$20,000 Seed Fund for Sustainability at Laurier
Building on the entrepreneurial and start-up culture that exists at Wilfrid Laurier University, in 2015 the Sustainability Office launched a new seed fund for sustainability minded entrepreneurs at Laurier. The Sustainable Hawk Fund is a $20,000 seed fund available twice annually to bring the sustainability ventures of students, staff and faculty at Laurier to life. The scope of the fund is broad, allowing for all kinds of ideas, projects and programs to be eligible.
The proposed venture “needs to focus on creating a positive contribution to sustainability for the Laurier community.” This includes social, ecological and economic systems.
The Sustainable Hawk Fund launched in September 2015 and accepted the first wave of applications until November 27. In its first year the fund received 22 applications with ideas ranging from electric vehicles charging stations, to DIY garden kits, to conservation site field trips. These applications were reviewed by a committee, and the participants whose projects passed the first round presented a Dragons Den style pitch. Of the 22 applications two sustainability ideas were selected to receive funding. The funded projects for 2015/16 are:
Veritas Café Garden – Ellen Menage & Sandor Dossman
Veritas Café, the graduate student café on campus, planted an organic garden in the quad in front of the café’s patio. The garden was planted in May 2016 with another garden planned for outside of the Waterloo campus Wellness Centre spring 2017. This garden will be used to grow fresh produce to be served in the café.
The Social Justice Team from Brantford proposed changing the signage on all 33 of the single stall washrooms on the Brantford campus to have gender neutral signage. The gender neutral signage will help to create an all-inclusive campus environment for everyone. In addition to updating the washroom signage the team hosted an informational booth and a screening of the documentary "On Hold" on the Brantford campus during the 2015/16 school year.
The Sustainable Hawk Fund winners were provided funding as well as connected with partners and mentors to help them implement their ideas. Both projects are excitedly well under way!