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Toronto youth access micro loans

Low-income business hopefuls look to prosper from loan initiative
(Town Crier column written July 9.)

Fatima Ali got laid off from her job as a personal chef, but don’t think it’s getting her down — she’s applying for a loan to start up her own catering business.
The 23-year-old is one of several youth hoping to qualify for a one-year pilot project geared to helping would-be entrepreneurs start their own business venture.
The initiative was spearheaded by financial institution Alterna Savings, who has partnered with the Toronto Community Foundation and the City of Toronto.
It is geared to unemployed, out of school 18-24 year olds living in low income, west end neighbourhoods, including Bathurst-Finch, and Lawrence Heights.
“I was a private chef catering clientele meetings,” the bubbly Ali tells me at the July 8 launch of the micro loan initiative.
“When I’m cooking or baking, I’m in a positive vibe.” Continue reading