Aaron Pereira

Ashoka Fellow
Canada,
Fellow Since 2004
Community Bank Initiative

Citation

This profile was prepared when Aaron Pereira was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2004.
The New Idea
CSOs are vital to Canada’s economy—employing over one million people in 2003 and comprising 9 percent of the GDP—but they are largely denied access to the credit and advisory services essential to their fiscal growth. The Community Bank will fill this void by creating the nation’s only financial institution dedicated to the special needs of CSOs.

Aaron sees an opportunity where others see an unchangeable system. His Community Bank Initiative will provide the resources that CSOs currently lack: checking and savings accounts, short-term credit, long-term investment, financial advice and advisory products. He plans an innovative governing structure; the bank will be governed by CSOs themselves, with investments from a variety of stakeholders such as foundations and others, with yields that are reinvested with tax benefits to sustain a sound financial base and support a motivated, competitive work force.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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