Stories from St. Paul's GreenHouse

Spring 2016

Libro Credit Union Funds Big Ideas

Through their Prosperity Fund, Libro Credit Union donated $47,000 to St. Paul's to launch a fellowship program to provide up to 10 young entrepreneurs with residence in the St. Paul's GreenHouse program in the spring term. Youth aged 18-29 were recruited from across Waterloo Region through a series of social entrepreneurship events and training sessions, and the most promising ideas were selected through a competitive pitch contest.

The new Fellowships will accelerate the growth of these early-stage ventures by helping to validate their products and services, acquire customers and position them for further support from the Waterloo innovation ecosystem after their time in GreenHouse, including Communitech and the Accelerator Centre.

The Libro Prosperity Fund is an annual granting program run by the Libro Credit Union. It supports local organizations in southwestern Ontario whose initiatives support entrepreneurship, financial knowledge, and career skill development for young people - all aimed at growing prosperity across the region.

Social Impact Fund Assists Student Innovators

The Social Impact Fund was established by St. Paul's to support the testing and development of early-stage, high potential ideas by St. Paul's GreenHouse innovators. Students are eligible to receive up to $2,500 through the Fund to help put their ideas into action and to scale validated projects into revenue-generating social ventures.

To date, 20 students have received these grants. A few of the examples below highlight how the impact continues to grow.

  • Tina Chan ran a successful pilot project of a mental health first aid kit originally targeted for post-secondary students, and since then, her company, PASS Kit, has received orders for more than 3,000 units. Tina is now broadening the scope of the PASS Kit to include employees at various institutions. 
  • Richard Yim of The Landmine Boys used Social Impact funding to prototype a landmine defusing device that he successfully tested on actual landmine components in Cambodia. His team is now working on a second prototype and a business plan. 
    Article Sidebar

    Shaping the World: The Story of Richard Yim and The Landmine Boys

    A short documentary by Waterloo Alumnus Ryan Walker about The Landmine Boys, one of the social ventures at St. Paul's GreenHouse.

    Read More
  • Elle Crevits used her funds to launch a five-week pilot project called Food Not Waste, which successfully redistributed 7,000 pounds of quality food destined for the landfill to local food service agencies.
  • Rachel Thompson received funding for her first prototype of a book written and printed specifically for adults with dementia. Her venture, Marlena Books, has a first book, "A Love That Waited," written by Brandon Johnson. It should be ready for market in July.
  • Trishala Pillai used her grant to start Dialogue Xchange, which convenes dialogue sessions on important social issues and shares them using the web and social media.

GreenHouse Hosts Special Guests

GreenHouse students had the opportunity to meet and share some of their ideas with Bardish Chagger, Minister of Small Business and Tourism, as well as Ontario's Lieutenant-Governor Elizabeth Dowdeswell. 

Bardish Chagger with GreenHouse staff and studentsElizabeth Dowdeswell chatting with students