The Institute for Canadian Citizenship Joins With Windmill Microlending to Support Skilled Immigrants




ICC’s $500,000 investment will support 50 talented new Canadian professionals in putting their skills and training to full use

DECEMBER 15, 2021 – The Institute for Canadian Citizenship (ICC) — Canada’s leading citizenship organization and the world’s foremost voice on citizenship and inclusion — has made a $500,000 investment in Windmill Microlending’s innovative and highly-effective Community Bond program, helping 50 skilled immigrants build successful professional lives in Canada thanks to Windmill’s accreditation and upskilling loans.

“New immigrants don’t need more rhetoric about what a welcoming country we are. They need resources to carve out successful careers and lives here,” said ICC CEO Daniel Bernhard. “That’s why the ICC is proud to invest in Windmill Microlending’s proven loans that ensure qualified new Canadians can be recognized for their talents and get off to a flying start in Canada.”

The partnership is a natural one. Through its Canoo mobile app, the ICC  has helped over 425,000 immigrants establish their Canadian lives by providing free admission to over 1400 museums, science centres, art galleries, parks, and historic sites across Canada. As Canada’s largest and most successful microlending charity for skilled immigrants and refugees, Windmill converts potential into prosperity by offering low-interest loans to help skilled newcomers obtain the credentials they need.

“Windmill Microlending is thrilled for the support of the Institute for Canadian Citizenship, another great Canadian charity supporting the integration of immigrants,” said Claudia Hepburn, Windmill’s CEO. “ICC’s substantial investment comes at a time when Canada is experiencing a severe shortage of skilled labour. This loan capital will empower 50 skilled immigrants to acquire the accreditation they need to fill the skilled jobs. We are grateful to former Windmill and ICC board member Andreas Souvaliotis for his vision and role in bringing our organizations together to make this investment possible.”

“Canadians think of ourselves as a welcoming country — and we are — but in the global competition for talent and energy, we need to do more than talk a good game,” says Bernhard.  “As economics, geopolitics and climate change drive increased migration worldwide, we call on individuals, business, government, and civil society organizations to join us as active participants in Canada’s welcome network. It’s time to step up to the plate.”

About the Institute for Canadian Citizenship

The Institute for Canadian Citizenship (ICC) is a national non-profit organization co-founded by The Rt. Hon. Adrienne Clarkson and John Ralston Saul. The ICC works to inspire Canadians to be inclusive, create opportunities to connect and encourage active citizenship. Since 2005, the ICC has also supported more than 425,000 new Canadian citizens with programming to encourage a sense of belonging and build a more inclusive Canada.

About Windmill Microlending

As Canada’s largest microlending not-for-profit for skilled immigrants and refugees, Windmill addresses the underemployment of internationally trained professionals across Canada.  By offering affordable loans of up to $15,000 to pay for launching or advancing their career, our clients are able to achieve career success and convert potential into prosperity for themselves and for Canada. Founded in 2005, Windmill Microlending is a registered charity supported by donors, government, sponsors and granting agencies.

For further information:

Windmill: Rob Hindley,

ICC: Amy Leis,


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