I was asked to contribute comments based on our experience at Access Community Capital Fund in providing loans to social enterprises but in the process I also hope to learn more about social finance.
First, a word about Access. We provide guarantees which enable loans to be made to individual entrepreneurs who would otherwise not qualify for credit. Our clients may be relative newcomers to Canada and can’t get credit from others because they don’t have a credit history or collateral, and may not be able to find a guarantor; or they may have a bad credit history which makes them ineligible for credit. We rely less than formal banks on an applicant’s credit history and collateral, and much more on the feasibility of their business plans and their personal drive, integrity and experience.