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International development

Excellent 2019 results for solidarity-based finance programs

March 20, 2020

Through our commitment to solidarity-based finance, Desjardins supports organizations that help and advise individuals who are financially vulnerable, and makes it possible for entrepreneurs who are excluded from the financial system to obtain financing.

The caisse network, in partnership with 183 community organizations, is at the front line for offering this support. Nearly 95% of the caisses offer at least one solidarity-based finance product and their efforts are paying off, as our 2019 results show.

Since 2014, DID has been helping Desjardins caisses offer three solidarity-based finance initiatives: Créavenir, Desjardins Microcredit to Businesses and Desjardins Mutual Assistance Funds. Offered in Quebec and Ontario, these initiatives combine customized financing and coaching to financially include entrepreneurs, self-employed workers and individuals in financial difficulty.

Here are the results of this commitment for 2019:

The Desjardins Mutual Assistance Fund: for people in a vulnerable situation

  • 18,078 people have benefited from financial education
  • 9,989 people in financial difficulty have received personalized assistance and budget counselling
  • 612 small loans were provided for a total of $408,350, with average loans of $667
  • Women represent 58% of the people who benefited from budgeting support

Desjardins Microcredit to Business: when conventional financing is not available

  • 822 entrepreneurs received customized support, totalling 10,469 hours
  • 119 companies excluded from the conventional financing system received loans totalling $900,685 for an average 36-month term
  • Average loans of $7,570
  • 237 jobs were created and retained
  • An average survival rate, after three years, of 76% of the companies supported

Créavenir: for entrepreneurs 18 to 35

  • 200 business projects were supported and financed
  • For those businesses, the provided financing generated investments of $18.1M, multiplying by 5 each $ loaned
  • Average financing of $18,220 per business
  • 478 jobs were created and retained