Solidarity-based financial products

Desjardins ad

Distinctive products and services

Solidarity-based financial products

Our range of solidarity-based financial products was designed and is distributed in collaboration with community partners that have expertise in helping financially vulnerable clienteles.

The Desjardins Mutual Assistance Funds were created in 2001 and provide access to:

  • independent advisory services from budget-consulting organizations
  • emergency interest-free loans, repayable within 24 months, ranging from $500 to $1,500

Who are Desjardins Mutual Assistance Funds designed for?

People who:

  • are experiencing financial difficulty
  • do not have access to mainstream credit

The borrower profile is essentially comprised of single women and single mothers.


Since the program was created:

  • over $3.4 million in loans have been granted, with an average repayment rate of 85.7%
  • over 64,000 people have received impartial financial information that has improved their financial knowledge

Desjardins Mutual Assistance Funds also contribute to the financial stability of the budgeting consultation organizations we work with, which were able to hire a person specifically for this program.

Desjardins Mutual Assistance Funds 2012 2011 2010
Participating caisses 60.5% 62.3% 63.6%
Number of loans extended 629 668 705
Amounts loaned $391,982 $387,788 $409,103

CRÉAVENIR is a program that provides entrepreneurs with start-up assistance and flexible financing tailored to the specific needs of each applicant. The program is a partnership between Desjardins and:

  • local development centres
  • community development assistance organizations
  • regional development cooperatives
  • business support providers

CRÉAVENIR provides:

  • up to $7,200 in grants
  • up to $15,000 in loans, usually repayable in 3 to 5 years, with no payments due in the first year
  • special arrangements in the event of loan repayment problems, like deferred payments or lower monthly payments
Who is the CRÉAVENIR program designed for?

Young entrepreneurs ages 18 to 35 who:

  • want to start a public or cooperative business
  • have started a public or cooperative business in the past 2 years
CRÉAVENIR 2012 2011 2010
Participating caisses 23% 22% 19%
Amount of loans $519,094 $458,178 $527,750
Amount of grants $228,609 $149,914 $189,973

Desjardins Microcredit to Businesses has been available since 2004. It is the result of a collaboration agreement between:

  • participating Desjardins caisses
  • community credit organizations (loan funds and lending circles) that are members of the Réseau québécois du crédit communautaire
  • Fédération des caisses Desjardins du Québec

Desjardins Microcredit to Businesses provides access to:

  • financing in the form of loans ranging from $3,000 to $20,000 or up to $50,000 for an intermediary loan
  • a repayment period of 3 to 5 years
  • support in learning the ropes of entrepreneurship
  • special arrangements in the event of loan repayment problems, like deferred payments or lower monthly payments
Who is Desjardins Microcredit to Businesses designed for?
  • Micro-entrepreneurs and self-employed workers who have limited or no access to traditional credit networks
  • Immigrant entrepreneurs who want to contribute actively to the development of their new country

In 2012, 2 expiring agreements were renewed. In addition, we signed a new agreement covering more than 50 caisses.

Desjardins Microcredit to Businesses 2012 2011 2010
Participating caisses 20.9% 8.8% 8%
Financing granted $58,000 $55,000 $129,500

The Desjardins Aid Fund provides special financial assistance to members and clients who find themselves in a precarious financial situation following a disaster not covered by insurance. The Fund's annual budget is 1% of the net income of Desjardins General Insurance, up to $1 million.

Who is the Desjardins Aid Fund designed for?
  • Policyholders of Desjardins General Insurance, a subsidiary of Desjardins General Insurance Group
  • Desjardins caisse members in Quebec

In addition to providing financial assistance to individuals, the Fund has decided to expand its assistance to communities in difficulty. The proposed changes were approved by Desjardins General Insurance Group's Board of Directors and took effect in early 2012.