July 24, 2019, Montreal—Canada’s bank for entrepreneurs, BDC, has made it easier than ever for entrepreneurs to access its services from coast-to-coast-to-coast thanks to important investments in technology and its people, according to its 2019 Annual Report published today. Always looking at new ways to increase access to financing and advice, the Bank served a record 60,000 Canadian business owners in fiscal 2019, up 7% from the year before. These entrepreneurs employ almost one million people across Canada and generate over $350 billion in sales.
“We have made great strides in becoming more accessible and responsive to entrepreneurs to help them build world-class businesses,” says Michael Denham, President and CEO of BDC. “We are also pleased with our expanded efforts to improve access to services for women and other underserved entrepreneurs as part of our commitment to ensure that all Canadian businesses have the same opportunities to succeed.”
Enhanced access to services for entrepreneurs across Canada
BDC’s clients accepted $7.2 billion in loans during the last fiscal year, ending March 31, 2019, an increase of 5.9% over the previous year. The Bank’s total portfolio now stands at $35 billion in capital committed to small and medium-sized businesses. Other achievements in fiscal 2019 include:
- BDC expanded its support for women entrepreneurs, providing nearly $570 million in loans to women-led businesses in the first full fiscal year as part of its ambitious goal to lend $1.4 billion to women-owned businesses over three years.
- In addition, BDC Capital’s $200-million Women in Technology Venture Fund invested in 19 new women-led companies. In total, the Fund has invested in 25 Canadian, women-led tech companies since being launched.
- As the baby-boom generation of entrepreneurs head for retirement, BDC has committed $900 million to financing business transitions through its Growth & Transition Capital team, with close to $200 million deployed to date.
With more than $3 billion in committed capital, the Bank’s investment arm BDC Capital serves as a strategic partner to the country’s most innovative firms. BDC is Canada’s largest and most active venture capital investor, with direct and indirect investments in over 800 companies.
BDC Capital evolved its investment strategy this year by taking steps to invest more in later-stage businesses. This included the co-creation of a new IT fund and the development of a new $250-million direct fund, the Industrial Innovation Venture Fund, to invest in tech companies accelerating the transformation of core Canadian industries.
The Bank also deployed $153 million as part of its Cleantech Practice initiative to help support the growth of globally competitive, environmentally impactful businesses. In total, BDC has committed to investing $600 million over five years through this initiative.
Enabling success with top-notch business advice
BDC Advisory Services delivered over 1,600 mandates to help companies grow faster, become more efficient and innovate. The team achieved strong results, with net contracts signed amounting to $26.8 million, up 6.9% from the previous fiscal period, which reflects efforts to increase BDC’s reach and impact on more entrepreneurs. The Bank focused its efforts to support high-growth businesses, having an outsized impact on the Canadian economy and more complex advice needs. BDC’s Growth Driver Program provided strategic advice, coaching and leadership development to over 120 such businesses.
Financially strong to do more for entrepreneurs
All business lines achieved better results than planned, with consolidated net income of $885.6 million. The results enabled a dividend payment of $128.4 million to the Government of Canada, BDC’s sole shareholder, with the remainder to be reinvested to enable the Bank to improve support for entrepreneurs.
“As we look forward to BDC’s 75th anniversary this fall, we are proud of the work accomplished by our 2,300 employees who help Canadian entrepreneurs to grow, innovate and compete, while delivering excellent financial results,” Denham says.
BDC is the only bank devoted exclusively to entrepreneurs. It provides access to financing, both online and in-person, as well as advisory services to help Canadian businesses grow and succeed. Its investment arm, BDC Capital, offers a wide range of risk capital solutions. For 75 years and counting, BDC’s only purpose has been to support entrepreneurs in all industries and all stages of growth. For more information and to consult more than 1,000 free tools, articles and entrepreneurs’ stories, visit bdc.ca.