Challenges

Challenge #1

Develop online tools that foster a collaborative learning environment for community financial coaches serving people with low incomes.

Challenge #2

Develop a tool using Prosper Canada’s financial literacy curriculum and resources to help people living on low incomes build their money management knowledge and skills.

Challenge #3

Use gamification to build activities into the daily lives of people living with low incomes that build their financial capability and wellbeing.

Challenge #4

Develop an online solution that enables people to easily search and find local financial empowerment programs and services, is interactive, visually appealing and easy to maintain and update.

Messages to Participants

Challenge #1

Prosper Canada has developed and is piloting a variety of community financial coaching programs targeted at people with low incomes. To prepare community financial coaches, we developed a coaching toolkit and training curriculum. Financial coaching is new to most of the community social services sector. We are seeking ways to support a virtual community of practice that connects financial coaches across Canada and facilitates peer-to-peer knowledge sharing and access to ongoing training, learning opportunities and new tools and resources.

Challenge #2

There are many budgeting tools freely available online but require a bank account to connect to them. These tools are not designed for people with low incomes, and/or do not offer information and tips that have been developed and tested for effectiveness with low-income users. We are interested in developing a learning tool that uses Prosper Canada's financial literacy curriculum module on budgeting and accompanying learning resources to enable individuals living with low incomes to build their money management knowledge and skills.

Challenge #3

While people with low incomes have been shown to be better budgeters than most Canadians, they are less strong in other areas of financial capability like planning ahead, saving, and obtaining accurate financial information and advice. People with low incomes face financial barriers and challenges that people with middle and higher incomes do not. These include difficulty getting banked, navigating financial products and services that are typically not designed to meet their needs, and accessing neutral, relevant, accurate financial information and advice. Finally, their lack of income makes navigating everyday decisions and activities more demanding and time consuming, making it harder for them to focus on financial matters or to think ahead and plan financially for the longer term. We are interested in seeing if simple, enjoyable games purpose built for people with low incomes are one way we can help them build their financial capability.

Challenge #4

Prosper Canada created an interactive map of organizations providing financial education programs across Canada, but the tool was challenging to maintain and the data has become outdated and corrupted. We are interested in building a tool that maps a broader array of non-profit, community-based and virtual financial empowerment programs/services across Canada:


  • Financial education
  • Financial coaching, counselling and problem-solving
  • Help tax filing and accessing income benefits
  • Help with basic banking
  • Help opening RESPs and getting the Canada Learning Bond
  • Help opening RDSPs

Because we have limited resources, however, we’re interested in a tool that can pull data from the web to automatically populate and update the map, to minimize onerous data collection and management costs. The goal would be to have a map that people with low incomes can search to identify programs in their community.

Resource List

Background information on financial empowerment and our work

Prosper Canada - Our work

Backgrounder – Prosper Canada

Financial Empowerment: Improving Financial Outcomes for Low-Income Households

Prosper Canada financial literacy and coaching initiatives

Financial information, education and counselling needs of people with low incomes

Report Highlights – The Case for Financial Literacy

Backgrounder – Financial Literacy and People Living on Low Incomes

Backgrounder – Financial Literacy and Newcomers to Canada

Backgrounder – Financial Literacy and People Living with Disabilities

Backgrounder – Financial Literacy and Aboriginal Peoples

Brief - Accessing Income-Boosting Benefits through Tax Filing

Financial literacy – Training curriculum modules and facilitator resources

Financial Literacy for Facilitators – Curriculum Module 3: Budgeting

Financial Literacy for Facilitators – Curriculum Module 6: Credits Basics

Financial Literacy for Facilitators – Curriculum Module 8: Debt

Financial Literacy Facilitator Resources – All modules

Information on personal finance apps – what’s needed and what works for people with low incomes

Center for Financial Services Innovation Article: It's Hard Out Here for a Personal Finance App. Results of a study on personal finance apps currently available and the topics they cover.


Neighborhood Trust Financial Partners article on app they designed to convert their analog best practices into a digital tool, so clients would stay motivated to learn new financial-management skills between their face-to-face counselling sessions.


Article on successful cash flow app developed by Neighbourhood trust - Neighborhood Trust’s Cash Flow App Improves Workers’ Financial Health