Like the whole world, Momentum entered 2020 with a vision that we recalibrated multiple times by year end. As we navigated the stormy waters of a pandemic, we approached the work we did with the understanding that we’re all in the same storm, but not in the same boat. Just as our plans for the year drastically shifted, we knew the same could be said for others.

With our formal programs on pause or stopped completely in reaction to the virus, our teams worked hard to fill the gaps left behind. We created helplines to offer guidance to those in crisis, offered unique micro-loans for both businesses and individuals who had nowhere else to turn, and gradually rolled out online offerings of our programs so Calgarians could continue to work toward a sustainable livelihood. We grappled with constant change, financial instability, new technology, and increased awareness of social injustice.

Our solutions weren’t perfect, but we’re proud to have played a part in navigating the storm with our community. We are truly inspired by the resilience of our community and have learned plenty of lessons that we take with us as we build the future of Momentum.

Our impact in community is about people, and the stories of their success, struggles and joy.

This success goes beyond numbers, and includes a shift in the way Momentum provides training and learning to our participants. In 2020, we made an investment in online learning technology that will surpass the timeline of the pandemic. This is not just a stop-gap or temporary solution; we are moving our programs into the digital realm so that we can safely increase our reach, work with more people, and provide an even better experience to Momentum’s program participants.

Roderick isn’t shy as he shows off some tattoos and gives a short run-down of his difficult past that led him to get them. But what the 48-year-old is most proud of is that he owns his own business – Dzyne Culture – even though his journey to this point includetime in prison and a criminal record.

In 2012, Roderick made the decision to change his life. A real-estate agent from his network knew Roderick had a background in graphic design and asked if he would do some videography for the homes he was showing. He had a feeling it was a good opportunity and agreed, despite not knowing how to shoot and edit video.

“I taught myself everything,” says Roderick. “I taught myself how to edit videos, to use the gimbal, cameras, drones, all that kind of stuff. And he was paying me to do it!”

Things were off to a good start, but in 2019, Roderick was in a car accident and injured his neck and back. Unable to work while he recovered, he was determined to continue with his newfound passion. It was a connection from his church, who worked at Momentum, that nudged him toward a self-employment program.

Through Momentum, Roderick learned to run his business and took out a micro business loan to purchase equipment. Once had recovered from his injuries, he had business know-how, new gear, a website, and social media channels. He began reaching out to real estate agents, offering a free video to show off his skills, and things started clicking.

“This one real estate agent said ‘Because of your videos, this is the best year I’ve ever had,” says Roderick. “I’m doing work for her right now after I get off the phone; She has sold over 20 homes already. And this year, and I have about six real estate agents that use me on a consistent basis.”

This constant work, plus a settlement from the car accident, helped him pay off his first micro business loan ahead of schedule. Having the loan paid off improved his credit score, enabling him to buy a new car. Step by step, he’s working his way toward the life he really wants.

“I knew what I wanted to do, and I had experience,” he says. “But I didn’t know how to run a business or have the funds to start it. Momentum helped me every step of the way, from learning the essentials of running a business to providing me with a micro business loan to get started.”

No doubt, there’s plenty more on the horizon for Roderick. “I can’t believe that I’m putting my heart and soul into something that I really enjoy doing,” says Roderick. “And it just – it makes me feel so good.”

Roderick was a participant in Momentum’s Evening Self Employment and Matched Savings programs. As a successful program participant he was then eligible for a Momentum microloan. He hopes to continue his learning with other Momentum programs. 

Building on more than 20 years of empowering Calgarians to save their money, we have now put the opportunity to save in the palm of our participants hands.

The Momentum Savings Challenge is a partnership with the QUBER Savings App, a company based in New Brunswick. With a shared vision for making saving money possible for all – no matter their income level – the challenge encourages saving small amounts over long periods, with incentives along the way to encourage them to continue saving.

Our goal is for participants to develop a $500 emergency fund and a life-long savings habit, creating a city of savers.

Courtney testimonial Momentum Savings Challenge

Thank you!

Our deepest gratitude to Momentum investors – our funders and donors – who make this work possible, and who stepped up in a challenging year with enthusiasm and generosity. Your support was critical to helping us navigate the choppy waters of COVID.

View our audited financial statements. See the list of our investors.