November 10 - 14, 2006 - News

Students hop on 'bicycle bursaries'
Cycling and recycling have formed a cosy friendship at the University of Victoria through a program designed to help more students become two-wheeled commuters. SPOKES, created three years ago, is a volunteer-run effort that collects old, unwanted bikes -- possibly headed for the landfill -- and refurbishes them for students to use for up to a year. SPOKES is an acronym for the suitably creative "Student Promotion of Kickstands Etc. Salvaging."

Changing ideas: Professor promotes regeneration of universities
In 2004, the late social critic Jane Jacobs published Dark Age Ahead, which put forth five causes that Jacobs believed signified the imminent fall of Western civilization. One of these causes is the decline of higher education.

Plan for NDG community kitchen gathers steam
The NDG Coalition for Food Security made an appeal to its fellow community organizations and citizens to back its bid to open a “desperately needed” community kitchen, at a meeting held at Centre St-Raymond.

“If we are going to offer a meal at a very modest price for someone who cannot afford a higher price, we want to be able to offer that same meal to someone that can afford it, so we can balance out the costs. That is what you call a combination of social development and social economy,” said David Faguy, development agent for the coalition. “We want to bring the two together, to try and respond to both the needs of specific groups and to the general community.”

Promoting business with a social purpose
Stacey Corriveau’s conviction came during a course she attended at SFU on social enterprise. The idea of business with a social purpose led her to secure funding and launch the Fraser Valley Centre for Social Enterprise as a vehicle to encourage social entrepreneurship through learning events, research, information sharing, and cross-sectoral collaboration.

Skills training centre opens
A Kwantlen First Nations representative blessed the grand opening of the modern new facilities of Fraser Valley Trades Centre (FVTC) Monday as a force of hope for young Aboriginal people wanting skills that would enable them to have successful, independent lives.

Small loans not new to region
Atlantic Canada has a history of making small loans to would-be entrepre-
neurs going back to the turn of the last century, a business school director told delegates attending an international conference in Halifax on Monday.

Canada has long lent a hand
When this year's Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to a Bangladeshi economist, Muhammad Yunus, and the Grameen Bank, for pioneering work in providing microcredit to the world's poor, Canadians deserved to feel a certain national satisfaction. Apart from Canada's own long record of pioneering work in the field of microcredit, the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) was one of the institutions that provided early financial support to help Mr. Yunus launch the Grameen Bank more than 20 years ago.

Canada commits $40 million to developing world microfinancing
The federal government announced $40 million Sunday for small loans and other microfinance help for destitute people in Africa, Asia and Latin America. The expenditure on the Nobel prize-winning method of alleviating poverty and suffering was announced as about 2,000 delegates from around the world gathered in Halifax for the four-day Global Microcredit Summit.

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Microcredit comes to aid of Nova Scotians with big ideas
Grace Jefferies-Aldridge wasn’t asking for tens of thousands of dollars. All she needed was a small loan to help get her home-based business off the ground. After getting the cold shoulder from a couple of business funding agencies, the 28-year- old Cole Harbour resident was ecstatic to find that the Nova Credit Union would lend her $7,500. Last week, she launched Mosaic Diverse Retail Products, which sells culturally diverse gifts, toys and other items online.