OTTAWA, ON- MAY.2, 2022- Founders Fund has announced their 2022 barrier free funding with their second year hosting a live (virtual) pitch competition in partnership with BDC. This is Founders Fund fourth year providing “barrier free funding” which translates to funding that does not take equity, require payback or dictate how recipients use the funds. This funding will provide much needed resources and support to woman founders, particularly in the aftermath of the pandemic and current ongoing inflation issues and global supply crisis.
The pandemic and its ripple effects have shone a light on the many challenges already facing women entrepreneurs. Women already faced less access to capital, tend to start businesses in the sectors hardest hit by the pandemic, and carry the brunt of increased domestic and caregiving responsibilities. The impact of these factors have made the widening gender equality gap in businesses even larger.
“BDC’s support will help us support a community of underserved founders that are vital to the economic recovery of the COVID-19 pandemic. This partnership comes at a crucial time of support for women in business and will have a deep impact on the founders in the Founders Fund community and beyond.” - Sheena Brady, founder of Founders Fund
BDC works with Founders Fund to help address these gaps by committing resources, education and advisement to hundreds of underrepresented founders across all industries and demographics. Founders Fund provides barrier free grant funding, mentorship and education to women entrepreneurs across the country with over $120,000 provided in funding to date.
“Women entrepreneurs have faced incredible challenges through the pandemic and their success is a critical part of our economic recovery,” says Laura Didyk, Vice President, Client Diversity, BDC. “As the bank for Canadian entrepreneurs, we are here to ensure all entrepreneurs have the capital, advice and resources they need to succeed. This includes working with partners from coast-to-coast to support their success, and we are glad to include Founders Fund in our growing roster of partners.”
Through its Women Entrepreneur Strategy, BDC provided $1.4B in financing to over 5,000 women business owners over three years. It is home to the $200M Women in Technology Venture Fund, and has more than 200 employees across the country who are designated as Women Entrepreneurs Champions to help women grow their businesses. Find out more at bdc.ca/women.
ABOUT FOUNDERS FUND
Founders Fund is a Canadian, digital community of diverse women founders, operated by Canadian wellness brand, Tease. Founders Fund members & their extended community can access mentorship, resources, and barrier-free funding opportunities for their business.
With over 50% of members identifying as women of colour, including 38% identifying as newcomer, immigrant entrepreneurs, Founders Fund has a key focus and attention on building an inclusive community supporting diverse and intersectional under-represented entrepreneurs across the country.
To date, Founders Fund has distributed over $120,000 in barrier free grant funding while supporting over 500 women-identifying entrepreneurs to gain access to mentorship and resources for their business.