Launching the Community Innovation Fund

Posted on June 8, 2020
By Trisha Islam

While innovation may be a familiar term, community innovation situates local stakeholders at the heart of new and exciting endeavours with results that could range from yielding great benefits for the community, to failing spectacularly and gaining valuable insights. We encourage communities to take the risk. 

The Community Innovation Fund is an annual opportunity for communities engaged with the Communities Building Youth Futures initiative to apply for funds in order to prototype a new program, product, service, or system.

ideas to practice-171972-editedUltimately, proposals will improve education, employment, and/or training opportunities and outcomes for local youth. We also want young people to lead the way – a third of the funding is ear-marked specifically for youth-led proposals!  

We are looking for experiments, pilots, and models which may not be covered by other grants or funding streams. Think outside the box – less about the likelihood of ‘success’ or ‘failure’ and more about the possibility of trying something new: lessons learned, ways to iterate, and improved ideas to try again.  

We also recognize the dire need for new and creative solutions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic that is disproportionately affecting youth who are least connected to programs and services. For this reason, we are excited to encourage technology-based solutions as ways to connect youth with each other and with the broader community. 

Applications for the 2020 Community Innovation Fund were due in May and decisions will be released by the end of June. A Review Committee comprising of youth, youth-serving community agencies, staff from Tamarack Institute, and a representative from Employment and Social Development Canada will determine successful applications.  

See what communities have tried and get inspired! Join us by signing-up for the Communities Building Youth Futures newsletter as we follow innovation journeys and collect evidence and stories along the way. 

If you have questions about the Community Innovation Fund, contact Nathalie Blanchet:

Youth, Communities Building Youth Futures, trisha islam

Trisha Islam

By Trisha Islam

Trisha Islam brings knowledge and experience in international development, social policy, food security, and most recently financial empowerment. In her role, Trisha supports communities to improve education and employment outcomes with youth by providing ongoing coaching, organizing knowledge exchange opportunities, and co-developing materials on community learnings and stories. -- Trisha Islam amène ses connaissances et son expérience en matière de développement international, de politique sociale, de sécurité alimentaire et, plus récemment, d'autonomisation financière. Dans son rôle, Trisha aidera les communautés à améliorer les résultats des jeunes en matière d'éducation et d'emploi en leur offrant un encadrement continu, en organisant des possibilités d'échange de connaissances et en élaborant conjointement des documents sur les apprentissages et les histoires des communautés.

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