Alterna Community Awards

Alterna Savings honoured with 2012 MicroSkills Corporate Spirit Award

Alterna Savings is proud to accept the 2012 MicroSkills Corporate Spirit Award from the Community MicroSkills Development Centre. The award recognizes an organization in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) which demonstrates a commitment to good corporate citizenship by creating innovative opportunities for immigrants, visible minorities, low income women and/or youth.

The award acknowledges Alterna’s efforts over the past 11 years in providing micro-financing to marginalized people in the Greater Toronto Area. Alterna’s Micro-Finance Program offers a two-pronged approach to supporting it’s members with a balanced mix of traditional financing and non-financial services. Non-financial services provide micro-entrepreneurs with education, networking opportunities and promotional assistance. A 2009 study found that the financial services provided by Alterna’s Micro-Finance Program have led to an overall increase in income, housing, as well as general financial stability for borrowers.

The program has also had an impact that expands beyond individual borrows and into communities with significant job creation. The loans have allowed micro-entrepreneurs to build sustainable businesses that have the ability to hire in many cases multiple employees.

To date, Alterna’s Micro-Finance Program has granted more than 400 loans totaling almost $2 million. “Alterna looks to continue to take a leading role in the development of micro-finance movement in Ontario. This award is reassurance that we continue to move in the right direction with our Micro-Finance Program” said John Lahey, President and CEO at Alterna Savings.

Alterna was proud to accept this award on May 31st 2012 at the Pearson Convention Centre in Toronto.

This is the second such honour Alterna has been granted in the last month, coming off the recently awarded 2012 National Credit Union Community Economic Development Award, in early May. Alterna is proud to receive recognition in this area and serves as assurance that micro-finance programs do have an important and demonstrative impact in the communities they serve.

To learn more about the 2012 MicroSkills Corporate Spirit Award visit:

View the official press release


Alterna Savings wins 2012 National Credit Union Community Economic Development Award

On May 9th Alterna Savings proudly accepted the 2012 National Credit Union Community Economic Development Award from Credit Union Central of Canada. The award honours the outstanding contribution credit unions make to the economic development of the communities they serve, and focuses national attention on the leadership role they take on in inspiring others to shape promising futures within their local communities.

The award recognizes largely the work of Alterna’s Micro-Finance Program. For more than a decade Alterna has led the way in supporting small and developing businesses through community based micro lending.

More than just granting loans for startup entrepreneurs, Alterna’s Micro-Finance Program stresses the importance of financial literacy among its members and offers micro-lenders the advantages of complementary integrated services such as financial planning, business development and networking opportunities, and promotional assistance. To date, Alterna’s Micro-Finance programs have granted more than 400 loans totaling almost $2 million.

Alterna is also excited to report that 95% of micro-loan borrowers are still running the same business they started through the program. The social impact of the program extends beyond just those who borrow, as it has contributed to job growth in both the Toronto and Ottawa communities.

"Receiving this award is confirmation that supporting individuals and communities through Micro-Finance is the right thing to do,” says John Lahey, President and CEO of Alterna Savings. “We have seen first-hand the positive impact this program can have on families and the community at large, and we’re proud to help them develop the building blocks for business success"

To learn more about the 2012 national credit union community economic development award visit:

View the official press release