CNW: Minister Ng announces federal venture capital investments focused on gender and diversity
Today in Montréal, the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business and Export Promotion, joined by Richard Hébert, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Small Business and Export Promotion, announced further investments under the Venture Capital Catalyst Initiative (VCCI).
The Government of Canada is committed to creating a vibrant and sustainable venture capital industry in Canada. The result will be improved access to capital for innovative early-stage companies that create well-paying middle-class jobs for Canadians from coast to coast to coast.
With a strong focus on gender balance and diversity, these VCCI investments will help promote gender parity in the industry, ensuring more firms owned by women and under-represented groups can access the capital they need to scale and grow—and strengthen the Canadian economy.
The $50-million investment will also support venture capital (VC) funds featuring new and innovative models, provide capital to under-served regions and sectors, and support emerging managers and diverse management teams. These investments will have a direct impact on our communities, help in transforming new ideas into market-ready products and services, and unlock economic opportunities for Canadians.
“Our co-creation & accelerator model with corporations leads to the development of more industry transforming start-ups that headquarter in Canada. The Government’s support will go a long way to creating a win-win-win for corporations, start-ups and investors.”– Marcus Daniels, Ben Yoskovitz, and Lauren Robinson, Highline Beta
About Venture Capital Catalyst Initiative
The government of Canada is helping Canadian small and medium-sized businesses start up, scale up and access new markets. A strong venture capital ecosystem is critical to achieving this goal and to creating middle class jobs.
Venture capital (VC) is a specialized type of private equity financing that takes educated risks on high growth-potential companies.
Venture capital is often an essential element in helping Canadian companies scale.
Canada’s VC ecosystem has grown significantly in size since 2010. In fact, in 2019, Canada saw a total of $6.2 billion of VC investment in Canadian start-ups.
Canada is now ranked third for VC investment according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The Canadian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (CVCA) attributes much of this growth to the Government of Canada’s support for VC, including through the Venture Capital Action Plan (VCAP).
To build on this success, the Government made available $450 million through the Venture Capital Catalyst Initiative (VCCI). VCCI Stream 1 invested in large funds-of-funds that will support Canadian VC fund managers, while VCCI Stream 2 invested in emerging and diverse managers, underserved regions and sectors, and alternative fund structures. VCCI Stream 3 invested in VC funds investing primarily in clean technology firms.
One of the objectives of VCCI is to improve gender balance among Canadian VC fund managers and companies. As part of their submissions, applicants under all streams were required to submit gender balance strategies demonstrating how they will enhance diversity and increase the participation of women across the VC ecosystem. All recipients will be required to report on statistics relating to the number of women fund managers and entrepreneurs supported.
VCCI will leverage private sector and other capital to inject a total of over $1.7 billion into the VC marketplace, growing Canadian companies and supporting thousands of middle class jobs.