Friday, January 26, 2018

Katie Gingerich, Director of The Ripple Effect Education (TREE) outside with childrenWhen a business is in its early stages of development, it can be challenging to establish a network of support and funding. At the Kindred Credit Union Centre for Peace Advancement (CPA), we connect participants of the Epp Peace Incubator program with the support they need to develop their peace-related start-ups. In addition to mentorship and a space to call their own, the Peace Incubator Fund is one way we promote innovation amongst the promising initiatives in our program.

Each term, incubator participants can apply for seed funding to test a new idea that will enhance the impact and sustainability of their venture. Since the Peace Incubator Fund’s launch in the Fall of 2015, over $18,000 has been distributed across seven incubator ventures. We have also been pleased to help these ventures leverage over $200,000 in grants and other funding to grow their impact.

Thanks to a generous donation made in the Fall of 2017, the CPA has now significantly increased the amount of money available to incubator participants through the Peace Fund. We also formed a circle of mentors who review applications and determine how funds will be distributed.

WorldVuze, an online global education platform for elementary and secondary students, received a grant from the Peace Incubator Fund this past fall. Through it, WorldVuze has been able to create a Canadian server for their online program, which has allowed them to scale up and reach more Canadian students than ever before. Co-founder and Executive Director, Julia Coburn, shared about the impact of this funding:

“It’s something so critical to our non-profit and achieving our mission, but it’s a really hard thing to get funded. So the fact that we have that support from the Peace Incubator Fund is amazing.” 

Marlena Books is another social venture that benefited from the CPA’s Peace Incubator Fund this past Fall. With her grant, founder Rachel Thompson will attend the 2018 Walk with Me Conference, where she will present “Painting a Picture of Dignity,” an interactive experience that will explore adaptive artistic recreation featuring relational care. The conference will allow Rachel to engage with care partners, care recipients, educators, policy makers, students, and researchers from across North America.

The Ripple Effect Education (TREE) is also benefiting from the opportunity the Peace Incubator Fund offers to innovate and take risks. Through the grant they received last Fall, TREE is developing a video series that provides consistent, accessible educational content for teachers and students to use inside and outside of the classroom. Katie Gingerich, founder and Director of TREE, noted the uniqueness of the fund, and added that, “the fund demonstrates that TREE is trusted to make an impact in our communities.” 

To stay connected with our Peace Incubator projects, subscribe to our e-newsletter. To learn more about how you can double your impact by donating to the Peace Incubator Fund, please visit our Peace Incubator Fund page.