ACCESS Community Capital Fund

ACCESS Community Capital Fund was formed in 1999 to help promising entrepreneurs with viable business plans gain access to financing not available through other sources. Individual loans are made using a character based lending decision, where the abilities, skills and commitment of the applicant in conjunction with the strength of the business plan are key decision criteria.

Our Impact Why We Exist

Established in 1999, ACCESS Community Capital Fund, a registered Canadian Charity, provides microloans and supports to individuals working towards improving their economic livelihood.

Our vision is that all individuals in our community are given the opportunity to improve their income with the goal of achieving financial security through sustainable employment, including self-employment.

Our clients include newcomers, youth, women, the precariouslyemployed, and others who face economic uncertainty.

ACCESS has been a pioneer among domestic microfinance organizations in Canada, and is one of the longest serving microcredit organizations in Ontario.

Shahida Saeed sells jewelry at the merchants flea market in ScarboroughOur Story What We Do

 

Over the past 16 years, ACCESS has disbursed over $800,000 and helped over 200 emerging and aspiring entrepreneurs launch or expand a business.

Individual loans of up to $5000 ($10,000 for second time borrowers) are made using a character based lending decision, where the abilities, skills and commitment of the applicant in conjunction with the strength of the business plan are key decision criteria. ACCESS has also recently launched a MiniMicroLoan program providing loans up to $500 for small business endeavors, skills upgrading and tools of the trade that will improve an individual's employability.

ACCESS funds made up of investments from socially minded individuals and organizations are used to guarantee the loans.The loans are disbursed through our financial partners, Alterna Savings and CIBC.

ACCESS clients are typically entrepreneurs who have been running a business less than two years and or just starting a new business.The borrower may have no credit history, or may have a poor credit record due to unemployment, illness or unforeseen life events.

The loan decisions are made by loan review committees made up of volunteer loan officers.

In addition to loans, ACCESS provides other supports to entrepreneurs including training and referrrals to partner agencies.

Our Programs How We Do It

Our organization provides initial loans of up to $5,000 to entrepreneurs where the skills, commitment, and character of the applicant - in conjunction with the strength of the business plan - are key decision criteria. We use a tried and tested loan review process that engages and leverages the expertise and experience of the group of volunteer loan officers from the community led by a volunteer chairperson.

We are fortunate to have the support of over 100 volunteers who come from all walks of life. They help us with outreach, training and sit on our loan review and other committees and board of directors.

The Loan Application documents used by ACCESS include detailed questions that provide a snapshot of the individual's personal and financial situation prior to their involvement with the program. This helps to determine what the individual's starting point is so that improvements can be tracked going forward.

Funding and Program Partners

We are lucky to have been supported by Citi Foundation, the Metcalf Foundation, the Ontario Trillium Foundation, the City of Toronto, and the Toronto Community Foundation. Our financial partners include Alterna Savings and CIBC. Investors and donors are also essential to our support base. 

ACCESS partners with over 30 organizations across the GTA. We collaborate on reaching out to potential clients, and on delivering workshops and information sessions.

Program Impact

ACCESS has disbursed over $800,000 over the past 16 years. ACCESS has helped many people gain employment, many of whom are newcomers to Canada.

Every year we hold at least 60 information sessions and workshops on various related topics, attended by 1000 people. 

We have recently launched a MiniMicroLoan Pilot Program to help people buy tools of the trade or get training so they can get better jobs. These low-interest loans up to $500 can also be used to launch a micro-business.ACCESS is the only organization offering these types of loans.

 

What You Can Do

Get Involved:

ACCESS has a strong network of volunteers, investors, donors, foundations, community and financial partners. The people and organizations that work with ACCESS help us realize our vision that all individuals in our community are given the opportunity to improve their income with the goal of achieving financial security through sustainable employment, including self-employment.

Invest:

ACCESS investors contribute to our guarantee fund which allows us to guarantee the loans we make to entrepreneurs across the Greater Toronto Area.Find out how you can invest in the guarantee fund.

Donate:

Donations provide the key operating funds to ensure we are able to deliver the programs and services currently offered to our clients.Donate now.

Volunteer:

ACCESS has a network of over 100 volunteers, including members of our Board of Directors, loan officers, outreach ambassadors, business coaches and members of various committees.Find out how you can contribute to our mission.

Collaborate:

ACCESS collaborates with many community organizations across the GTA.Contact us if your organization would like to collaborate with ACCESS.

Contact

Mona ElSayeh
Executive Director
416.462.0496
Charitable Number: 868066911RR0001

Finance & Governance

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