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Support a Fresh Start (Up) in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside

What is the hardest hurdle to overcome when starting your own business? Is it finding the right mentor? Facing adversity? Financing? While these obstacles are not new to established entrepreneurs, they are overwhelming barriers in the lives of the entrepreneurs Employ to Empower supports.

In 2017, the City of Vancouver identified 21% of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside residents are involved with self-employment activities. Truly, almost a quarter of disadvantaged Downtown Eastside residents are striving to become entrepreneurs as an avenue for earning an income, developing confidence and contributing to their community. Entrepreneurial success for many people is not measured by merely economic wealth – and for the DTES residents engaging with and learning from Employ with Power, success is all about respect, self-esteem, and also some business generated income.

That’s where Employ to Empower comes in. We support DTES residents by providing access to business development classes, affordable microloans and business mentoring. Employ to Empower is coming alongside creative and determined men and women to create a ripple of change in the Downtown Eastside, one entrepreneur at a time.

Invest In An Entrepreneur

The Fresh Start (Up) Campaign is a pay-it-forward style opportunity for established entrepreneurs, business owners, and anyone who knows what it’s like to have the encouraging support to start something new. Everyone has had a mentor, a small nudge, the first investor or loan, or someone who believed in your vision. Success usually starts with that early stage encouragement and support.

We invite you to join us in supporting low-income entrepreneurs. By recognizing that entrepreneurship can break the cycle of poverty for people facing barriers to stability, Employ to Empowers works to support flexible, empowering and capacity-building solutions, offering business development classes, affordable microloans and business mentorship opportunities. With your help, Employ to Empower is providing skills training that will increase the likelihood of success of each entrepreneur.

Your gift of $5,000– or whatever you can provide – will provide the required funding to support one entrepreneur through the 10-week business development program and with ongoing mentorship and entrepreneurial training.

Please, pay forward the invaluable support you’ve received in your life. We need your help to provide similar support to low-income entrepreneurs as we provide business training and mentorship for those who are on their way to reaching financial independence.

About Employ to Empower

It started with a simple conversation: a young volunteer offered a DTES resident a free winter coat. With gratitude, the resident said thank you, but what he really needed was a haircut. That volunteer was Christina Wong and that conversation inspired her to learn what residents in the Downtown Eastside actually need. Soon, she learned this stigmatized yet tightly-knit community is home to budding entrepreneurs who want access to education, microloans and mentors.

The City of Vancouver’s 2017 Low-Income Entrepreneur Needs Assessment affirms that self-employment and entrepreneurship offer a real alternative that provides flexible opportunities to people facing barriers to stability while also increasing their economic independence. Founded in 2018, Employ to Empower is working hard to give DTES entrepreneurs every opportunity to succeed. We’ve seen some great successes among those enrolled in the Employ to Empower training program. But there is lots more we can do with your help. Will you support us in this important work?

Employ to Empower Tomorrow

Employ to Empower’s vision is for every person to have the opportunity to achieve long term self-reliance, economic well-being and a sense of belonging.

Please, support Employ to Empower today.