Isabelle Hudon, the Woman Behind the Excelles Project
Middle had the chance to attend C2 Montreal and assist its numerous and very captivating conferences. Among the speakers, we found it particularly interesting to listen to Isabelle Hudon, President of the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC).
The Career of an Inspiring Woman
Isabelle Hudon began her inspiring career in politics, which led to her appointment as Canada’s ambassador to France in 2017. She was the first woman to hold this position. Particularly resonant with her current job, as she is also the first woman to lead the Business Development Bank of Canada. If that prefix of “first” is tagged to her name, it doesn’t bother her too much. She believes in the ability of women to replicate what they see, so if there is a “first” woman in a field, it suggests that others will follow in her footsteps. A woman of heart and spirit, the President of the BDC is leading the way for women in sectors where, unfortunately, they are sometimes underrepresented. Willing, ambitious and impatient, which she describes as her greatest qualities for making things happen, Isabelle Hudon will emphasize several times during the C2 conferences that diversity is a richness that opens up the world.
Isabelle Hudon, the BDC’s Renewal
When she joined the BDC in July 2021, Ms. Hudon led a social mission with herself. As she says, women don’t do things better or worse than men, they just do things differently. And a female vision at the head of an institution like the BDC is already bringing a wind of change! When she took the position, one of the main missions she entrusted to herself and her teams was to emphasize the D for Development in BDC. Beyond the Bank, the BDC teams under Isabelle Hudon’s leadership want to support and encourage development. Development of new businesses, but also of new investment funds that will allow those who are underrepresented in entrepreneurship to take their place and open the way for others. Promoting, encouraging and supporting women entrepreneurs is one of BDC’s missions.
The Excelles Program, or How to Develop Female Entrepreneurship
The Excelles program was announced in late September 2022 and is also a first. A $500 million investment program reserved for women in technology, it is the first program in the world to invest such a large sum in women entrepreneurs. And we’re excited about it. While the world of entrepreneurship is slowly opening up to diversity, women still face more obstacles than their male counterparts. This is why this unique investment fund, dedicated to women entrepreneurs, is great news for women who want to start their own business, but also for entrepreneurship itself. While gender equality in the world of entrepreneurship, and in the world at large, may not be here yet, projects like BDC’s are bringing us one step closer to that goal.
At Middle we particularly welcome this initiative and this program dedicated to women, because, as you may know, our team is, for the moment, entirely made up of women. As said before, women do not do better or worse, just differently, and we are proud of this difference. Would you like to discover what an all-female team can do for you? Book an exploratory meeting with us!
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