Abdullah Snobar and Cathy Bennett join Business Development Bank of Canada board


Snobar, executive director of Ryerson University’s DMZ, and Bennett, former Newfoundland finance minister, are joining BDC’s 13-person board. Suzanne Trottier, capacity director with the First Nations Financial Management Board (FMB), is also joining. (The Logic)

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Talking point: Each of the three new directors have experience in areas the bank is increasingly focusing on. Bennett is a board member of SheEO, an accelerator and network promoting funding in women-led companies; in July, BDC CEO Michael Denham said his bank’s $200-million fund for women entrepreneurs is a priority. Snobar runs one of Canada’s largest accelerators, which has a founder-first mandate and spends a lot of time trying to remove pain points for accelerators. BDC is investing in technology that helps entrepreneurs get loans approved quicker; in some cases, $750,000 loans can be approved in 30 minutes. The bank is also stepping up efforts for Indigenous entrepreneurs. It currently has $350 million committed to clients in its Indigenous banking section, but is looking to significantly increase that with a new $100-million Indigenous Growth Fund. Trottier’s experience may come in handy during the expansion. Her team at FMB works with more than 200 First Nations governments on financial management.