Our Approach

When you give a low-income woman a chance for a better life, she begins to move out of poverty, taking her children with her.

It isn’t easy, but it can be done—with the right kind of help.

We know job skills alone aren’t enough to make a woman financially independent.

To successfully move out of poverty, she needs to be free from abuse, to control her own money, and to have the confidence to make her own decisions. She needs affordable housing and childcare. She needs to learn new skills. She needs to make practical goals. She needs a strong support network. She needs to believe in herself.

We invest in programs that help women solve the everyday challenges that keep them trapped in poverty. As each hurdle is overcome, they begin to rediscover hope.

We also know a ‘cookie-cutter’ approach won’t solve poverty.

Each woman needs different kinds of help at different times. And—with guidance—each woman should choose the next best step for herself. That builds confidence and courage for the journey ahead.

We are helping to end poverty by investing $4.3 million* in the following types of programs:


Women prepare to train for a skilled trade such as construction work, carpentry, electrical, auto mechanics, and truck driving. They are often matched with mentors—other women already working in trades—who can teach them how to thrive in these sometimes challenging workplaces. Some programs help women to explore several different trades, allowing them to discover which is right for them. Many of the programs help women to pay for essential expenses like tools.


Women who are interested in becoming an entrepreneur learn to develop a viable idea for a small business, write a business plan, and build a strong network. They also learn essential business skills like marketing, sales, and product development, but they also learn essential life skills, too. Many of the programs help women to find a mentor. Some also include loan funds—often called “micro-credit”—to help them launch their new business.


Women learn employment skills and gain work experience in a ‘social’ business that’s operated by a nonprofit organization. The women receive on-the-job training and coaching. For women who have been out of the workforce for awhile or are new to Canada, these opportunities help them gain valuable experience and the confidence to succeed in a permanent job.

*This funding is allocated over five years.