Published On: Thursday, 08 March 2018

BDC Enters Partnership to Support Women Entrepreneurs

BDC Enters Partnership to Support Women Entrepreneurs
On International Women's Day, BDC announced a partnership to support women entrepeneurs.

CANADA -The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) has signed a pioneering partnership with Women's Enterprise Organizations of Canada (WEOC) to better support women entrepreneurs.

WEOC members have developed innovative programs to help women at all business stages. The partnership will allow BDC to engage more closely with five WEOC member organizations and the growing 90,000 women business owners WEOC members work with at a national level.

WEOC's member organizations provide learning and networking opportunities, management advice and coaching for women entrepreneurs.

"Through this partnership, after receiving sound, tailored advice, women entrepreneurs who will have optimized their business plan are given a better chance at getting financed," says Laura Didyk, BDC's Vice-President, Alberta South and National sponsor for the Bank's Women Entrepreneur strategy.

"At BDC, we believe that women entrepreneurs have enormous untapped potential, so we provide WEOC member organizations the ability to either enhance or create access to capital for women entrepreneurs," she says.

“This partnership is another demonstration of the great work being done by BDC to support and empower women entrepreneurs across Canada,” said Bardish Chagger, Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister of Small Business and Tourism.

“Our government strongly supports this work, and through our 2018 Budget, and especially our Women Entrepreneurship Strategy announced as part of the Budget, we will support and invest in women at all stages of entrepreneurship with goal of doubling the number of women-owned businesses by 2025.

"This International Women’s Day, let us celebrate how far women have come, and also look to the future on what there is still to achieve. I am confident we can achieve it by working together.”

The agreement adds on to BDC's commitments to support women entrepreneurs, namely new targets of $1.4 billion in lending to women-led businesses by 2021, and $200 million in investments in women-led technology firms.

"We are very excited about partnering with BDC and being part of its initiative to better support women entrepreneurs, who are one of Canada's greatest resources," says Sandra Altner, CEO of the Women's Enterprise Centre of Manitoba and WEOC Chair.

The agreement is signed between BDC and five of WEOC's member organizations: the Women's Enterprise Centre of Manitoba, the Newfoundland and Labrador Organization of Women Entrepreneurs, the Women's Enterprise Organization, British Columbia, Alberta Women Entrepreneurs and Women Entrepreneurs of Saskatchewan.