Home Off the Top The Era of Women: BDC’s Diversity Recognized

The Era of Women: BDC’s Diversity Recognized


Recently, Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) was awarded the WBE Canada 2019 President’s Award in Toronto. This award recognizes individuals or organizations who have demonstrated significant contribution in supplier diversity benefiting or promoting Canadian women-owned businesses.

BDC is 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. For over 75 years BDC has been purpose driven to support entrepreneurs in all industries, at all stages of growth. BDC also has a variety of free tools, articles and stories from other entrepreneurs to help motivate and empower current and future business leaders.

As we move into a time, which can arguably be called the Era of Women, BDC remains forward thinking with how it serves entrepreneurs.

“As Canada’s bank for entrepreneurs, supporting women-owned and led businesses is a priority for us, so we are so proud to be recognized by WBE Canada for our efforts,” said Laura Didyk, vice president and national lead, Women Entrepreneurs, BDC. “We know our economy is stronger when we have more female entrepreneurs and we want to help them unleash that potential, from providing financing and advice to creating an inclusive supply chain and procurement process that increases visibility for diverse suppliers across the bank and across the country.”

In a three-year period, BDC has doubled the number of women entrepreneurs it finances. In 2018, the bank committed to lending $1.4 billion to women-led businesses by 2021. Also, in 2018, BDC tripled the size of its Women in Technology Venture Fund to $200 million, making it the world’s largest venture fund investing solely in women in tech. The bank also hosts and sponsors many events across the country and partners with like-minded organizations, like WBE Canada, to help women succeed in Canada and abroad.

Earlier in 2019 BDC launched a national supplier diversity program, with the support of WBE Canada. More than 60,000 clients and suppliers were encouraged under the program to resister for procurement opportunities with BDC. It was an opportunity for purchasing staff to learn valuable insights into the benefits of diversifying their suppliers.

“We believe that sourcing products and services from under-represented communities and diverse suppliers creates a win-win scenario for Canadian entrepreneurs, diverse suppliers and BDC,” says Maude Pariseau, director of procurement at BDC.  “Diverse suppliers and clients benefit from increased visibility on business opportunities, and BDC benefits from competitive offerings and greater innovation that allows us to deliver the best value to our clients.”

Leading by example, BDC itself purchases a wide variety of goods and services, encouraging their clients to do the same. Clients, certified diverse suppliers, and B-Corp certified organizations can find more information by registering with BDC at bdc.ca/supplier.

BDC is proud to be named one of Canada’s Best Diversity Employers annually since 2012. As society moves deeper into the Era of Women, BDC will lead the way by promoting diversity and women business leaders through its programs, well into the future.