BDC rolls out C$500m fund to back Canadian women-led businesses

Thrive is set to be the largest investment platform of its kind in the world.

  • The Thrive platform will invest in women-led and focused funds or women-led businesses in the earliest stages of development
  • BDC’s Women in Technology Venture Fund has to date made 38 investments in women-led businesses

BDC Capital has launched its C$500 million Thrive Venture Fund and Lab for Women, an investment platform that will support the growth of Canadian women-led businesses.
It builds on BDC’s Women in Technology Venture Fund, launched in 2017.

Thrive is set to be the largest investment platform of its kind in the world, investing in women-led and focused funds or women-led businesses in the earliest stages of development. It consists of a C$300 million direct investment fund, a C$100 million lab and a C$100 million indirect investment envelope.

“Today, with the launch of the Thrive platform, BDC is once again taking a bold initiative that demonstrates the enormous potential of women-led businesses for investors in Canada and worldwide,” said Isabelle Hudon, a president and CEO of BDC, in a statement. “This investment is intended to unlock the promise of Canadian women entrepreneurs, providing them with greater opportunities and ultimately, a better shot at success on the global stage. We believe that tapping into the incredible potential of these women can become a significant driver of economic prosperity for the country.”

BDC’s Women in Technology Venture Fund has to date made 38 investments in women-led businesses, already exiting eight of them successfully.

“Over the last five years, we have invested in some incredible women-led companies in Canada, which are changing their respective industries,” said Michelle Scarborough, WIT and Thrive Venture Funds’ Managing Partner. “While we know there’s much more work that needs to be done to remove systemic biases in the industry, we believe we’re heading in the right direction. We’re already seeing enormous opportunity in the market and there’s never been a better time to invest in disruptive companies led by women.”

BDC Capital, an affiliate of BDC, offers a wide range of risk capital solutions to Canadian entrepreneurs.