BDC Partners with Women’s Enterprise Centre to Expand Funding Opportunities for BC Women Business Owners

WeBC March 8, 2018

On March 8th, International Women’s Day, Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and Women’s Enterprise Organizations of Canada (WEOC) announced a collaboration to boost support for women entrepreneurs.

This partnership, which includes Women’s Enterprise Centre, British Columbia, lays the framework to target women entrepreneurs at all business stages and assist them in taking their businesses to the next level.

It also adds to the BDC’s commitments to support women entrepreneurs, namely new targets of $1.4 billion in lending to women-led businesses by 2021 and $200 million in additional investments in women-led technology firms over the next five years.

Partnership Agreement

Facts About Women Entrepreneurs

  • Women Entrepreneurs make up only 16% of Canadian entrepreneurs
  • They have 50% lower revenues than male entrepreneurs
  • Women Entrepreneurs have smaller companies. 8 vs 12 employees on average
  • 80% in the service and retail industries (vs. 67% total), typically with a lower share of high-growth firms
  • They have a lower propensity to request financing than male entrepreneurs
  • Fewer women entrepreneurs are in industries positioned to receive Venture Capital funding
  • Despite an increasing number of women-owned businesses, women entrepreneurs continue facing challenges in accessing capital
  • Women entrepreneurs are less likely to use debt to fuel their businesses and more likely to be rejected.

BDC and Federal Budget 2018

  • The Government will make available $1.4 billion over three years, starting in 2018–19, in new financing for women entrepreneurs through the BDC.
  • In addition, an increase to $200 million (from $70 million) for investments in women-led technology firms over five years through BDC’s Women in Technology Fund.
  • BDC will coordinate a series of boot camps across Canada for promising women entrepreneurs looking to start their businesses. Boot camps will focus on enhancing business skills and financial literacy.
  • BDC will expand its suite of online learning content to better equip women entrepreneurs with the knowledge and tools they need to succeed.

Laura Didyk, VP, of Finance & Consulting, Alberta South, Business Development Bank of Canada is available for interviews and can speak to the following:

  • The new partnership between BDC and Women’s Enterprise Organizations of Canada (including member organization Women’s Enterprise Centre, British Columbia)
  • The importance of raising awareness to financial accessibility issues women face in business and the specific needs of women entrepreneurs
  • BDC initiatives to support the growth of women-led businesses

Laurel Douglas, CEO Women’s Enterprise Centre, British Columbia is available for interviews and can speak to the following:

  • The business climate for women entrepreneurs in British Columbia
  • Challenges local women-led businesses face
  • WEC’s initiatives and new partnership with BDC to support women entrepreneurs in British Columbia
About WeBC

WeBC is a non-profit organization devoted to helping BC women launch, lead and scale their own businesses. Our full range of services includes business loans up to $150K, business advice, skills training, mentoring, resources and a supportive community to help women entrepreneurs realize their business potential. Connect with us today for personalized support for your business!

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