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Waterloo Banking Project featured in Waterloo Region Technology Spotlight Ryan Chen-Wing, Hemal Patel, Aniket Gaikwad

Waterloo Banking Project appeared in The Waterloo Region Record’s Technology Spotlight on November 3, 2014. The Project’s goal is to help university students to become more successful by graduating with more money, less debt, and better financial skills. Senior Director Hemal Patel and staff member Aniket Gaikwad explained what being a part of the Project means to them in the article.

 

What makes this initiative different, organizers say, is the one-on-one free consultations staff will offer students. A budgeting and web app tool is also being developed to help students track what they spend in university…

The start-up culture in the city of Waterloo was especially helpful when starting the project. Hemal is quoted as saying: “A lot of students and faculty are happy to help with startups and advise on new ideas that help the student community,” Hemal adds. “We got a lot of help from the community around us to develop the project. Doing it here is probably a lot easier than doing it anywhere else because of the close-knit startup community that is developing in this area.” – Students launch banking project to help fellow students Waterloo Region Technology Spotlight 3 November 2014

Waterloo Banking Project currently has 32 staff from Wilfrid Laurier University and the University of Waterloo. The Project will offer one-on-one consulting sessions with students to help them learn to budget their money well. Waterloo Banking Project is actively working to prepare for launch of student focussed financial services in Spring 2015.

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2013-09Fall ReLeaf Financial Atrium News Article

Atrium Media Group featured ReLeaf Financial in the Atrium Magazine, “ReLeaf-ing Your Financial Burden.” Atrium magazine is the official publication of Wilfrid Laurier University’s School of Business and Economics.

“The vision, as Ryan puts it, ‘is to manage our resources well so that we can have more [financial] freedom and choices in the future.’ A quote from Warren Buffett can be found in their website that reads ‘Someone is sitting in the shade today, because someone planted a tree a long time ago.’ That is the philosophy ReLeaf hopes to instil.”
“ReLeaf-ing Your Financial Burden” Invent Your Future Atrium Magazine

ReLeaf Financial is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to help students graduate with more money, less debt and better financial skills.

In the words of Atrium Magazine, “So what are you waiting for? It is time to make sense of the choices you make and graduate with lower debt, or as debt free as possible.”

If you are interested in learning more about us and the services we have to offer check out our About Page, find us on Facebook and Twitter @ReLeaf Financial.

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Helena Cao during Waterloo Banking Project / ReLeaf Financial interview with CTV

CTV Kitchener reporter Frank Lynn contacted us at the end of March. He interviewed Helena and Ryan in the morning of Thursday 28 March. CTV broadcast the piece on Waterloo Banking Project / ReLeaf Financial on News at Six with Meghan Furman.

CTV Kitchener interviews Helena Cao and Ryan Chen-Wing about Waterloo Banking Project and ReLeaf Financial
Student credit union taking root in Waterloo CTV Kitchener 28 Mar 2013

Transcript of CTV Kitchener video on WaterlooBanking/ReLeaf Financial

CTV  News at Six with Meghan Furman

Meghan (CTV News Anchor):
Students at Wilfrid Laurier and the University of Waterloo are working on a first for Canada: a student run credit union. It’s called the Waterloo Banking Project for now, with the goal of opening for business within the year under a new name and as a full service financial institution. CTV’s Frank Lynn is here with more on this project. Frank?

CTV Frank Lynn

Frank Lynn:
Megan, this credit union will work for example in the same way as PC Financial’s services operates through the bank of commerce.
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Ryan Chen-Wing, Helena Cao with CBC K-W The Morning Edition with Craig Norris

Craig Norris from CBC K-W’s The Morning Edition interviewed Project leader Ryan Chen-Wing and Senior Director Helena Cao on 25-March, the Monday following our OCE competition win.

