A program designed to promote adult learning and entrepreneurship for low-income Canadians has proven that given the right incentive anyone can save money, regardless of their budget.
Project learn$ave, brainchild of the non-profit Social Research and Demonstration Corporation told 3,583 low-income Canadians who participated in the program that every dollar they saved would be matched by $3 in virtual credits to be used for training, education or starting a small business.
Calling it a success would be a gross understatement. Average deposits were about $1,100 over three years, despite the fact that participants had a household income of less than $36,000 for households of three (in Toronto or Vancouver). Fifty-seven percent of participants set up a budget to meet their savings target and were also given financial management training.