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Seeking opportunity: financial empowerment for Black Canadians

28 February 2024
In celebration of Black History month and the final year of The International Decade for People of African Descent, Prosper Canada is proud to announce the Expanding Financial Empowerment for Black Canadians project, our first step in advancing our commitment to Black Canadians.

Through funding from the Definity Foundation we have begun working with two experts in financial empowerment, Lousie Simbandumwe of SEED Winnipeg in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and Brian Smith of the Canadian Foundation for Economic Education based in Montreal, Quebec.

Prosper Canada staff, in collaboration with Brian and Louise, have identified short-term and long-term goals that aim to build upon our partnerships with existing Financial Empowerment organizations and networks, ensure representation, and drive systemic change.

We are committed to identifying, mapping, and elevating the existing work of financial empowerment organizations and of Black-led, Black-focused and Black-serving (B3) organizations in serving the financial empowerment needs of Black Canadians.  Our role is to amplify what is already working, identify areas for collaboration, and support the co-creation of tailored financial empowerment strategies led by B3 organizations. We believe that this can be achieved by focusing on the following activities:

  • Learning from those who already engage in financial empowerment initiatives for Black Canadians, whether they are Financial Empowerment (FE) organizations and networks and/or B3 organizations.
  • Sharing what we learn with our networks of FE partners to enhance their capability to effectively serve Black Canadians and collaborate with B3 organizations.
  • Involving B3 organizations actively in the national Financial Empowerment Community of Practice – a virtual space for leaders, staff, volunteers, and organizations to share best practices and learn from each other.  
  • Involving B3 organizations in the wider suite of services provided by Prosper Canada, its FE partner organizations, and networks.
  • Assisting B3 organizations in the fundraising, design, and delivery of FE programs.
From our work with Indigenous communities, we have learned the importance of the 4 phases of collaboration: trust-building, partnership development, co-designing Financial Empowerment services, and where there is interest, ongoing service delivery and capacity-building.  We are currently in the first phase with B3 organizations: trust-building. 

While the need to address the economic disparity faced by Black Canadians is great, we are also excited about the opportunities this work will bring. The universal lessons of our focused work with Indigenous communities provide an important guide for us as we support Black Canadians and all Canadians.  Similarly, we anticipate that this targeted work with Black Canadians will produce universal benefits for Canadians with low incomes.  We have already learned about promising financial empowerment interventions grounded in Black Communities like savings circles.  What other opportunities will be revealed when we take a targeted culturally grounded approach to financial empowerment? Stay connected with us as we learn together.
First Steps in Trust-Building - Free Access to Prosper Canada Courses

As part of our trust-building goal, we are excited to offer free access until May 1, 2024 to two of Prosper Canada’s courses to interested B3 organizations: the Financial Empowerment Foundations Course and the Financial Literacy for Facilitators course.

We hope that these courses, though they have not been tailored for Black Canadians, are of value and a way for B3 organizations to get to know Prosper Canada and to share thoughts on ways we could be of greater support.  To learn more about these free courses for B3 organizations please reach out to
To learn more about the Financial Empowerment for Black Canadians project, please contact Claire-Helene Heese-Boutin, Financial Coaching Hub Lead at