Alterna is proud to be working alongside BIPOC communities to improve economic equality and representation.
For the past 20 years, through our award-winning Community Microfinance Program, we have worked with many community partners, nonprofits, stakeholders, and academia to reach diverse equity-seeking communities across Ontario.
Learn more about the difference that Alterna’s Microfinance Loan program is having in the lives of Black business owners.
Deion Francis otherwise known as Deion K. is the CEO and Founder of Blueprint Pathfinders Inc. (BPI) a fast-growing personal and professional development firm, located in Toronto, Canada. Deion K is an Image Curator, Certified Master and Professional Coach, Transformational Speaker, Program Development Specialist, Radio Show Host, and the author of the upcoming book CHANGE. She has developed and launched BPI’s signature seminars and workshops “Gifted for Success” (GFS) in 2016. Deion has also designed the Canadian Newcomer Transitional Coaching Program which she presently incorporates in government training programs for newcomers and was a panelist at the Immigrant Women’s Small Business Expo. As a champion of empowerment, she partner’s with not-for-profit agencies where she provides both personal and business coaching for individuals and startup/small business owners.
In celebration of Black History Month, Deion is participating in Alterna’s online meeting, Honouring the Role of the Black Entrepreneur and their vital contribution to addressing the generational wealth gap for Black families. Deion is also inviting business owners and individuals to join Blueprint Pathfinders Inc. (BPI) for FOUR complimentary online RESET Coaching sessions, starting Monday February 1, 2021, through to the Monday February 22, 2021, at 8:00 PM on Facebook live @blueprintpathfinders.
Bianca Brown, a mother of 2 is the owner of Queen B Hair Company – a successful business that supplies custom wigs, virgin bundles, closures, and frontals.
The Alterna Microfinance Loan program has helped Bianca carry out her mission and take her business to the next level. It's allowed her to invest in new products, branding, and marketing.
Black history month is an opportunity for Bianca to participate in events and projects that educate others about Black history and advance the community.
Sipho Ibeakanma was inspired to open her business, The Niesh Hair Scarf Wig, after her daughter Cleopatrah and granddaughter Niesha tied a beautiful scarf around her wig in August 2018. While the look was stunning, the heat and itch from the wig and scarf were unbearable.
Sipho revisited the wig and scarf combination repeatedly until she had the idea to use recycled materials to create an attractive and comfortable hairpiece. This was the birth of The Niesh Hair Scarf Wig.
The Niesh Hair Scarf Wig is one of the most comfortable solutions for balding women of all ages and nationalities. Sipho aims to help restore a sense of normalcy and femininity to strengthen women and cancer patients experiencing hair loss.
The business idea came to Sipho days before her granddaughter was diagnosed with rare terminal cancer. Named in memory of her granddaughter, The Niesh Hair Scarf Wig is a self-sustaining project that uses the generous Buy-one, Give-one business model.
In partnership with PARO Community Loan Fund, the Alterna Microfinance program helped Sipho with a loan to purchase some of the raw material needed for Sipho’s products. It also helped to extend her reach and participate in meaningful ways in her home community of Kingston, Ontario.