RADIUS SFU partners with BDC to fund social entrepreneurship

June 3, 2015
Simon Fraser University
University Communications
778.782.3210    www.sfu.ca/university-communications.html
Donovan Woollard, SFU RADIUS, 604.720.4223, dwoollard@radiussfu.com
Maria Constantinescu, BDC, (514) 496-7146, maria.constantinescu@bdc.ca
Ross MacDonald-Allan, SFU Beedie, 778.782.9492, rossm@sfu.ca
RADIUS SFU partners with BDC to fund social entrepreneurship
Entrepreneurs whose business ventures are designed to positively transform society will get a financial boost at Simon Fraser University thanks to a new partnership between the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and SFU’s RADIUS Ventures.
BDC, Canada’s only financial institution dedicated exclusively to entrepreneurs, has launched a new lending initiative for social and environmental projects, using British Columbia as the pilot region.  As part of this pilot, BDC will donate a portion of every loan fee to RADIUS as the ecosystem partner that supports social entrepreneurship. This is the basis for BDC’s commitment to provide RADIUS Ventures – a branch of RADIUS that finds and amplifies top emerging social ventures – with $50,000 in financing for the next fiscal year.
RADIUS Ventures will use the funds to support its Slingshot venture accelerator program. The six-month program is focused on growth stage impact ventures, helping them to become market and investment ready.
“BDC has taken a leadership position in recognizing the growth potential of Canada’s impact venture space, and is the first financial institution in Canada to achieve B Corp certification as a responsible business,” says Donovan Woollard, Director of RADIUS Ventures.  “We look forward to working with BDC in the coming years to develop, grow, and fund the entrepreneurs that can shape our world for the better.”
The new partnership will also see BDC and RADIUS collaborate on a series of workshops for growth-ready ventures within the RADIUS community, covering topics such as globalization; strategy and growth management; IT infrastructure; B Corp certification; and financing.
“With RADIUS Ventures, BDC hopes to find more entrepreneurs whose ventures aim to create a benefit for society.” says Craig Ryan, Director of Corporate Social Responsibility at BDC.
As Canada’s engaged university, SFU is defined by its dynamic integration of innovative education, cutting-edge research and far-reaching community engagement.  SFU was founded almost 50 years ago with a mission to be a different kind of university—to bring an interdisciplinary approach to learning, embrace bold initiatives, and engage with communities near and far. Today, SFU is a leader amongst Canada’s comprehensive research universities and is ranked one of the top universities in the world under 50 years of age. With campuses in British Columbia’s three largest cities—Vancouver, Surrey and Burnaby—SFU has eight faculties, delivers almost 150 programs to over 30,000 students, and boasts more than 130,000 alumni in 130 countries around the world.