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BDC launches free online financial literacy training for entrepreneurs

November is Financial Literacy Month in Canada

November 22, 2018, Montreal—BDC, Canada’s only bank devoted exclusively to entrepreneurs, has made available a free e-learning class in basic financial management for Canadian entrepreneurs. The online course, named Financial Fundamentals, uses gamification and simulations to bring small and medium-sized business owners through a number of concepts such as cash flow management, financial statements, understanding profitability, performance monitoring and raising external capital.

The effort is being launched to address what Intuit Canada has described as a deep financial literacy gap that exists among Canadian entrepreneurs. According to their 2014 survey of more than 600 SMEs, 39% of small business owners received a failing grade (answering 0 to 4 questions correctly out of 10) while just 7% answered 9 or 10 questions correctly out of 10.

On the upside, a similar study conducted in 2017 by BDC and the Telfer School of Business showed that:

  • The percentage of business owners who performed really well on the financial literacy quiz was significantly higher in B.C. and North (48%) and Ontario (40%) than in Quebec (27%).
  • The difference between the percentage of men who did really well on the quiz (40%) and the percentage of women who did so (24%) is statistically significant.

“A solid grasp of basic financial management helps business owners make more informed decisions about their business. And yet, sadly, many entrepreneurs do not feel comfortable when it comes to discussing financial concepts,” said Bill Ciprick, Senior Vice President, BDC Advisory Services. “This online training is a must for business owners who are curious to learn more about financial management. It offers the right mix of flexibility and development to help them take their business to the next level by improving their skills and knowledge.”

“The Business Development Bank of Canada plays a vital role in helping Canadian entrepreneurs access the resources and financing they need to succeed,” said the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business and Export Promotion. “As a small-business-friendly government, we are pleased to see BDC creating free online tools, like Financial Fundamentals, that help Canadian businesses start up, scale up and access new markets.”

A second phase of the course, to be released in spring 2019, will take an in-depth look at financial management and teach business owners how to prepare themselves before meeting with their banker. All modules are fully responsive online and for mobile, take approximately 20 minutes to complete and are aimed at entrepreneurs who are looking to improve their skills and knowledge about finance.

The announcement was made during CPA Canada’s annual financial literacy conference being held in Vancouver today and tomorrow. Earlier this year, CPA Canada and BDC partnered to deliver face-to-face financial literacy sessions for entrepreneurs across the country. The two institutions have been working together for several years to ensure new and established business owners have the financial skills they need to succeed. This year alone, they have co-presented 43 sessions across the country.

Additional financial management articles and related content are available on BDC’s website.

About BDC

BDC is the only bank devoted exclusively to entrepreneurs. It promotes Canadian entrepreneurship with a focus on small and medium-sized businesses. With its 123 business centres from coast to coast, BDC provides businesses in all industries with financing and advisory services. Its investment arm, BDC Capital, offers equity, venture capital and flexible growth and transition capital solutions. BDC is also the first financial institution in Canada to receive B Corp certification. To find out more, visit bdc.ca.


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