“Helping people with their finances can be one of the best ways to have a tangible impact on their lives,” says Doug Conick, President and CEO of DUCA Credit Union, and Chair of the DUCA Impact Lab. “At DUCA, we know that the potential of banking as a lever to create social value is massive, but largely unfulfilled. For this potential to be realized, we believe that financial institutions need a broader definition of social responsibility, one that looks at how their business model enables, or does not enable, positive change in their community.”
Keith Taylor, Executive Director of the DUCA Impact Lab says, “Concurrent with its launch, the DUCA Impact Lab is introducing impact financing for three segments: credit challenged individuals, foreign trained professionals in transition and small entrepreneurs lacking access to cash flow.” Taylor continues, “Each face significant barriers to accessing traditional modes of banking. As a result, these groups tend to rely heavily on alternative and expensive financing products which tend to increase the obstacles in reaching goals and from achieving financial security.”
Driven by a cooperative philosophy, DUCA Credit Union has been providing Ontarians with member-centric financial services since the 1950s. “DUCA’s founding philosophy of ‘profits with a purpose’ is woven into every aspect of the work we do,” says Tom Vandeloo, Board Chair of DUCA Credit Union. “The DUCA Impact Lab creates exciting new opportunities for bringing this philosophy to life and to have an even bigger impact on our communities. This innovative approach will help DUCA develop new financial solutions aimed at helping even more people and businesses do more, be more and achieve more.”
During the launch phase, the DUCA Impact Lab will engage partner organizations and experts to develop and live test new models of addressing financial challenges faced by people and businesses. Current partners include: School for Social Entrepreneurs, Learning Enrichment Foundation, FundThrough, Prosper Canada and CacheFlow and DUCA Financial Services Credit Union.
“We are proud to work with DUCA Impact Lab on increasing access to financial services that help underserved communities reach their financial goals while also making a better world through social entrepreneurship.” – Marjorie Brans, Co-Managing Director, The School for Social Entrepreneurs
“We’re thrilled that DUCA Impact Lab is working on both the problem of debt, and the cause which is spending behaviour. It’s really exciting for us to be involved at the start of this initiative, we can’t wait to help people get their financial power back and get more life from the money they have.” – Stephanie Holmes-Winton, CEO and Founder, CacheFlow
“LEF is delighted to partner with DUCA to pilot a loan program aimed at improving financial health and decreasing reliance on payday loans and high interest debt. This program will assist low income individuals and families reach their financial goals”. – Elisa Martinez-Reyes, Director, Client Engagement.
“We are excited and honoured to be working with DUCA Impact Lab to bridge the cash flow gaps that present a huge hurdle to growth for small businesses. Entrepreneurs are the lifeblood of our community and we are on a mission to help DUCA make entrepreneurs’ lives better so they can benefit our communities.” – Steven Uster, CEO & Co-Founder, FundThrough
The DUCA Impact Lab has been purposefully designed to test and prove new models of banking and finance to unlock the positive impact and social value banking can have for people, businesses, and communities. Learn more here:www.ducaimpactlab.com