We believe that as entrepreneurs, we have an obligation not only to our clients, speakers, staff, and suppliers, but also to the communities in which we work and live. That’s why over the years we’ve supported various charities and community groups. Here are a few that we are actively working with and supporting today.
Nearly 800 million people around the world do not have access to clean drinking water. Unsafe water and lack of basic sanitation cause 80% of diseases and kill more people every year than all forms of violence, including war.
charity: water is a non-profit organization bringing clean and safe drinking water to the people who need it. In just over five years, they have funded more than six thousand water projects in twenty developing countries. When complete, these projects will provide clean, safe drinking water for more than 2.5 million people.
In January 2013, we sponsored a water project in India, where approximately 100,000,000 people lack clean water. We will include updates, photos and GPS coordinates of the exact community we are helping as the project is completed.
In 2007, we partnered with WE Charity, formerly known as Free The Children, a charitable organization devoted to providing education opportunities and reducing poverty in the developing world.
Through WE, we adopted a village in the Maasai Mara region of rural Kenya, where many children live in extreme poverty and face significant life challenges. We are proud to have raised enough funds to build a one-room schoolhouse, pay a teacher’s wages, and construct a well to provide the community with fresh water. We also raised enough funds to provide all the textbooks and furniture needed at the school, as well as $200,000 worth of medical supplies.
In 2014 we joined forces with the grassroots charity Jacob’s Ladder, The Canadian Foundation for the Control of Neurodegenerative Disease, which aims to benefit children by reducing occurrences of neurodegenerative disease through education, awareness, and research into ground breaking discoveries for diseases such as Autism, Rette’s Syndrome, epilepsy and Gaucher’s Disease. Their work has also made it possible for both women and men to be screened for a wide variety of genetic disorders.
Ellen and Jeff Schwartz started this charity in their son Jacob’s honour, when he was diagnosed with Canavan disease, a rare, fatal and progressive illness. Through their sheer will, hard work, and determination, their small family-run charity began to grow as they were joined by dedicated business and community leaders, doctors, researchers, and concerned parents. Now millions in funding has been raised and great strides are being made.
In 2008, we partnered with Kiva.org, the world’s first person-to-person micro-lending website, which empowers individuals to lend directly to an entrepreneur in the developing world.
By combining microfinance with the internet, Kiva.org is creating a global community of people connected through lending for the sake of alleviating poverty. To date, we have made loans through Kiva to nearly 3,500 entrepreneurs in the developing world.
Pathways to Education Canada
In 2009, we partnered with Pathways to Education Canada, a charitable organization created to reduce poverty and its effects by lowering the high school dropout rate and increasing access to post-secondary education among disadvantaged youth in Canada.
The Pathways program provides four key supports: academic, social, financial, and advocacy. We have set up a scholarship fund to help students graduate from high school and enable them to continue their post-secondary education.
Regent Park School of Music
In 2016, we partnered with the Regent Park School of Music (RPSM), a non-profit Toronto-community music school whose goal is to provide cost-free or subsidized music education to as many youth as possible.
For over 16 years, the school has seen that the study of music allows young people to flourish creatively, personally, and academically, and enriches their lives and their future prospects. Their students have access to over 70 dedicated music teachers and an array of musical options and instruments, and they learn everything from classical piano and violin, to “turntablism” and electronic music.
This year, the RPSM is set to give music education to 1,750 young people between the ages of 3-18 at their central hub in Daniels Spectrum in Regent Park, and in satellite locations in Jane and Finch, Parkdale, and other high-priority neighbourhoods in Toronto.