This fall Social Business Director Doug Pawson, currently celebrating his eighth year at Causeway, is teaching a course on Economic Geography at Cape Breton University. It turns out Doug is a real jet-setter. The job has involved four flights out to his alma-mater to give lectures as well as regular communication with his students via email and Skype. Doug did his MBA in Community and Economic Development at Cape Breton and he is currently working on his PhD. in Economic and Financial Geography.
So what exactly is Economic Geography? As Doug explains, it is study of why various kinds businesses tend to setup shop in particular locations. The projects he assigned to the students of the Economic Geography course have real world implications for how Causeway may better serve the community. For instance, he asked his students to map where pay-day lenders are located. It’s not a big surprise to see it’s in less affluent neighbourhoods where people who find themselves running short between paychecks live.
Causeway plans to offer a better alternative to pay day lenders like Money Mart in the near future. The Community Finance Fund will offer clients flexible loans at reasonable interest rates. Doug spoke about this new Causeway venture in a panel discussion at the Social Finance Forum in Toronto this November.