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Vince Vetro Founder and Executive Director of The Lending Journey microfinance charity lending to the most vulnerable women and single mothers in Ecuador and Nicaragua

Vincent Vetro

"There is a well-known motto, "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach him to fish and you feed him for a lifetime". What we learned was that this motto does not go far enough. Transformations don't happen just because we provide loans and seminars to help people start businesses.  The real results, in the borrowers and in us, come about when we become part of their lives, working with them as they figure out how to make their businesses succeed, sharing in their setbacks and their victories. They entered our story as we entered theirs. So we add to that motto,  "But to truly become a part of their lives, you need to sit down with them and eat the fish together".  And that meal is potluck, actually: they bring the fish, but we get to bring a dish to." - From his book The Lending Journey: From the Boardroom to the Barrio

My Story

I am the Founder and International Director of The Lending Journey™. After graduating from the University of Waterloo in 1984, I began a successful small business career in the Greater Toronto Area. For almost 25 years, I owned companies in both Ontario and Alberta. When not travelling and providing guidance and support to The Lending Journey, I am a corporate coach, author, and motivational speaker.

In later years a spiritual encounter transformed my view of business and the world. The famous words of Winston Churchill, “We make a living by what we do and a life by what we give,” impacted my life. In 1998 I started travelling abroad and have visited and spoken in countries all across the globe. But it was while on one of my trips to South America that I began laying the foundation for a micro-finance charity, which eventually birthed The Lending Journey™.

When I began the process on lending money to disenfranchised women in Latin American, I really thought I was getting into the banking business. But that has not been my experience. What really happened is that I got into the ‘changing lives’ business, one small step at a time, one small loan at a time.”

Many of us are familiar with the old adage, “Give a person a fish and you feed them for a day, teach them to fish and you feed them for a lifetime.” For me, there is one line missing: once you teach them to fish, sit down and eat the fish with them. That is what life is really about: spending time with people and really getting to know their challenges.

“Friendship demands inconvenience, it demands putting yourself out there, it demands late-night phone calls to resolve issues that will take a lifetime. It demands sticking it out even when you are tired and weary. That is what The Lending Journey is really about: friends helping friends.

While I continue my entrepreneurial endeavours close to home, I committed my life to developing friendships with the less privileged around the world. What does this look like? “Sitting around the table eating the fish that we taught them to catch and talking about life's challenges.”

I live north west of Toronto and am married to my wonderful wife, Ramona. We have four children, Lauren, Christian, Jonah and Sophia.

Speaking Opportunities

Vince has spent a majority of his professional life sharing his experiences with others.  Please click on the link below if you would like to learn more about having him speak to your group or organization.

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