BDC Capital, the investment arm of the Business Development Bank of Canada, is injecting $50 million into women-led technology firms as part of its efforts to support women entrepreneurs.
“Women-led firms are vital to Canada’s prosperity and competitiveness,” says Alison Nankivell, Vice President, Funds and Co-investment, BDC Capital. “Recognizing the need for financial and non-financial support for female founders, we are proud to launch several new initiatives to encourage women tech founders who are starting new companies, growing existing ones, creating jobs and triggering innovation.”
Of the funds, $40 million will be used to create a new program for women-led tech firms. Initial deployment will start by the end of 2016 and the program will target high-potential and quickly growing female-led tech companies.
BDC Capital will allocate an additional $10 million to support regional initiatives beginning with the MaRS Investment Accelerator Fund to form a new women’s pre-seed and seed fund and increase depth of network and resources for women founders.
“Through these initiatives, BDC is looking to build deep networks and an ecosystem of support for women-led tech firms,” Nankivell says. “We want to be able to act on more varied types of deals, reinforce the good work that’s already being done and make female tech founders even more successful.”
The money for the new initiatives exceeds a 2015 BDC commitment to increase its term lending to majority women-owned businesses to at least $700 million over three years, in addition to its ongoing support to women-founded technology firms and funds.