Bob Brown “When I left the Firm in 1998, my wife Karen and I decided to do something a little bit different. As we always stayed in small inns or hotels on our travels, and as Calgary did not have this kind of property, we developed, built and operated the Kensington Riverside Inn, a 19-room boutique hotel in Calgary’s downtown area. We successfully operated the Inn for nine years, and then sold it to a local hotel group.
“In 2011, together with investors in the Inn, we started Open to Grow, a charity focused on helping low-income women entrepreneurs increase their incomes by providing them with small loans. We started in Guatemala funding loans to a microfinance institution that combined business training and micro-loans for women. We are now providing small loans to poor women in Nicaragua. Over this period, we have helped over 4,000 poor women grow their businesses and make their dreams come true by funding $1.6 million in small loans to them.”