Two months and 18 applications later and JustChange is ready to award its second grant. Like last month we were truly impressed and inspired by the quality and diversity of the ideas that were brought forth in the applications.

This cycle we are pleased to present the grant to EcoEquitable and Ms. Mahalia Maidoub for their “Eco-Bici” initiative.

The Eco-Bici initiative involves the design and production of a sustainable waterproof bike seat cover. You’ll understand the usefulness of this product if you’ve ever had to sit on a bike after it’s rained. The seat cover is made from recycled vinyl banners that would otherwise sit in the landfill and umbrella fabric that has been reclaimed from broken umbrellas collected by OC Transpo.

But it’s about more than just the rear view.

EcoEquitable is an Ottawa charity whose mission is to improve the lives of immigrant, refugee, and marginalized women by providing them with training and employment opportunities in sewing. Mahalia is a graduate of EcoEquitable’s “Sowing for Jobs” program.

For Tara Templin, EcoEquitable’s executive director, the exciting part of Eco-Bici is that Mahalia will be able to apply the sewing skills she has learned in training to explore product and business development. “It is a small grant,” Tara says, “but it is big enough to encourage Mahalia and to help her get her business going.”

The icing on the cake (or should I say the tassels on the handlebars) is that Mahalia would like the profits from the sale of the bike seat to go back into EcoEquitable to support more immigrant women in their business and sewing training. Not only will the grant support Mahalia as she works to bring her product to market, but it will also support EcoEquitable in its capacity to facilitate its students’ business initiatives in the future, hopefully beginning a cycle of entrepreneurship.

So Congrats Mahalia and EcoEquitable!

Brittany and the JustChange Team

WAIT! There’s more!

JustChange will be hosting ‘JustDrinks’ April 5th from 5:30pm to 7:30pm at Grounded Kitchen and Coffeehouse – 100 Gloucester Street Ottawa, ON and everyone is welcome to join us in recognizing EcoEquitable for their “Eco-Bici” GREAT idea!

We welcome everyone who has previously applied, those interested in applying in the future or who want to learn about JustChange. ‘JustDrinks’ is an opportunity to network and meet with JustChange Board Members, community partners, and with past and future applicants.

To attend, it’s simple, register free for JustDrinks here. We look forward to seeing you there!