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Episode 18: SEED Winnipeg

SEED Win­nipeg was formed in the late 1980s as a result of a major study into the eco­nom­ic devel­op­ment needs of Winnipeg’s inner city. After a num­ber of years of search­ing for resources, SEED Win­nipeg opened its doors in Jan­u­ary 1993 with two staff on Ellice Avenue in the West End.

SEED even­tu­al­ly grew into two offices with twen­ty staff, one on Logan Avenue in the Exchange Dis­trict, and one on Selkirk Avenue in the North End.

In April 2006, SEED rejoined its forces into our cur­rent offices at 80 Salter Street in the North End. SEED is the proud own­er of this beau­ti­ful­ly ren­o­vat­ed build­ing which will enable SEED to con­tin­ue to grow and devel­op both its staff and its programs.

SEED has a sol­id, diverse fund­ing base that enables long-range plan­ning and offers con­ti­nu­ity in pro­gram deliv­ery. The abil­i­ty to oper­ate pro­grams over an extend­ed time frame also makes it pos­si­ble to assess pro­gram impacts over longer peri­ods of time.

SEED envi­sions a world where oppor­tu­ni­ties exist for all peo­ple and com­mu­ni­ties to real­ize their hopes and it’s mis­sion is to build strong com­mu­ni­ties and increase oppor­tu­ni­ties for peo­ple through finan­cial empow­er­ment pro­grams and ser­vices through their five pil­lars of finan­cial empowerment:

  • Finan­cial infor­ma­tion, edu­ca­tion & counselling
  • Help access­ing income-boost­ing ben­e­fits & tax credits
  • Safe & afford­able finan­cial prod­ucts & services
  • Access to sav­ings & asset build­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties includ­ing busi­ness ownership
  • Con­sumer aware­ness & protection


  • Louise Simbandumwe, Co-Director

    Louise played a lead role in working with partner organizations to develop SEED’s financial empowerment programs. These programs have been replicated by other community-based organizations in Manitoba, Alberta, Ontario and BC. SEED now delivers a range of financial empowerment interventions through a network of over 100 organizations in Manitoba.

    SEED has worked with other organizations to build a regional and national community of practice for the emerging field of financial empowerment. Louise is a founding member and co-chair of the Manitoba Financial Empowerment Network and a founding member of the national Asset Building Learning Exchange and currently serves on its Steering Committee.

    A former refugee, Louise is passionate about human rights and social justice. Her volunteer commitments include the Public Interest Law Centre Advisory Committee and the Immigration Partnership Winnipeg Council. She also served on the advisory committee for Manitoba’s poverty reduction strategy and the Ministerial advisory committee for Canada’s first poverty reduction strategy.

    Louise has a Bachelor in Commerce from the University of Saskatchewan and a Masters in Comparative Social Research from Oxford University. She has developed and taught innovative courses on financial empowerment, community economic development, and human rights advocacy at the University of Winnipeg.