Exploring Poverty Reduction Game Changers with VC Canada Members: Financial Empowerment

Submitted by Tamarack on October 19, 2016 - 3:41pm
#8 in the VC Game Changer Series

We Are Looking for Your Ideas 

Help make this innovative approach work! Ideas and suggestions from Cities Reducing Poverty members and broader learners of the Vibrant Communities Canada network are critical to developing a solid foundation in which to identify key levers that have large impacts on poverty reduction. 

Once you have read about the framework and reviewed some of the Game Changers we have drafted, participate in the process by filling in the short survey here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ZYSR2RP.

Defining a 'Game Changer'

The poverty reduction Game Changer series highlights eight priority areas and strategies, as identified by Vibrant Communities Canada and our Cities Reducing Poverty members, that elicit an array of positive, significant, and cascading outcomes towards reducing poverty.


#8 in the Game Changer Series: Financial Empowerment

Accessible mainstream banking services, protection from fraud and predatory lending, and ability to build savings and assets, improve credit ratings, and reduce debt.

Financial empowerment creates opportunities and fosters behaviors that improve the financial security and well-being of low-income individuals. It facilitates their access to safe and affordable financial products and promotes their inclusion in mainstream financial systems. Individuals gain protection from fraud and predatory lending practices, reduce debt, and build savings, assets and credit ratings. Ultimately, they are empowered with the knowledge, skills, confidence, tools, and opportunities required to make positive financial decisions and to invest in their own and their families’ financial futures. 

Recommendations for Best Practices and Policies




  • Calgary’s Financial Empowerment Partnership – Citywide initiative with the City of Calgary, Government of Alberta, United Way of Calgary and Area, Vibrant Communities Calgary, Momentum and Bow Valley College that addresses the root causes poverty, and helps people reduce debt, increase savings, and build assets. 
  • Manitoba Financial Literacy Forum – A coalition of more than 40 organizations, including governments, businesses, not-for-profits, financial educators, credit counselling services, volunteer groups, individuals, and families, working together to promote lifelong financial education and skills to Manitobans.
  • Prosper Canada – A national charity that expands economic opportunity for Canadians living in poverty, develops and promotes financial policies, programs and resources, and fosters prosperity of all Canadians.
  • Vancity’s Fair & Fast Loan – Fast, no-fee, and low-interest loan that bridges the gap between a payday loan and a traditional loan to help individuals establish a better credit history and build stronger financial futures.

Share this Game Changer with your network by downloading it as a PDF here.

Learn More

  • Access Mark Holmgren's presentation slides on the Game Changer Approach to Poverty Reduction
  • Find an Overview of the eight game-changing best practices and policies we are exploring in the poverty reduction network