2011 Toronto Microfinance Conference & Gala - moving out of poverty ...the micro way Woman borrowing funds for her business

I met a woman who borrowed $4. She had never seen $4 in her life. She bought a comb, a pair of scissors and a mirror and she put her husband in business as a barber. Now she has a home and her children are in school. All because of $4.

Foundation for Women

MicroMarketplace – Conference


The MicroMarketplace is a new feature at The Toronto International Microfinance Summit this year for MicroEntrepreneurs who would like to showcase / sell their product at the conference.  We are looking for suitable candidates for this year’s conference. Check out each of our site to get fruit mania slot. Hurry up to go you need to winning.

Apply to have a booth in the marketplace.

ARTE GRAFICA, LILIAN CASTILLO-INSLEY, Graphic / Web Designer & Network Connections Specialist

ArteGraficaCreating artistic high quality designs from concept to completion, making your business look good.
Inspiring graphic / web design, development and maintenance.
Over 20 years experience in graphic design and marketing including printing processes.

Founder of Lake Shore Network Connection, a business professionals and entrepreneurs networking group,  taking business to the next level of success.

Microskills Entrepreneur of the Year 2011 and GEM of the Lakeshore 2011
Alterna member



Cuppa ChangeCuppa Change raises money through the sale of fair trade coffee to support the building of schoolhouses by Free the Children.  Partnering with Alternative Grounds, Cuppa Change buys fair trade coffee wholesale and then sells it to individuals, groups and businesses at less-than-over-the-counter prices, either through one-off sales or on a bi-weekly schedule.  Cuppa Change’s first schoolhouse was built by Free the Children in Kenya, and further coffee sales have supported that school’s teacher salaries, student supplies, the building of a latrine, and alternative income and health programs for the community’s women.  A second schoolhouse is currently being built by FTC in Terre Cassée, Haiti.

Cuppa Change seeks to empower small groups of consumers to support not only producers of fair trade coffee, but also the educational needs of children and communities in developing countries.  It is a grassroots micro-enterprise model that is free and easy for anyone to use.

Claire is speaking in Session C3:   Social Enterprises:  Transforming Lives by Linking Markets


MelonAge, MOTOYO KAMIYA, Author / Consultant

MelonAgeMotoyo Kamiya is the author of Partnership Design Guide:  Creating Successful Cross-Sector Collaborations. The book features 40 global cross-sector partnerships, including poverty alleviation, micro-finance / business focused partnerships such as the Allianz-GTZ-UNDP Micro-Insurance Initiative.

Coordination or collaboration among public, business, and not-for-profit sectors is vitally important in alleviating global poverty.  As a cross-sector partnership design consulting / training firm, MelonAge offers cross-sector partnership management training, using a partnership design approach and consulting services in partnership design assessment, re-designing, as well as partnership customization.

Alterna member, Centre for Social Innovation Tenant / member and MaRS – Social Innovation Generation client.


JOANNA EATON Entrepreneur


NewbiekneesNewbieKnees are knee pads designed specifically for little ones as they learn to crawl. Providing comfort and style to little ones as they explore their world.

Joanna is a client of ACCESS Community Capital Fund

Joanna is a speaker in Session A3 – Local Microfinance – Learn the Process and Meet the Clients


ShopanthropicShopanthropic is based on the concept of using purchasing power as a tool to promote social change locally and internationally. We believe that people can have a significant positive impact on the world through the purchasing decisions they make. While we strongly believe in sustainable fashion and lifestyle products, we also realize the importance of providing a quality product line that is inspired by the latest trends around the world. We aspire to bring trendy ‘feel good’ products to the mainstream consumer. From clothing and jewellery to fashion accessories and home decor our products are ethically-made, eco-friendly, organic or natural. At Shopanthropic we are playing our part in promoting social and economic development in developing countries by working with artisans in providing continued education and support, & encouraging fair-trade. We take our impact one step further in working with North American non-profits in developing fundraising campaigns using our ‘feel good’ products, which means our products have social impact somewhere around the world and also in your backyard. In addition to this, we work with corporations also in helping them develop products that can tie into their mandates of corporate social responsibility through the gifts they give their employees and clients. Use your purchasing power to enable change everywhere!


Wes MisenerWES MiSENER (W*M) is a self taught designer with a passion for producing ethically responsible, more sustainable menswear. His work is best described as masculine, clean, and sophisticated.

W*M designs all his collections using more sustainable fabrics like Certified Organic Cotton, Rayon from Bamboo, Tencel, Ramie and Recycled Polyesters. Clean, precision tailoring, attention to detail, and quality are most important to W*M.

