Business Development Bank of Canada
|Crown corporation, financial services|
|Industry||Financial services, consulting, venture capital|
|Founded||Montreal, Quebec, Canada, 1944|
|Michael Denham (President and CEO), Samuel L. Duboc (Chairman)|
|Total assets||$21.1 billion (F2015)|
Number of employees
The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) (French: Banque de Développement du Canada) is a federal Crown corporation wholly owned by the Government of Canada. Its mandate is to help create and develop Canadian businesses through financing, growth and transition capital, venture capital and consulting services, with a focus on small and medium-sized enterprises.
The bank was established by an Act of Parliament as the Industrial Development Bank (IDB) in September 1944. IDB was initially an arm of the Bank of Canada, and the Governor of the Bank was also Chief Executive Officer of the IDB. During its first years, the bank’s main role was to help small “industrial enterprises” convert from military production to peace-time operations after the Second World War.
IDB was one of the first and largest development banks in the world.
The Industrial Development Bank Act was first amended in 1952 to allow the bank to offer financing to companies in the commercial airlines industry. By the mid-1950s, one out of every 10 planes in Canada was financed by IDB. Later, IDB’s Act was amended two more times to allow the bank to lend to companies in almost all industries.
By 1964, twenty years after its foundation, IDB had 22 branches across Canada, covering main cities such as Halifax, Montreal, Toronto, Winnipeg, Calgary and Vancouver and also had operations in relatively rural areas. In the mid-1970s, the bank added consulting and training to its financial offerings to help entrepreneurs better manage their businesses.
In 1975, the name of the bank changed to Federal Business Development Bank (FBDB) and its venture capital operations were started. At the time, the bank was known as “a lender of last resort”—supporting businesses in difficulty.
In 1995, Parliament passed the Business Development Bank of Canada Act, leading to a new name and mission for the bank. The Act mandates BDC to promote entrepreneurship, with a special focus on the needs of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and to fill the market gaps and maximize financing alternatives for businesses by offering services that were complementary to those available from other financial institutions.
BDC is financially self-sustaining. Since 1998, it has been profitable and paid a total of $417 million in dividends to its sole shareholder, the Government of Canada. Every ten years, the Minister of Industry must conduct a review of the provisions and operations of the BDC Act. The last legislative review was completed in December 2014.
BDC offers loans and consulting services with a focus on small and medium-sized companies. It reports to Parliament through the Minister of Industry.
BDC Capital, a subsidiary of BDC, offers specialized financing, including venture capital, equity as well as growth and business transition capital.
BDC's Venture Capital arm makes strategic investments in Canadian companies through its Energy/Cleantech Fund, Healthcare Fund and IT Fund. Notable investments include Q1 Labs, Radian6, Canopy Labs, D-Wave Systems, and Klipfolio Dashboard.
BDC is a complementary lender, offering commercial loans and investments that fill out or complete services available from private-sector financial institutions. It also provides advice to businesses through its consulting division.
Current members of the Board are: Samuel L. Duboc (Chairman), Michael Denham (President and Chief Executive Officer), Eric Boyko, Michael Calyniuk, Edward (Ted) Gordon, Shahir Guindi, Brian Hayward, Nancy Laird, Claude Mc Master, Prashant Pathak, Robert Pitfield, Marie-Alice Vuicic and Rosemary Zigrossi.
Events and competitions organized by BDC
Small Business Week (SBW) is an annual celebration of entrepreneurs and their contribution to Canadian society. A wide range of activities is held across the country during the third week of October. Small Business week was launched by BDC in 1979 and became a nationwide event in 1981.
The BDC Young Entrepreneur Award is a competition open to young Canadian entrepreneurs aged 18 to 35 that BDC has organized since 1988. In 2012, for the first time, a young entrepreneur was awarded a top prize of $100,000 to implement an innovation project in their business.
E-Spirit is a national Aboriginal youth business plan competition sponsored by BDC. The goal of E-Spirit is to encourage Aboriginal youth in grades 10 to 12 to learn about entrepreneurship through the use of the Internet.
BDC has been named one of Canada’s Top 100 employers every year since 2007.
In 2011, BDC Venture Capital won the CVCA “Deal of the Year Award” for the venture capital category, along with Brightspark Ventures and Summerhill Venture Partners, for its investment in Radian6 Technologies Inc.
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- Official website. http://www.bdc.ca/EN/solutions/venture_capital/strategic_approach/Pages/energy_cleantech_venture_fund.aspx. Retrieved 2014-06-05
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- Official website. Retrieved 2012-05-04 http://www.bdc.ca/EN/i_am/aboriginal_entrepreneur/bdc_initiatives/Pages/bdc_initiative_espirit.aspx
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- Canada’s Venture Capital & Private Equity Association. http://www.cvca.ca/files/News/CVCA_2011_DOYA_VC_Release_FINAL.pdf