The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) released their annual 2016-2017 report today, and they revealed they are currently supporting more Canadian small businesses owners than ever before.
BDC is now providing advising or funding support to 49,000 entrepreneurs in every part of the country, up from 17% last year.
“Helping entrepreneurs thrive is our greatest ambition. BDC remains committed to a clear and unique purpose: to create prosperity for Canada by providing the advisory services and financial support entrepreneurs need to achieve their goals,” said BDC President and CEO Michael Denham. “We are reaching more entrepreneurs and having a greater impact on their businesses. And we continue to be profitable, operating at no cost to Canadian taxpayers.”
This comes on the heels of the news that Canadian VC investment topped $2.1 billion for the first half of 2017, the most active first half since 2001 and the third consecutive quarter in which disbursements exceeded $1 billion.
BDC has also pledged to increase access to capital for women entrepreneurs. Back in November, it announced that it would inject $50 million into women-owned technology businesses. This announcement complements a 2015 BDC commitment to increase its term lending to majority women-owned businesses to at least $700 million over three years.
BDC also announced a $135-million venture capital fund in November for start-ups in the industrial, clean and energy technology (ICE) sectors, like Axine Water Technologies. The company, which develops low cost, chemical-free solutions to treat toxic organic pollutants in industrial wastewater, received an investment from BDC Capital in 2016 to fund their plans to scale up. BDC first invested in Axine in 2013.
Last October, BDC also launched an online productivity tool, which has already received over 15,000 visits. The free tool allows entrepreneurs to measure their company’s productivity and compare it with the competition.
With increased access to financial support and resources, the scene is set for Montreal, and Canada as a whole, to continue its impressive transformation into one of the world’s foremost centres for innovation.
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