CBC K-W The Morning Edition | First Canadian student-run credit union to open in Waterloo

First Canadian student-run credit union to open in Waterloo


Releaf Financial is a burgeoning student-run financial institution that serves post-secondary students in Waterloo. The retail banking and financial planning service will help students manage the cost of their education.
— THE MORNING EDITION – K-W | Mar 25, 2013 | 7:15

Transcript of CBC ReLeaf Financial Interview

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Helena Cao, Ryan Chen-Wing from Waterloo Banking Project and Emily Peat from EP Organics

Waterloo’s Daily Bulletin covered the Ontario Centres of Excellence competition wins by Waterloo-led social enterprises Waterloo Banking Project and EP Organics today.

A project involving University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University students won $20,000 in a province-wide business competition last Thursday. The team was one of four across the province to win top prize at the Ontario Centres of Excellence Social Enterprise Student Competition. Five judges assessed each team’s venture on criteria including innovation, feasibility, marketing, social, or environmental values.
Students win business plan competition UW Daily Bulletin 28 Mar 2013

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Recently, Waterloo Banking Project was mentioned on SocialFinance.ca by the University of Waterloo’s renowned Environmental Finance professor Olaf Weber. SocialFinance.ca is blog-based website that acts as a platform for articles and blogs aimed at socially responsible investing.

In his blog post, Professor Olaf Weber summarized the vision and goals of the Waterloo Banking Project and talked about how our Project fits in line with the principles of socially responsible investing. He also made the case for student-centric finance services saying that debt and managing finance while studying “has become an important issue because students are increasingly in debt. Professor Weber also mentioned that the Project’s philosophy of helping “serve the underserved” is shared by many successful banks including Raiffeisen and Desjardins.

Professor Weber’s blog post can be found here:

http://socialfinance.ca/blog/post/the-waterloo-banking-project

 

Professor Olaf Weber is an Associate Professor at the School for Environment, Enterprise and Development (SEED) at the University of Waterloo. He is the co-editor and contributing author of “Social Banks and the Future of Sustainable Finance” published in 2011. He is also an advisor for the Waterloo Banking Project.

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A group of Waterloo and Laurier students are boosting their universities’ reputations for entrepreneurship as they work to create Canada’s first student-run financial institution. Waterloo Banking Project placed second in the Enterprize Canada central region business plan competition on Saturday 14 January and qualified to compete at the national finals in Vancouver next month.

Ryan Chen-Wing, Helena Cao, and Mark Haley delivered their 15-minute presentation on their team’s business plan to a panel of judges, students, and competitors from the other six teams in the Macdonald Institute building at the University of Guelph.
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Throughout the course of this term, the Waterloo Banking Project appeared several times in Wilfrid Laurier University’s student newspaper The Cord.

In September, Laurier students learned about the project in an article where Helena Cao and Ryan Chen-Wing discussed the origins of the project and what we plan to achieve. The article also included encouraging feedback from a Laurier professor.

When Ryan Chen-Wing first stumbled across the entirely student-operated Georgetown University credit union during a research project, he was struck by the idea that such success might be mirrored in Waterloo.

“We have talented students at Waterloo and Laurier,” the University of Waterloo student commented. “If it can be done anywhere in Canada, it can be done here.”

[…]

The goal, said Helena Cao, who is the senior director of Waterloo Banking Project, is for students “to be able to carry themselves through their education with the least amount of debt that they can have.”
Easing students’ financial woes The Cord 28 Sep 2011

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Scan of Imprint story about the project

Imprint wrote about our initiative to help students with their money the week before our general meeting.

Our first appearance in Waterloo’s student newspaper includes a general description of our plans, a simple diagram of our business model, and a photograph of Helena and Ryan.

  • Money in your pocket: Waterloo Banking Project Imprint 23 Sep 2011
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University Affairs recently published a story about our initiative. The magazine and website are published by the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada. The article summarizes our plans and how we are bringing a pioneering idea to our campuses in Waterloo — WLU and UW.

The article also features quotations from popular economics professor Larry Smith.

Here is an excerpt of the story:
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