A local non-profit that helps aspiring entrepreneurs get started celebrates its 10th anniversary this month.
Community Micro Lending Society helps connect local borrowers with local lenders for business start ups and expansions, along with providing training loans for programs supporting employment.
The organization also provides coaching for loan applicants and regularly runs programs that are a blend of financial literacy and business training, typically in partnership with organizations serving unique communities. Participants are eligible for wrap-around support such as child care subsidies, translation and bus fare.
Elysia Glover, director of the Society, says these subsidies make a world of difference to single parents especially.
Since 2016 they have run 11 programs, with two scheduled for the new year including a new partnership with Groundswell Social Ventures, an alternative business school based in Vancouver.
Past and current program partners include the Victoria Immigrant and Refugee Centre Society, Bridges for Women Society, Songhees Nation and the Songhees Innovation Centre, 1Up for Single Parents Resource Centre and local community centres.
To celebrate the last decade, an event takes place at The Dock on Nov. 29 from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps will be in attendance, along with Gilad Babchuck, co-founder of Groundswell Social Ventures. Tickets to the event are $40 and can be purchased on the Society’s facebook page.