His first introduction to the fashion industry came while trying-out for a Junior hockey club in Vancouver, British Columbia. A local fashion photographer approached him at a gym and suggested he should try fashion modeling.W*M spent 4 years working as a fashion model in the Canadian cities of Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal. He also worked internationally in the cities of Athens, Greece and Milan, Italy. Some notable Canadian fashion companies W*M worked with were: Point Zero (Montreal), Nike (Toronto), Greta Constantine (Toronto), and Bustle Clothing (Toronto).

W*M is a client of ACCESS Community Capital Fund, and has worked closely with an ACCESS mentor to support and expand his business.

Wes is a speaker in Session A3 – Local Microfinance – Learn the Process and Meet the Clients



Your Signature LookImage is a discovery process.  Creating your signature image helps others see your true potential.

Corporate Services: Dress to connect corporate workshops / Refresh Corporate Dress Code policies / Individual image coaching for company team members.

Personal Services:  Colour Analysis / Body Type Analysis / Wardrobe planning / Personal Shopping / Custom Wardrobe solutions

Alterna member



ZoeAllianceZOË Alliance provides gifts and promotional items made by people in villages and marginalized communities around the globe.  Products range from $0.95 to $99.00, can be affixed with a corporate logo and produced in large volumes.  

The ZOË Alliance comprises a broad network of fair trade producers providing unique, powerful, and memorable gift solutions for our clients.  We work with partners to provide gift solutions that help break the cycle of poverty in developing nations.  

We encourage everyone to take the ZOË Challenge, allocating 10% of their budgeted spending towards socially sourced options.  The potential impact of this goal is quite staggering.  If we all took the challenge in North America, we would generate $89 billion dollars in sustainable aid.

Angie is speaking in Session C3:  Social Enterprises: Transforming Lives by Linking Markets


Other Organizations that will be having a booth at the conference:

ACCESS COMMUNITY CAPITAL FUND helps individuals without collateral or credit history obtain an affordable loan to improve their standard of living through entrepreneurship.  Based in Toronto, ACCESS is a Canadian registered charity granting micro-loans where the abilities, skills and commitment of the applicant in conjunction with the strength of the business plan are key decision criteria.

Alex Kjorven will be speaking in Session A3: Local Microfinance- Learn the Process and Meet the Clients


ALTERNA SAVINGS is a leader in co-operative financial services. Over 10 years ago the Community Micro-Loan program started, with a commitment to helping members develop their potential and adding value to their communities.  Over that time Alterna has granted loans to more than 340 entrepreneurs.  Building participant’s confidence, knowledge, and skills adds to their business success, which in turn contributes to the success of the program.

Alterna is a Bronze Sponsor for this event.

Susan Henry is moderating Session A5:  Financial Literacy and Youth Programs


CANADIAN NEWCOMER MAGAZINE is the How-To Magazine for New Immigrants.  Articles range from Starting Your Own Business and Finding a Job, to Education, Settlement, Health, Life in Canada, Financial and Legal topics.  The free magazine and its website are a significant resource and connects diverse ethnic communities in Canada.  The magazine is published six times per year with all issues available online ini both English and French.


FINCA provides financial services to the world’s lowest-income entrepreneurs so they can create jobs, build assets and improve their standard of living. This microfinance network is operated on commercial principles of performance and sustainability.  Today, FINCA reaches 800,000 clients in 21 countries.

FINCA representatives are presenting in three sessions – A1: Village Banking,  A2: Not all Microfinance Institutions Are The Same, B1: Financial Access Through Mobile Banking and Technology


GUATEMALA STOVE PROJECT helps to improve life in rural Guatemala. Since 1999 A small group of volunteers have built over 3500 stoves in 3 different areas of Guatemala.  Because the stoves burn more efficiently, villagers use only half as many trees for firewood in an area that is already suffering from deforestation.  They also support local agriculture and very small businesses. They have ambitions to extend the micro-loan system into a fully fledged banking system along the lines of the Professor Yunnis format.



The goal of this one-year, post graduate certificate program, is to provide competent staff and volunteers to work in international development organizations, anywhere in the world. A career in this field would blend your previous expertise with new experience in international development, to make the world a better place.

The range of skills needed in developing countries is limitless. Therefore, students with a pre-existing Diploma, Degree or suitable experience in any area will be eligible for admission.

The content of the program includes extensive knowledge about development strategies, taught using an experiential learning model. This includes 4 weeks in Chiapas, Southern Mexico exploring development options and talking directly to people who live in dire situations. The students will complete the program by engaging in an individualized internship where they will use their new skills to support people in another country. To see past students in action, search YouTube for ‘ISW students’.

International Suppport Worker Program    http://www.iswloyalist.com

Loyalist College ISWP Post-Graduate Certiicate    http://www.loyalistcollege.com/programs-and-courses/full-time-programs/international-support-worker

MEDA creates business solutions to poverty.  For more than 50 years, MEDA has been designing and implementing innovative and effective market-driven economic development programs that improve the livelihoods of millions of people living in poverty around the world.

