Lisa Helps


Lisa Helps's picture
Name: Lisa Helps
Organization: Community Micro Lending
Lisa spends much of her time working in the community on place-based solutions to global and national challenges, and to increasing citizen engagement. She is a founder and currently the Executive Director of the Victoria Community Micro Lending Society ( which helps to build a vibrant local economy, foster sustainable business, reduce local poverty, and empower people. She also facilitates strategic planning and visioning sessions for organizations and small groups. Lisa was on the the Board of Directors of Victoria’s Fernwood Neighbourhood Resource Group (Fernwood NRG) when the Society purchased and restored the Cornerstone building, built affordable housing units, and opened the Cornerstone Café as an enterprising non-profit venture. She is thrilled to be working for Community Micro Lending and is excited about the prospect of "changing everything." Finally, Lisa was elected to Victoria City Council in November and is happy to be helping create a city where citizens lead.

Challenge Entries

Our work at Community Micro Lending is to implement the very old-fashioned principle of neighbours helping neighbours. We do this through our local peer-to-peer micro lending and mentorship program where local people lend money to other local people for the start-up of small local businesses. We see it like this: Small local businesses are the backbone of a new economy. Local is about sharing a place. It’s in everyone’s best interests for their place to be strong.

Local peer-to-peer micro lending. Provides access to credit, opportunity for local investment, builds strong local economy, and changes everything!