6 millennial-led projects that are helping Canadians become financially fit

Apr 26 2017, 10:57 pm

All that financial stuff – it’s stressful.

And it’s no wonder, since many of us live paycheque to paycheque, feasting on ramen noodles when the going gets tough. Then there’s rent day – and that’s not exactly getting a fist pump from anyone.

The writing’s on the wall: we need some inspiration to get us on the path to financial stability.

So that’s exactly what Daily Hive found. We teamed up with Capital One Canada to get an inside look at its annual Financial Education Challenge, one of four challenges in the Canadian Enactus regional and national competitions. We gained exclusive access to the latest news of its university teams comprised of impressive millennials who have made money management a focus of their work in the community.

So, here’s the latest: now that their projects have won regionally, these keen students are preparing for the National Competition right here in Vancouver. Here’s a list of what you can expect — which project inspires you?


The fact that 60 percent of students leave high school without basic financial education spurred Enactus students from the University of Windsor to create YouThrive. It’s a 10-week one-on-one consulting and financial education program focused on fuelling young entrepreneurs. And since it kicked off in 2016, YouThrive has given 446 students the support and motivation to operate their own businesses.


Autism Works Entrepreneurship

Enactus students from Saint Mary’s University partnered with Autism Nova Scotia along with Ready, Willing & Able to create the Autism Works Entrepreneurship project. With the unemployment rate for Canadians with autism at 85%, this consultation program helps connect individuals with sustainable contracts, wage allowances and subsidized programs. In the space of 10 months, the program has expanded its client base from seven to 13 clients across five provinces – helping capable entrepreneurs increase revenues by $76,275.


Created by Enactus students at the University of Newfoundland, this pioneering initiative employs at-risk youth to build hydroponic gardening systems to promote food security in Northern Canada where fresh produce and usable soil are scarce commodities. Almost anything can be grown in the system, from broccoli, to spinach, to strawberries. So far, 452 systems have been built in a cutting-edge work facility which has generated more than $159,000 in revenues.

Count On Me

Partnering with youth programs, a group of students at Simon Fraser University launched a series of eight-week workshops to teach at-risk youth and 15- to 19-year-old mothers both financial literacy and employability skills. Two SFU students led 45-minute workshops, teaching topics including banking, resume creation, budgeting and healthy cooking, through hands-on activities, interactive discussions and presentations. The project has impacted 90 youth while helping young mothers save $36 per week through better meal preparation with government cheques – allowing them to stretch 2.75 weeks longer.


Okanagan College Enactus students established this six-week program to teach students in elementary school the fundamentals of financial literacy. This includes saving for the future, budgeting and helping others in need. CANSave has impacted more than 6,000 students in grades one to three within 91 communities across Canada since it started in January 2016. And 98% of students have successfully completed the program to-date.

Project Catapult

Since its inception in 2016, Project Catapult has helped 40 women from marginalized and low-income backgrounds win budget confidence so they can get on board with banking. An extensive needs assessment allowed students from the University of Toronto to create this program for the purpose of empowering women via a six-week financial literacy workshop. The program helps women get better jobs and ultimately lead better lives. More than half of participants opened up their very first bank account after the workshop.

The Financial Education Challenge by Capital One is one of four challenges in the Canadian Enactus regional and national competitions. Each project mentioned above has empowered individuals to improve their lives through financial education.

By encouraging students to take entrepreneurial action within their communities, Capital One is committed to supporting the next generation of leaders. And by showcasing projects like the ones competing at the Financial Education Challenge, they’re inspiring us to get on top of our own financial woes, too.

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