EDC says increasing access to capital will help address some of the chronic liquidity shortfalls faced by these businessesClick image to enlargeExport Development Canada (EDC) has committed $200 million in equity support and set new 2023 targets to help create more opportunities for women, Indigenous and minority owned and led export businesses by addressing one of their main barriers to growth.

EDC’s Inclusive Trade Investments Program seeks provide equity capital to Canadian exporting businesses owned or led by women, Indigenous Peoples, Black Canadians, people of colour, members of the LGBTQ2+ community and those with mixed abilities. As an extension to EDC’s original Women in Trade Investments Program (WITIP), the expanded commitment has doubled its support and extends it to a more diverse and underrepresented demographic.

2023 Women in Trade targets:

  • Increase to 2,000 customers served, from 1,052 in 2020
  • Increase to $6 billion in trade facilitated, from $2.83 billion in 2020

2023 Indigenous Business targets:

  • Increase to 400 customers served, from 77 in 2020
  • Increase to $650 million in trade facilitated, from $119.3 million in 2020

“The scope of our support has progressed from its initial focus on women, to now include Indigenous owned and led businesses, and we’re firmly committed to continually evolving our approach to reach even more diverse Canadian business owners,” said EDC’s Director of Inclusive Trade Jennifer Cooke. “The goal of our inclusive trade strategy – and this program at its centre – is to work towards improved access to EDC financial and knowledge solutions, so all Canadian export businesses can realize their international growth potential.”

EDC says increasing access to capital will help address some of the chronic liquidity shortfalls faced by these businesses, while providing funds to help Canada pursue its export objectives.

“We believe it’s more important than ever to increase our support for diverse-owned and -led businesses to help level the playing field by improving access to capital,” said EDC’s President and CEO Mairead Lavery.  “Not only have these businesses been disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, but they have faced - and continue to face - systemic discrimination and unjust hurdles in society and business. This has reinforced our need to double-down and accelerate our support to these important contributors to the Canadian economy and our communities.”

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