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Offered by credit union partner Concentra Financial, CCEC Credit Union supported Groundswell Grassroots Economic Alternatives in obtaining one of eighteen nationally-offered ‘emPOWERING Your Communities grants.  The grants are presented by Concentra to be delivered through credit unions to support co-operative and socially responsible ventures.

Matt Hern, Groundswell Founder stated, “The grant will be used to further Groundswell  work to confront the isolation, precarity and social disconnect that so many young people encounter today.”   Groundswell is a training network of young people starting alternatives-to-business together, and recreating the economy in the process.  The school is based in Vancouver, BC, and connected to global efforts to build a more democratic economy. 


The alternative-to-business-as-usual school sees 25 people under 35 years old spend eight months learning how to build cooperatives, collectives, non-profits, social businesses and a different way of doing business.   Matt says he was inspired by the good, smart young people in his neighbourhood that want to make an impact on the world with their projects, but are not sure of the route to take or have yet to see their projects come to full fruition.   After completing the 8 month Groundswell program, he sees the graduates emerging with a project that has been well researched and validated, a business plan and the personal confidence carry it through.  Applications are now being accepted for the program starting in September.  Visit http://groundswellcommunity.ca/ for more information.

"Groundswell is very grateful for the support from Concentra.  We are honoured to be among the many great winners past and present of Concentra funding who are working to strengthen the co-operative and credit union movement in Canada," said Hern.

Ross Gentleman, CEO and General Manager of CCEC Credit Union noted, “CCEC is collaborating with Groundswell on this project providing loans to the students for their tuition.  Supporting Groundswell in their emPOWERING Your Communities  Grant submission is another example of our partnership.”

CCEC Credit Union is a single branch credit union on Commercial Drive.  It was founded by Vancouver’s self-help community including co-ops and not-for-profit groups to meet their financial needs.   Our goal is Economic Democracy.

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Concentra Financial Presents $10,000 cheque to Groundswell Grassroots Economic Alternatives

From left to right:  Irina Molhohovsky (community volunteer – Groundswell); Diane McLean, AVP (Concentra); Jim Barker, Co-Founder (Groundswell); Ross Gentleman, CEO and General Manager (CCEC) and Andrea Fiscal, Community Outreach Coordinator with Obi (Groundswell)

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