Enterprise, Opportunity, and Innovation Fund

This fund exists to assist with the startup costs of a student project, facilitate attendance at conferences or other development opportunities, and to assist with costs of unique one-time projects that benefit students at-large.

The Enterprise, Opportunity, and Innovation Fund mandate is:

  • Enterprise: Remove the financial barrier of start-up costs that may prevent the development of new initiatives. Preference is given to submitted proposals that are designed to become self-funded projects once the period they have been funded for (under three months) ends. 
    Examples: Solar Panels  
  • Opportunity: Dedicated to supporting students who wish to engage in conferences or development projects. For more details, refer to Guidelines for Conferences below.
    Examples: NODA   COCA  
  • Innovation: Granted to initiatives that are not designed to continue, but that will provide a continuing benefit to campus. Examples: Hosting a conference on campus - TEDxUW  

The Enterprise, Opportunity, and Innovation Fund is administered by the Internal Funding Committee (IFC), a standing committee of Students' Council.

The committee is chaired by the VP Operations and Finance and made up of two members of Council and two students at-large, elected by Council every term. It awards funding from the funds as reimbursements for expenses for student projects benefiting uWaterloo undergraduate students.

Guidelines of the IFC regarding EOI proposals

  1. Interest and Relevance: proposal should demonstrate a benefit to the overall student experience. Applicants should clearly state how their project or attendance at a conference will benefit the entire student body. For example, attending a conference and holding workshops on campus on the conference material.
  2. Capability: should demonstrate capable management of the intended project.
  3. Need: should demonstrate financial need for the project to go ahead.
  4. Usability: should demonstrate a plan for continued use of any items to be purchased (refer to Guidelines for Equipment Purchases below).
  5. Due Diligence: proposal should demonstrate diligence in presenting its budget (at least three quotes or alternatives are expected to be submitted to the committee, where possible), finding funding sources, and other specific criteria.

Special Notes:

  • Course Credit: funding is only granted for non-academic projects.
  • Charitable Funding: the IFC does not make charitable donations, and will sponsor all events based solely on their merits of the above guidelines.
  • Intangibles: (i.e. meals, etc.) are funded on a case by case basis.
  • Alternative Funding Sources: the fund is generally treated as a “last chance” fund.  Applicants must either show that they have looked elsewhere for funding or that there are no other funding options available, and should be prepared to spend some of their own money (for conferences) if able.
  • Application Submitted After Event: will generally not fund.
  • End-of-Term Formals: will generally not fund.

Guidelines for Equipment Purchases:

  • Everyone on campus should be able to access or benefit from the use of the equipment.
  • The equipment must always be stored on campus in approved areas (i.e. not in residences).
  • The equipment must be relevant to student interests.

Example:  Camera  

Guidelines for Conferences:

  • The proposal must demonstrate how participants’ attendance will benefit the general student population.
  • Plans to bring knowledge from the conference back to campus (i.e. through workshops or presentations) should be clearly outlined.
  • Food and travel expenses for conferences will be funded on a case-by-case basis.

General Funding Procedures of the Internal Funding Committee

  1. Fill out and submit an electronic copy of the IFC application form and submit to the VP Operations and Finance, including a budget of the project.
  2. The VP Operations and Finance will forward any questions of the committee to the applicant and request a response within two days.
  3. The committee will meet to discuss the proposal and will determine if funding will be granted, how much, and any stipulations to funding. The committee is empowered to make its funding conditional, provided that the conditions are set out in writing and agreed upon by all parties.
  4. The VP Operations and Finance will notify the applicant of the results with the committee’s rationale, and will forward the assessment of completed project form to the applicant.
  5. After the project is completed, the applicant will forward the assessment of completed project form to the VP Operations and Finance, to be reviewed by the committee, with itemized receipts or invoices for the project costs to be funded.


  • Reimbursements will NOT be granted before the assessment of completed project form is completed, sent to the VP Operations and Finance, and reviewed by the committee.
  • To ensure enough time for review, it is recommended that you submit your application at least three weeks before your event/project date. The committee will make all efforts to arrive at a decision before the event where possible, as it generally meets once a week. Applications that are submitted less than three weeks in advance are not guaranteed to be decided on by the committee before the project date. Please contact the VP Operations and Finance by email, vpof@wusa.ca or 519-888-4567 ext. 33780 with any questions.