Founded by a small group of service-oriented business people, MEDA has grown to become a large, dynamic international organization comprised of thousands of members and supporters across North America and Europe. MEDA believes its work is not done until it is proven to be sustainable, replicable, scalable and measurable.

Jennifer Gerbin Harley is speaking in Session A5: Financial Literacy and Youth Programs and Julie Redfern is speaking in  C4: Enhancing Microfinance Education through Collaborative MFI Partnerships.


OPPORTUNITY INTERNATIONAL provides small business loans, savings, insurance and training to over two million people working their way out of poverty in the developing world.  Clients in over 20 countries use these services to start or expand a business, provide for their families, create jobs for their neighbours and build a safety net for the future.

The Keynote Speaker in the morning represents Opportunity International,  Kadita A.T. Tshibaka.


PARO CENTRE FOR WOMEN’S ENTERPRISE has helped thousands of women across Northern Ontario to Start, grow or build new business opportunities.  From training and business coaching, to networking events and peer lending circles, all of our programs and services are designed to increase the self-sufficiency and success of women, families and communities in the North.

Rosalind Lockyer & Stacia Kean are speaking in Session B4: Financial Inclusion and First Nations



The Rotarian Action Group for Microcredit is a group of Rotarians providing global leadership to assist clubs and districts to participate in effective Microcredit programs.  The Rotarian Action Group for Microcredit (RAGM) is the official microcredit vehicle of Rotarians focusing on alleviating poverty.  http://www.RAGM.RotaryGlobal.net

The District 7070 Microfinance Committee is one of the District’s Rotary Programs formed to provide leadership and support to clubs within their area allowing for effective participation in various Microfinance projects.

Several Rotarians will be present at the conference as speakers, moderators, volunteers or as a delegate to assist in making the conference a success.

Amazing Grace Bracelets are made of discarded glass bottles, they are handmade by Liberian women by glass crushed or broken into tiny pieces, placed in clay molds and heated in a wood-fired earthen oven.  Each piece is unique.  With the purchase of this jewellery, you are supporting the recovery of the Liberian people after 15 years of brutal civil war.

ROTMAN – CAMH RISE ASSET DEVELOPMENT provides microfinancing and mentorship to men and women living with mental illness and addictions who are interested in pursuing self-employment. The Rotman School of Management and CAMH participate in advisory functions, lending their respective expertise for business mentoring and mental health supports and services to the benefit of Rise clients.

Narinder Dhami is speaking in Session A2: Not All Microfinance Institutions Are The Same


THE TOWNSHIPS PROJECT was created in 1999 with the objective of alleviating extreme poverty in South Africa by lending small amounts of money to poor individuals to enable them to start or expand micro-businesses, to provide basic business skills training to the borrowing individuals and to engage in a broad fundraising program to solicit donations in Canada from Canadians to support its microfinance activities in South Africa.

Borrowers operate a range of small businesses including home-based grocery, candy and snack shops, fruit and vegetable stands, dressmaking, second hand clothing and school lunch businesses.  The Townships Project works through local microfinance institutions in South Africa, so nearly all the costs of these loan programs are spent within the target community.

In 2010, The Townships Project initiated MicroFranchising Launch:  Trade Show and Workshops, in partnership with University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business, to meet the chronic challenges of microlending.  The first MicroFranchising Launch was held in Khayelitsha, Cape Town from 31 August – 2 September 2011, bringing together a range of small businesses that are or want to become microfranchises.  The Launch comprised plenary sessions, a trade show and workshops of selected companies.  It was a huge success and demonstrated the need for an annual process committed to developing microfranchises serving township needs.  We believe this is the beginning of a massive job creation engine at the bottom of the pyramid.

Martha Deacon is speaking in Session C-1a: Making a Difference in Africa



Wasiyimi Wasiki equips youth to be entrepreneurial and independent, contributing to the enrichment of their family and community.  Wasiyimi Wasiki  transforms  education to offer opportunities for the empowerment of marginalized youth and by partnering with community and educational agents, local authorities and volunteers.

Wasiymi Wasiki is a small but growing network of dedicated people from Peru and abroad, founded in 2008,  based in Lima, Peru but also works in the Andes near Huancayo.

Katie Marney is speaking in Session B3: Microfinance Initiatives in Latin America



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Financial Sponsors


Alterna State Street

Rotarian Bronze
Crann Law Firm Dentistry On Dufferin

JVL Global
Microfinance Consulting

Friends of TIMS

Edward Gruscyk
Insurance Agency Ltd.

Media Partners

OMNI Television

Canadian Newcomer Magazine

MicroCapial Monitor


CNW Group


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