Definity Insurance Foundation for this landmark support for Windmill, and for the statement it makes about the importance of immigrant talent to Canada," said Claudia Hepburn, CEO, Windmill Microlending. "This combined gift and investment will immediately help 100 skilled immigrants and refugees restart their careers —benefiting their families, communities and Canada."

Windmill Microlending's Community Bond program has been instrumental in raising funds to respond to the increasing demand for affordable loans. This initiative is gaining momentum, thanks to community bond investors like Definity Insurance Foundation, who are putting capital to work for the benefit of clients and Canadians. Funded by the private and public sectors, Windmill Microlending has delivered more than 10,000 loans to new Canadians, helping them transform their potential into prosperity.

The Definity Insurance Foundation 

The Definity Insurance Foundation is a national philanthropic organization that works with charitable partners across Canada to address barriers to good health, socio-economic opportunity, and climate-related challenges by supporting solutions that focus on the roots and impacts of inequality. Anchored by our values of community, justice, and integrity, we proactively seek partnerships built on relationships. By collaborating with intermediaries and collectives, we advance community-led solutions that address systemic barriers, with a particular focus on those faced by Black, Indigenous, and other racialized communities. We listen to communities disproportionately impacted by barriers and energize collective power to move toward a more just and equitable society.

About Definity Financial Corporation

Definity Financial Corporation ("Definity", which includes its subsidiaries where the context so requires) is one of the leading property and casualty insurers in Canada, with over $3.9 billion in gross written premiums for the 12 months ended September 30, 2023, and over $2.6 billion in equity attributable to common shareholders as at September 30, 2023.

About Windmill Microlending

Windmill Microlending reduces poverty, inequity and labour shortages by providing affordable loans to help skilled immigrants and refugees put their skills to work in Canada. Founded in 2005, Windmill has delivered more than 10,000 loans to new Canadians, helping them triple their incomes, on average, and transforming their potential into prosperity. For more information, please visit, or follow us on LinkedIn or Instagram.

SOURCE Definity Insurance Foundation

For further information: Media inquiries: Abby Wong, Definity Insurance Foundation, (C) 416-830-3168,; Mathieu Genest, Manager, External Communications, Definity Financial Corporation, (C) 647-224-8975,; Laura Weisz, National Director, Partnerships & Strategic Communications, Windmill Microlending, (C) 647-262-3621,

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