Focus Areas

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We are focusing our community investment in the three areas where we feel we can make the most impact in helping grow prosperity in our communities.

Regional Economic Development

Including Programs that Support:

  • Self-employment, entrepreneurship, small business and co-operative start-up, development and growth.
  • Rural and agricultural development planning and revitalization.
  • Food security (e.g. community gardens, farmers markets, processing and distribution projects that support self-reliance and job creation).
  • Co-operative and local economy projects (e.g. buy local programs, buying clubs, co-operative education and business collaborations).
  • Economic self-reliance for marginalized members of the community including skills development, employment and self-employment.
  • Capacity building support for economic development organizations.
  • Advancing research, development and innovation to improve the effectiveness of regional economic development initiatives and contribute to the regional economic development field.

Desired Outcomes

Applicants in this category will be required to demonstrate how their program or initiative will impact at least one of the following areas:

  • Contribute to increasing the number, size and viability of micro and small businesses, co-operatives and agricultural businesses.
  • Improve economic diversification, competitiveness and adaptability of small and rural communities.
  • Help increase the number of local jobs.
  • Improve the environmental sustainability of agricultural production; increase agricultural productivity and availability of locally grown produce; increase the viability of agricultural business.
  • Contribute to increasing the number of residents and businesses buying locally or collectively.
  • Improve skills or job outcomes of people with employment barriers.
  • Improve the regional economic development knowledge and capacity of residents, business and organizations.

Money Smarts

Including Programs that Support:

  • Building financial knowledge, skills and confidence of individuals and families.
  • Assisting economically disadvantaged people to build financial assets (e.g. matched savings programs).
  • Building financial capability of people and families to adopt or improve upon good. financial behaviors such as saving consistently and making good use of financial products.
  • Capacity building support for financial literacy organizations.
  • Advance research, development and innovation to improve the effectiveness of financial literacy initiatives and contribute to the financial literacy field.

Desired Outcomes

Applicants in this category will be required to demonstrate their program or initiative:

  • Increase financial literacy of individuals and families.
  • Help increase savings, credit scores and financial assets of low income households.
  • Improve the ability financial literacy organizations to achieve goals.
  • Improve effectiveness of financial literacy initiatives.

Youth Leadership

Including Programs that Support:

  • Enterprise skills; equipping young people with the knowledge and support to set up their own businesses or income-generating activity.
  • Opportunities for youth in agricultural business and other rural activity.
  • Youth leadership and career skill development including for vulnerable youth.

Desired Outcomes

Applicants in this category will be required to demonstrate how their program or initiative will impact at least one of the following areas:

  • Help increase the number of youth owned businesses.
  • Help increase the number of employed youth.
  • Help increase the number of youth in community leadership positions.
  • Help increase rural youth retention.