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Province creates $500 million fund to help B.C. businesses

Premier John Horgan. Province of B.C. photo

A new $500-million fund will provide B.C.-based businesses with capital as the province moves into a post-pandemic economy.

The B.C. government has introduced legislation to support the operations of InBC Investment Corp. (InBC), which was developed in consultation with the business and investment sectors. InBC will focus on driving innovation, sustainability and inclusiveness into B.C.’s economy.

“By investing in people and businesses, InBC will support startups, help promising companies scale up and attract world-class talent to B.C.,” said Premier John Horgan in a news release. “This new strategic investment fund is one of the tools we are using to build the foundation for a strong recovery and a bright future. The funds will be used to grow the economy and create jobs that will support British Columbians in all regions of the province.”

InBC will invest in high-growth potential businesses in British Columbia and leverage investments from the private and public sectors to help businesses grow. InBC will have a “triple bottom line” investment mandate, aiming to:

  • establish B.C. as a globally competitive low-carbon jurisdiction;
  • promote values that make life better for people in B.C., including job creation, advancing reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, promoting diversity and inclusion; and
  • achieve a financial return on investment.

InBC will operate independently from government, with investment decisions made by a chief investment officer and a team of investment professionals. The chief investment officer will be held accountable by a nine-member board of directors, the majority of whom will be from the private sector. The full board is expected to be in place in May 2021. The chief investment officer is expected to be in place by fall 2021.

“This is a bold and important initiative that will not only make venture capital more accessible to small and medium-sized businesses in British Columbia, it will help drive the innovation needed to generate a cleaner, more sustainable economy,” said Wal van Lierop, executive chairman and founding partner, Chrysalix Venture Capital.

The fund is a major initiative under StrongerBC: BC’s Economic Recovery Plan and under Budget 2021.

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