$50 Million Available for Female Entrepreneurs
By Shajitha Rajavickneswaran | November 29, 2016
Supporting a family. Gaining experience. Taking a risk to enter the unknown. These are just a few of the many tasks women are juggling as they try to enter the world of entrepreneurship.
One thing that repeatedly holds women entrepreneurs back is a lack of support. Whether it be financial or non-financial, they are looking for assistance and are having trouble finding it.
Time to Take Action
The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) has recognized this need and is trying to fill the gap and help women take a step in the right direction.
BDC has made the commitment to put $50 million towards helping female entrepreneurs in the technology industry. The program is open to women who are creating jobs, sparking innovation, starting a company, or expanding their current one.
The fund has been split into two sections:
- Creating a new program
- Supporting regional initiatives
Joining the Program
A total of $40 million will be set aside towards creating a program for women-run tech companies. BDC is looking for companies that are quickly growing and have high-potential.
Eligible participants include new and existing BDC Capital clients, along with those who have graduated from BDC’s partner accelerators.
Once accepted into the program, participants will have access to venture and growth capital.
The remaining $10 million of the fund will be used to support existing initiatives. The first they will work with is MaRS Investment Accelerator Fund.
MaRS is a Toronto based accelerator who aims to close the gap between what entrepreneurs need and what the government can provide. They offer ventures access to capital, market intelligence, and expert advice.
By working with BDC Capital, MaRS aims to help women by forming pre-seed and seed funding opportunities, along with developing more networks and resources.
There’s a lot of women running great start-ups, and BDC wants to acknowledge and push forward the great work that’s been done. They want to see more success for women in tech, and believe helping with their funding issues will bring them that one step forward.
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