Tony Colley spent the first 16 years of his professional life working as a commercial portfolio manager for two major Canadian financial institutions. He then moved into the non-profit space where he developed funding strategies, cultivated partnerships and raised money for different organizations. In 2016, his life took an unexpected turn and he found himself on social assistance and struggling with food insecurity. The only job he could find was working part-time for a local catering company and after working his first major event, the caterer had over 100 boxed lunches left over. Tony took a few of the boxes home and redistributed the others to a nearby food shelter. After more than a year of facilitating these types of donations, Tony decided to purchase a food delivery bag and that purchase was the catalyst for Be One to Give.
Be One to Give (B12Give is an on-demand business to business delivery app for retailers with surplus food that is being lost or wasted along the supply chain. Powered by technology and logistics, Be One to Give delivers food with a shelf life of less than 48hours to agencies supporting those who are food insecure. The business gives retailers the tools necessary to eliminate 100% of surplus food from their daily operations and provides the community greater access to surplus food. Overall, the Be One to Give app lowers the cost of food waste in society as a whole, reduces methane emissions and feeds members of our community who are food insecure.
To date, Be One to Give has redistributed over 23k lbs of food to more than 17k people and diverted roughly 87k lbs of methane gas from the atmosphere.
Tony joined Alterna's Microfinance program in August of this year and used the loan to hire a Business Development Manager and Software Development intern to scale the business. He also participates in the Microsavings program, which helps small business owners build capital and boost resilience. Tony originally applied for a loan from his primary business bank but was denied funding. Tony credits Alterna with helping him start his business and supporting him along the way. "I have been a member of Alterna since 2015 and they have supported me in ways that other institutions have not been able to. They provided funds when I initially started my entrepreneurial journey several years ago and have been a constant source of funding and support from the beginning," says Tony, " My advice to anyone seeking financial assistance with a hassle-free lending experience is to contact the Community Microfinance Team at the nearest Alterna Savings branch to discuss how your business can benefit from their microfinance program."
To learn more about Alterna's microfinance program visit our website.