In response to Jesse Winter’s May 6 article, “Budget targets $5 million for female entrepreneurs”, BDC will continue to support women-owned businesses to help ensure the health and long-term success of this growing market segment, critical to Canada’s economic prosperity. To be clear, the $700 million in financing earmarked by BDC and announced by Status of Women Canada (SWC) on March 23 is part of a broader approach the Bank is adopting, which will allow for a greater number of loans to be extended to women entrepreneurs during the next three years. The objective of this new approach is not only to increase the number of loans to women-owned businesses, but to also help them grow in size and in scale.
It is important to note that eligibility requirements for financing from BDC remain unchanged. The due diligence processes and rigor that BDC applies when reviewing all loan applications will remain the same.
Our internal research shows that in many cases, women have a harder time growing their businesses; in the BDC portfolio, their average revenues are almost half those of their male counterparts across different industries and as per number of employees. There are several reasons for this gap, including more difficulty in accessing capital, a more conservative approach to risk and fewer networking opportunities.
We want to continue to focus on helping these businesses and aspirational women entrepreneurs. To do this, BDC will refine and improve its internal capacities to be better positioned to service the evolving needs of this market segment. As previously announced by SWC, BDC has named a national champion to lead and support initiatives that impact women-owned businesses.
Senior Vice President, Financing and Consulting, British Columbia & North, BDC