Founded in 1986, Prosper Canada is a national charity dedicated to expanding economic opportunity for Canadians living in poverty through program and policy innovation. They are one of six participating charities at Gift the Code and they’ll be presenting different tech challenges to participants.

Each week, we’ll be introducing you to another participating charity and we’ll share the challenges that they’re facing and the problems they’re hoping to solve at the hackathon. As we get closer to the Gift the Code event date, we’ll be providing participants with resources that they can use to better develop their solutions.

Please click here to find resources related to the tech challenges faced by Prosper Canada.

Prosper Canada works with partners in all sectors to develop and promote financial policies, programs and resources that transform lives and help Canadians prosper.

Their financial empowerment approach is based on an integrated set of interventions that are proven to advance financial inclusion, opportunities, behaviour and outcomes for people living in poverty. In order to make these solutions widely available and sustainable, Prosper Canada works with governments, businesses and community organizations to integrate these interventions into the services they already deliver.

This approach to poverty reduction also helps low-income Canadians grow their incomes, improve their credit scores, savings and debt levels, and build wealth through education, employment, entrepreneurship and improved housing. It focuses on helping people participate and feel included in our financial system. It also helps them increase their opportunities and knowledge, while fostering behaviours that are critical to their economic security and their ability to invest in their futures.

Prosper Canada’s also uses trained community workers to provide financial education to those in need. In fact, since 2008, the Prosper Canada Centre for Financial Literacy has trained more than 2,000 front-line community workers from 800 organizations and First Nations communities nationwide to deliver high quality, community-based financial education that’s tailored to the needs of low-income and vulnerable Canadians.

Despite all of these services, poverty in Canada remains a very real problem, impacting individuals, communities and organizations in a variety of ways. With one in seven Canadians living in poverty according to Stats Canada, and about two million Canadians making use of Payday Loans annually, poverty in Canada requires our concerted attention.

As a result, Prosper Canada CEO, Elizabeth Mulholland, is enthusiastic about the potential for Gift the Code to help alleviate this terrible socioeconomic issue. She states, “Technology is the key that will enable our partners and us to achieve our goal of reaching one million Canadians living in poverty by providing them with the information, advice and tools they need to build their financial well-being.”

With this in mind, Prosper Canada is providing Gift the Code participants four different challenges to choose from during the hackathon. The challenges are as follows:

  1. Develop an online tool that fosters a collaborative learning environment for community financial coaches serving people with low incomes.

  2. Develop a digital solution, using Prosper Canada’s financial literacy curriculum and resources, that will help people living on low incomes build their money management knowledge and skills.

  3. Use gamification to build activities into the daily lives of people living with low incomes that build their financial capabilities and well-being.

  4. Create an online solution that enables people to easily search and find local financial empowerment programs and services – ensuring it’s interactive, visually appealing and easy-to-maintain and update.

By joining Gift the Code, you’ll have the chance to think, code, create and present solutions that will contribute to improving the living standards of low-income Canadians. Give back, with your unique perspective, skills and talents – your participation could provide the gift of code to Prosper Canada!

Don’t forget to check back next Monday for a new post about one of the charities participating at Gift the Code. It will include a brief description of the charity and information about the challenges they’ll be bringing forward at Gift the Code!