ABOUT US

OUR MISSION

ACEM Microcrédit Montréal’s mission is to fight poverty and exclusion through an innovative approach: community-based microcredit. ACEM Microcrédit Montréal seeks to democratize financing through the participation of a network of investors and borrowers to promote an inclusive and prosperous society.

All capital retained by ACEM Microcrédit Montréal in our loan fund is composed entirely of social impact investments made by members of the community with the common goal of fueling socio-economic development in Montréal.

OUR VALUES

  • Fair and equal access to credit
  • Trust in the potential of every human being
  • Leveraging the economic potential of communities
  • Creating opportunities for those who are excluded

OUR WORK

ACEM Microcrédit Montréal utilizes socially responsible investments to provide accessible credit and technical support to people and communities underserved by commercial banks and lenders. This investment gives individuals the chance to develop to their potential and contribute to Montréal’s economic and social fabric.

We supply business plan training workshops, loans for business start-ups or expansions, and loans for foreign credential recognition. We choose to serve low-income groups, predominantly women, unemployed youth, immigrants, and visible minorities.

EVERY CITIZEN HAS AN IMPORTANT ROLE TO PLAY

Since its inception, ACEM Microcrédit Montréal has understood that in order to combat poverty and exclusion, we must create more opportunities for all individuals, an objective requiring the collaboration of the whole community.

ACEM Microcrédit Montréal uses the investments made by citizens and groups in the community to offer microcredit to vulnerable populations. This investment gives individuals the chance to develop to their potential and contribute to Montréal’s economic and social fabric.

A GLOBAL APPROACH

ACEM Microcrédit Montréal is there for those who don’t have equal opportunities as a consequence of institutional barriers. Our philosophy is all-encompassing: the individual is placed at the heart of our intervention, with their experience and ideas approached with respect and integrity. The confidence that we place in our loans to people who face these systemic barriers allows them to take charge of their future with dignity.

TOGETHER TO BUILD A MORE INCLUSIVE AND PROSPEROUS SOCIETY

ACEM Microcrédit Montréal, with its mission and know-how, is a facilitator for change connecting marginalized people, investors, volunteers, academic institutions, students, organizations, and decision-makers from all backgrounds. Our goal is to create a network of committed citizens who will catalyze systemic change and create initiatives for the prosperity of the local economy, to benefit all.

OUR STORY

ACEM Microcrédit Montréal has been a pioneer of the social and solidarity economy movement in Québec and Canada since 1987. Recognized as a non-profit in 1990 and registered as a charitable organization, ACEM Microcrédit Montréal initially started as a grassroots initiative responding to the economic crisis of the time. A coalition of community organizations came together to form the Corporation de Développement Économique Communautaire – Grand Plateau (CDEC-GP), with the idea of finding a flexible investment model to address one of the structural causes of poverty in Montréal: the lack of access to capital.

The Institute for Community Economics (ICE) of Springfield, Massachusetts played a critical role in inspiring Canada’s first community loan fund. ACEM’s initial years were built on the support of the School of Public and Community Affairs, Concordia University, investment structures, government, and other community organizations.

ACEM Microcrédit Montréal would like to acknowledge the contributions of its founding members: Lance Evoy (former director of the Institute for Community Development at Concordia University), Marguerite Mendell (Professor at the School of Community and Public Affairs and Director at the Karl Polanyi Institute of Political Economy), Mildaire Villegas (General Director, Filaction), Eric Shragge (retired principal of the School of Community and Public Affairs at Concordia University), Yvon Couillard (director of GEIPSI and former community organizer), Delfino Campanile (director of PROMIS and former community organizer), Roger Snelling (president of ACEM’s board for many years), and Anne Kettenbeil, the General Director of ACEM Microcrédit Montréal for 17 years.

*The ten community groups representing unemployed youth, single mothers, immigrants, refugees, and people on social assistance in the Grand Plateau of Montréal :