BDC Capital, the investment arm of the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), is injecting $50 million into women-led technology firms as part of its efforts to support women entrepreneurs.
Of the funds, $40 million will be used to create a new program for women-led tech firms. The program will include both venture and growth capital and will be open to new and existing BDC Capital clients as well as to graduates of partner accelerators. 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. With its anchor investment, BDC is seeking to raise additional capital from other interested investors.
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.