Community Wealth Sharing Initiative

Background of the organizations:

This initiative was co-developed and deployed in Alberta and Ottawa by:

  • Alberta Treasury Branches: the largest Alberta-based financial institution, with assets of more than $54.9 billion
  • Wellington West Business Improvement Area: a not-for-profit local board of businesses and community leaders in the Ottawa neighbourhoods of Hintonburg and Wellington Village
  • The Arusha Centre: a collectively run, member-supported organization that provides resources and initiatives on social justice and environmental issues in Calgary

Documentation and research on the initiative were carried out by MaRS and Dark Matter Labs.


Grant Description:

The COVID-19 pandemic put thousands of small businesses in jeopardy. The potential downstream effects of this include financial difficulty for business owners, their families and employees, as well as disruption to neighbourhoods’ social fabrics. The Community Wealth Sharing Initiative proposes a new mechanism to provide both urgent and ongoing financing: a community wealth-sharing model that connects residents’ capital to their preferred businesses via an online platform. Through the “community wealth-sharing model”, each resident’s contribution would be designated partly as a donation to the business and its owner, and partly as store credit should the business remain viable six months after program launch.


  • 2020-2020
  • $ 100,000
  • Funding Type: Past Initiatives
  • Initiatives: Covid-19 Emergency Funds