The federal government announced yesterday that the LEAP Pecaut Centre for Social Impact will be receiving three million dollars to help advance women’s economic development in Canada.
LEAP is an registered charity that started in 2012 to help combat complex social issues. One of those issues being around women’s economic development. Starting in 2022 LEAP begun work on their latest project The Equity Opportunity: Advancing Women’s Economic Well-Being initiative. With the initiative LEAP “seeks to build an equitable and resilient future for women in Canada” by building a network of charity’s that aim to help women economically.
Richmond Hill MP Leah Taylor Roy and Marci Ien, minister for women and gender equality and youth, led the announcement. Over the next four years, LEAP will be receiving the $3 million to support their Equity Opportunity: Advancing Women’s Economic Well-Being initiative.
“The initiative began with supporting a cohort of six non-profit community service organizations. It is about scaling up their successful high impact programs,” says Ien. “It felt like a really important puzzle, and everybody had an integral piece. Everybody does things a little differently and reaches different people.
“Today’s investment will allow LEAP to include two more organizations in this project for a total of eight, and deepen their support for all the organizations that they serve,” Ien added.
LEAP will begin receiving the money this year and get their last payment in 2027. In the first year, they will receive $1.3 million, second year $490,000, third year $770,000 and, in their last year, $395,000.
“When we advance the economic participation of all women, we drive economic growth, while boosting the income of Canadian families. Well, paying stable jobs for all women, means better financial security for individuals, and better outcomes for communities. So this work (at LEAP) supports women, but it also supports our communities,” says Roy.
With the money, LEAP will be able to add two more organizations into their initiative, says Ien. Right now, LEAP has six charity groups in the initiative that help a wide range of women secure work and training as well overcome hardships. Current groups include the Keepers of the Circle, The Forum, NP Power Canada, Newcomer Women’s Services Toronto, Up with Women and Woodgreen.
Ien says that with this money the organization’s in LEAP will be able further their reach and help more women develop new skills to aid them in the workplace and secure jobs. Organizations in LEAP help women in a diverse living and life situation. For instance organizations that provide training for Indigenous women in Northern Ontario for skilled trades as well as ones that help women in low-income households leave poverty.
“Anyone living in poverty is at risk of homelessness. [We take] women and gender diverse individuals, and pair them with certified coaches with expert advisors. They help them to exit poverty; oftentimes within a year. They are able to make dramatic changes.” says Lia Grimanis, Founder and CEO of Up with Women. “Women need this service. They need it across the country, and they need to be able to access that.”
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