Saving on prosperity

Libro Credit Union officially announced&nbsp; Oct. 21 that St.Paul&rsquo;s GreenHouse has been named one of the recipients of their 2015 Prosperity Fund, awarding the program $47,000 in funding.</p>

Libro is a credit union situated in Ontario and focuses on offering financial products and services to consumers, businesses, and farms. Since April of last year, Libro has launched “The Prosperity Project,” an initiative designed to elicit prosperity in southwestern Ontario, with a major aspect of the project being the “Prosperity Fund.” This component of the project invests $500,000 into local organizations which grow prosperity in any of the three focus areas: regional economic development, youth leadership, and money smarts. 

This year, Libro’s Prosperity Fund received over 10 million applicants, while only a select few were chosen. Along with St. Paul’s GreenHouse program, Capacity Canada and Ecological Farmers Association of Ontario, as well as several others, were also awarded grants of various denominations.With Libro’s aid, the GreenHouse project plans to expand their scope in order to produce greater social and environmental change. 

 “This funding will allow us to run our summer fellowship program,” said Tania Del Matto, director of GreenHouse, who was present at the announcement of the funding.

The program is open to youths aged 18-29 across the KW region and allows them to share their solutions to pressing social or environmental issues. Ten of the most promising ideas will then get access to the full range of resources that are offered by the GreenHouse, including weekly programming and mentorship to foster creativity.

“The whole point of the program is to have these emerging social ventures taken off the ground and to have these social issues be continually addressed thereafter,” Del Matto said .

She then cited the example of Elle Crevits, who recently launched her summer venture in the form of “Food Not Waste,” an organization that takes consumable food that would otherwise be disposed of as surplus and redistributes that food among several food programs. This not only tackles the problem of food waste, but also provides employment opportunities.

“Out of all the applicants that we’ve had, St. Paul’s definitely rose to the top” said Jill Brush, the manager of one of the 31 Libro branches in southwestern Ontario. Many of the aspiring business leaders who are a part of GreenHouse need financial guidance and business mentorship, and Brush said that Libro is more than happy to provide this to the fellowship program.