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BDC announces appointment of Sévrine Labelle to lead its new Thrive Lab for women entrepreneurs

Montreal, March 13, 2023 BDC is pleased to announce the appointment of Sévrine Labelle to the new position of Managing Director, Thrive Lab at BDC Capital.

Thrive Lab is one of the three pillars of BDC Capital’s new $500 million Thrive Platform. Launched last September, it is the largest investment platform of its kind and a key component of BDC’s commitment towards sustainability and inclusive growth.

A pioneer in its offering, scope and scale, the Thrive Platform is bringing an enhanced and more comprehensive approach to addressing existing barriers faced by women entrepreneurs.

Sévrine joins BDC with a solid 13-year track record of working with entrepreneurs and supporting startups operating in various sectors and at different stages of development. She is a long-time ally in supporting and bringing more women and underserved communities into entrepreneurship. Until recently, Sévrine was the President and CEO of Evol, an organization that finances and coaches impact companies from underserved communities. Throughout her career, Sévrine has built a strong network of partners from Quebec’s business sector. She will continue to build on her vast expertise, as well as her intimate knowledge of the market, to create high impact partnerships to support women-led businesses across the country.

As Managing Director of BDC Capital's new $100 million Thrive Lab, Sévrine’s role will be to work closely with ecosystem partners to develop innovative equity investment models to support high-potential, women-led businesses at the earliest stages of development – where the capital gap is the greatest. Thrive Lab will be launched officially in the Spring of 2023. More details will be announced at that time.


“We’ve been very impressed by Sévrine’s leadership supporting and empowering underserved entrepreneurs to date. With her unique profile, we’re convinced that she’s the right leader to build Thrive Lab and bring it to market by working with like-minded ecosystem partners, all with the objective of creating sustainable and inclusive growth along the way,” says Karl Reckziegel, Senior Vice-President, Venture Capital at BDC Capital.

‘’I’m deeply convinced that our future depends on building more sustainable growth. My vision for Thrive Lab is that it will meet women-led startups, where they are at the beginning of their journey, and work alongside key ecosystem partners, to provide better and earlier access to capital for them to thrive and shape the future,’’ says Sévrine Labelle, Managing Director, Thrive Lab at BDC Capital.

Quick facts

  • In September 2022, BDC Capital launched its new $500 million Thrive Platform, the largest platform of its kind, designed to foster economic prosperity by propelling women-led businesses of all sizes toward accelerated growth.
  • The Thrive Platform is composed of:
    • Thrive Venture Fund – a $300 million direct investment fund,
    • Thrive Lab – a $100 million lab designed to develop innovative equity investment models for women-led companies with promising business models and growth potential, which may not necessarily be on a venture path, and
    • a $100 million indirect investment envelope – to be invested by BDC Capital’s Fund Investment team in women-led and focused general partners across the country.
  • Financing gaps remain for women-led businesses at the earliest stages of development – where capital could have a meaningful early impact. According to Pitchbook data, women-founded businesses received only 3% of total VC capital invested in Canada in 2022, and women-founded and co-founded seed businesses received only 15% of seed capital invested in Canada in 2022.
  • BDC Capital first launched the Women in Technology (WIT) Venture Fund in 2017. At the time, it was one of the world’s largest venture capital funds ($200 million) dedicated to investing in women-led technology companies and helping build a robust ecosystem to support women in tech today and in the future.

About BDC

As Canada’s development bank, BDC is a partner of choice for all entrepreneurs looking to access the financing and advice they need to build their businesses and tackle the big challenges of our time. Our investment arm, BDC Capital, offers a wide range of risk capital solutions to help grow the country’s most innovative firms. We are one of Canada’s Top 100 Employers and Canada’s Best Diversity Employers. For more information on BDC’s products and services and to consult free tools, templates and articles, visit bdc.ca or join BDC on social media.


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