To apply, please complete and submit the IFC application form. If you have any questions, please contact the Vice-President Operations and Finance, for theWaterloo Undergraduate Student Association, at 519-888-4567 ext. x33880 or via e-mail at vpof@wusa.ca


Student Life Endowment Fund (SLEF)

Calling all big-idea people! Do you want to improve our lounges, study rooms and student space? Do you have awesome ideas, but need some help with the funding? WUSA can help!

Our Student Life Endowment Fund exists to help students fund these types of projects and more. Since the Spring of 1992, undergraduate students have contributed to the Endowment Fund, which was initiated as part of the 'Coordinated Plan to Improve the Quality of Student Life at UW'. Today, the fund stands in excess of $1 million. The interest on the fund is used each year to support various projects on campus.

Normally, in order to be awarded a grant, the project needs to fit within the following priorities for disbursement:

  • The improvement of health, wellness, and safety on all campuses
  • The improvement of accessibility on all campuses
  • The renovation to student operated or managed spaces
  • Connecting students to available university resources
  • The improvement of current lounge and study spaces
  • Activities promoting or furthering the academic goals of the Federation of Students
  • Joint projects with Municipal or Regional governments that improve student well-being

Any projects outside the sphere of these priorities are eligible for funding, but as funds are limited, such projects will receive slow and careful consideration before awards are granted.

Notes and Criteria

  1. The online application form must be completed fully and submitted.
  2. You or a representative must attend an Endowment Fund Committee meeting in February or March to answer questions about your request. If you or representatives from your student organization are unable to attend, your request will not be considered.
  3. If your submission is academic in nature, it will be deemed ineligible for consideration.
  4. Members of the Endowment Fund Committee are not eligible to make funding requests.
  5. Please ensure that a complete and formal estimate of costs is included with your submission. This may include invoices, online quotes or costs given by Plant Operations on campus. They can be contacted at extension x36318 and will need two weeks to give a full estimate.
  6. Two formal estimates must be presented with any funding request for equipment or furnishings or work outside of Plant Operations' scope.
  7. Funding is open to undergraduate students only. Graduate students are ineligible.
  8. Funding requests that apply to any operating costs of a program will not be considered.
  9. The Funding Council provided funds for a project as described in your acceptance letter. This funding decision cannot be changed under any circumstances (for example, if they are funding a couch, you may not adjust the funding to purchase a chair).
  10. The amount you receive is what you will be funded. If your purchase price is higher than expected, it is your responsibility to cover the difference. The Endowment Fund will not provide you with additional funding, nor will it reconsider the original amount.
  11. You may not request funds for your purchases before May 1 of the year you apply. This is to keep in line with the University’s fiscal year operations.
  12. All purchases and services must be made and delivered within one year of the granting of funds, unless otherwise provided for by the Funding Committee. If you fail to submit all invoices and receipts by that date, your funding will be forfeited, unless an exception is granted by the Vice President, Operations & Finance.
  13. Due to time or funding constraints, the committee reserves the right to defer the consideration of any submission to the next year.


To apply, please complete and submit the Student Life Endowment Application Form.

If you have any questions, please contact the Waterloo Undergraduate Student Association' Vice-President Operations and Finance, at 519-888-4567 x33880 or via e-mail at vpof@wusa.ca.

Funded Projects

These were the projects that received funding in the last 12 months:

Waterloo Indigenous Student Centre, Ceremonial Fireground

This space has created a significant educational opportunity for all UW students, regardless of their faculty, to become more knowledgeable about Indigenous peoples and our cultures. We have held classes from the Indigenous Studies program in the space, provided traditional teachings to classes for other campus faculty, and spent time around the fire with the Indigenous youth that come to our campus camps. Having such a beautiful and permanent ceremonial space on campus makes visible Indigenous peoples who are often erased from the campus landscapes. We are very grateful for the support from SLEF so that we could complete this space. Kinanâskomitinawow (thank-you all).

ceremonial firegrounds SLEF