Alterna Savings supports social innovation at Carleton University

Toronto – Thursday, April 22 – Alterna Savings and Credit Union Limited (Alterna) is fostering studentled social innovation at Carleton University.

Alterna’s gift of $50,000 will support the establishment of a social ventures institute that will provide Carleton students with training, mentorship and opportunities to innovate and develop new business ventures with purpose.

“Now, more than ever, it's important to extend support to the next generation of leaders. We play an important role in helping them establish new business ventures that ignite their futures,” explains Rob Paterson, Alterna President and CEO. “When we support young, socially-conscious leaders, they can in turn provide innovative solutions to the current and future challenges we all face. This commitment is core to who we are as a community-focused financial institution. By helping students deliver lasting impact through these endeavours, we all benefit.” 

“We are grateful to Rob and Alterna for investing in Carleton students and their potential to drive positive change,” said Dana Brown, dean of the Sprott School of Business at Carleton University. “At the Sprott School of Business, we are developing students to lead business with compassion, imagination and purpose. Alterna’s support of the Social Ventures Institute will accelerate social innovation among students and the creation of new ventures that will have an impact, locally and around the globe.”

Through the institute, students from all areas of study across campus will have access to programming and resources that foster social innovation and support the creation of student-led social ventures. This will include programs to learn about systems thinking for social entrepreneurship, boot camps, teambuilding events, mentoring, and preparing students to take part in global social enterprise competitions. Students will further develop their understanding by working directly with social purpose organizations in the community.

Another initiative of the institute will be a social value fund through which students can learn about and gain practical experience in impact investing.

“Our vision for the institute is to create an ecosystem for social impact at Carleton,” said Leanne Keddie, director of Carleton’s Social Ventures Institute and assistant professor of accounting at Sprott. “Not only will the institute drive social innovation among students, but also community organizations will benefit from the support provided by students. From learning about the system in which social entrepreneurs find themselves in, to creating businesses, to funding them, we aim to provide a hub for all of these activities.”


Alterna Savings and Credit Union Limited (Alterna) has been the good in banking for 112 years! Alterna is made up of Alterna Savings and Credit Union Limited and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Alterna Bank. Together, we have $10 billion in assets under management.

We are a proud partner with the Sprott School of Business, providing the Alterna Savings and Alterna Bank Scholarships. Launched in 2018, these are permanently endowed and awarded annually to two students based on outstanding academic achievement.

As the first full-service, member-owned co-operative financial institution outside Quebec, Alterna Savings shares its expertise with more than 186,000 members through a network of 36 branches across Ontario, that includes partner Peterborough Community Savings; as well as call centre and digital channels. Members and customers also benefit from an industry-leading online brokerage, investment management services, and have access to over 43,000 surcharge-free ATMs in North America with THE EXCHANGE Network in Canada and the Allpoint Network in the US.


Located in Canada’s capital – Ottawa, the Sprott School of Business at Carleton University creates learning opportunities and scholarship that harness the potential and opportunity for business to improve lives worldwide. Drawing upon our values of compassion, imagination and purpose, we contribute to a better world ahead through the continued provision of outstanding education, research and partnerships.