Volunteer

Volunteer

The Volunteer Experience at ACCESS 

Thank you for your interest in volunteering for ACCESS. Volunteers support a broad range of programs and initiatives at ACCESS including client focussed roles, training design and delivery, outreach, fundraising activities and a variety of special projects. Achieving our mission wouldn’t be possible without the support of our dedicated team of volunteers! 

Opportunities change throughout the year depending on program needs and strategic priorities. We are always pleased to have a conversation to provide further information and to discuss opportunities at ACCESS.

ACCESS values diversity on our team. We are committed to equality in volunteer engagement and welcome applications from individuals who have a range of backgrounds and who bring relevant and or lived experience to supporting our mission.

Training & Support

Training and orientation are an important part of the on-boarding process for ACCESS volunteers. We appreciate the time and experience volunteers bring to our team and we’re committed to supporting volunteers in the initial stages of your role and throughout the time you volunteer at ACCESS.

Volunteer Opportunities

Business Coach (Topic Specific & Business Plan Review)

ACCESS Business Coaches play an important role in supporting clients who need help in developing and refining their business plans as well as developing specific skills to run their business more effectively. They facilitate small group topic-specific sessions and work one-to-one with clients. Business Coaches work with clients from the very early planning stages of their business as well as providing ongoing support as clients launch and grow their businesses. Upon receiving coaching, eligible participants have the opportunity to apply for a small business loan through the ACCESS Community Capital Fund.

Related Skills & Experience:

  • Hands-on experience as a business owner/entrepreneur, with startups or advising small businesses and/or subject matter expertise relevant to supporting small business owners (e.g. online marketing, sales, product development, social media, accounting, etc.).
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills.
  • A good listener, empathetic, patient, non-judgmental, objective and client-centric.
  • Awareness of and/or interest/experience working with low-income and culturally diverse communities.
  • Second language an asset.

Commitment:

  • A minimum of 12 months involvement with ACCESS.
  • For small group coaching, a minimum of 4 sessions per year (1 hour/session)
  • Flexibility in time committed to working one-on-one with clients for business plan review based on their specific needs

Benefits and Impact

  • Help ACCESS achieve its mission of eliminating barriers to achieve financial security
  • Opportunity to connect and network with a community of like-minded professionals and entrepreneurs
  • Empower individuals through the sharing of knowledge and skills
Facilitator (Women's Business Accelerator & Small Business Accelerator )

Our Women’s and Small Business Accelerator Programs are free online workshop series for entrepreneurs interested in launching a business. The workshop series equips them with the tools needed to launch and run a profitable business. Participants will receive training and coaching to develop their ideas into viable business plans. Upon completion of the programs, eligible participants have the opportunity to apply for a small business loan through the ACCESS Community Capital Fund.

The role of the session trainers is to develop and present specialized content related to small business. Topics are geared to new and small business entrepreneurs and individuals with limited to no business training. Responsibilities include preparing and delivering a 2-hour workshop that is educational and engaging.

ACCESS provides input to our workshop volunteers on general training topics that would be relevant to the needs of our clients. We, however, welcome the expertise of each volunteer to develop and design individual training sessions.

Related Skills & Experience:

  • Experience as an entrepreneur, small business owner/advisor or with a business environment
  • Experience delivering business or financial workshops/webinars for small businesses and the general public would be an asset.
  • Strong communication, interpersonal & networking skills.
  • Public speaking and presentation.
  • Experience working with diverse cultural and socio-economic groups.
  • Second language an asset.

Commitment: Will vary based on needs and availability. Workshop presenters can expect to participate in two or more presentations per year.

Loan Review Committee Member

The Loan Review Committee is responsible for reviewing and making decisions on loan applications. LRC members conduct client interviews to assess the suitability of business and Foreign Credential Recognition program applicants. LRC volunteers also participate in committee meetings to evaluate loan applications and make recommendations for approval of
business clients.

The LRC aims to provide a welcoming experience for ACCESS applicants while managing overall credit risk to ACCESS. Underlying all of the LRC’s work is a commitment to sound fiscal management.

Related Skills & Experience:

  • For small business reviews: Experience as an entrepreneur/small business owner or experience advising or lending to small businesses with demonstrated strengths or expertise in the area(s) of planning, operations, marketing, finance, accounting, social media, sales, law or technology, etc
  • For Foreign Credential Recognition loans, understanding of the requirements for relicensing and certification needed by new Canadians to continue their careers in Canada, e.g. healthcare, finance, and other professions. Experience in employement services or career counseling is an asset.
  • Awareness of and/or interest/experience working with low-income and culturally diverse communities.
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills.
  • A good listener, empathetic, non-judgmental, objective, patient and client-centric
  • Second language an asset.

 Commitment 

  • A minimum of 12 months. 
  • Attend role-specific training and orientation to ACCESS
  • Approximately 4‐5 hours per month, depending on volume of loan applications, to review applications, interview applicants and present recommendation to the committee for final decision
  • Attend and participate in loan review committee meetings to make decisions on applications 

Benefits and Impact

  • Work as part of a dedicated team supporting clients facing economic barriers
  • Apply experience and share knowledge through reviewing loan applications and meeting with clients.
  •  Support clients in re-launching or finding new and improved career opportunities.
  • Enhance leadership skills through opportunities to participate in co-chairing loan review committee meetings.
  • Expand your network by working with other like-minded professionals supporting ACCESS’s mission.

To apply:

For more information or to apply, contact Laura Harrop at laurah@accessccf.com.