BUILDING A STARTUP TO BUILD SKILLS & CONFIDENCE
The concept is simple (and a little crazy): invite people-in-need to build a startup together to gain tangible, resume-ready work experience and soft-skills and develop the self confidence needed to help create a pathway to sustainable employment and rise above poverty.
We've been piloting the program over the past 20 weeks, partnering with Yonge Street Mission in Toronto to learn and iterate as we go.
1. DEVELOP EMPATHY & A SENSE OF BELONGING
To start, we enjoy a meal together while exchanging stories of each other’s struggles, our hopes and dreams, and reasons for participating, to build empathy and trust with one another.
2. LAY THE FOUNDATION FOR OUR STARTUP
Using Design Thinking and Lean Startup, we collectively ideate and refine our team’s principles, product ideas and marketing concept while learning how to share ideas, respectfully provide feedback to one another and make decisions together.
3. BUILD & SELL PRODUCTS THAT WE'RE PROUD OF
We get hands-on to build & sell products to practice teamwork and communication skills, while building self confidence and pride.
4. SHOWCASE OUR GROWTH TO THE COMMUNITY
Regularly connecting with the broader community is critical to our growth. Participants practice their communication skills to share their story, while inspiring others to believe, “Yes, you too can do this.”
OVERCOMING CHALLENGES AS A TEAM
INCREASED CONFIDENCE & PERSONAL GROWTH
RESUME-READY EXPERIENCE & SOFT-SKILLS
ABOUT THE LAB
The Prosper Lab started as and continues to be an experiment.
Initially envisioning a series of teamwork workshops, we quickly discovered that our community members needed more: a safe, hands-on learning environment to develop skills and support their personal growth.
We've landed on the The Prosper Lab model through co-creating and iterating with the community members themselves. Human-centred design and entrepreneurial experimentation remains at the heart of how The Prosper Lab continues to grow and evolve.
ACTIVATORS & SUPPORTERS
The Prosper Lab would not be possible without its community of activators and supporters who have supported our team on this journey.
The support of our partners at the Yonge Street Mission has been incredible and instrumental in supporting our program and participants. The team of Janice Rainey, Lee Schablitzke and Matthew Parker have opened their community, their space and their hearts to us.