Claudia Hepburn became Windmill Microlending’s first Chief Executive Officer in February 2017, when it was known as Immigrant Access Fund Canada. She was hired to lead the national scale up of this innovative microlending organization supporting the financial inclusion of skilled newcomers from coast to coast. Since then, new loan acquisition has more than doubled, repayment rates and client income growth have remained high, and the organization has embraced numerous efficiencies and innovations to enable scaling. Windmill was named one of Canada’s ten most innovative non-profits by The Logic in August 2019.
Before joining Windmill, Ms. Hepburn was co-founder and founding executive director of The Next 36, now Next Canada, a national charity devoted to the development of high impact entrepreneurs. Before that, she spent ten years working on education policy and building innovative education programs at The Fraser Institute. Children First: School Choice Trust, which she founded to improve educational opportunities for children living in poverty, was the only Canadian program ever to win the international Templeton Award; her first book was shortlisted for the international Fisher Award for public policy writing, both from the Atlas Institute.
Claudia has been named one of Canada’s Top 25 Women of Influence and is a recipient of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal. She serves on several boards and councils including Kids & Company, Canada’s largest private childcare company, the C.D. Howe Institute’s Human Capital Council, and is a strategic advisor of Impression Ventures. Claudia earned a BA from Amherst College and an MA and B.Ed from the University of Toronto.