The investment arm of the Quebec government is committing in its 2022–23 strategic plan to having women-led businesses represent 18 per cent of its portfolio. The pledge is part of a global initiative called Beyond the Billion, through which investors commit to increasing the proportion of dollars they invest in women entrepreneurs. Montreal-based fund-of-funds Teralys Capital has also joined the pledge. (The Logic)
Talking point: Investissement Québec and Teralys are the first Canadian investors in the country to directly support the initiative; 19 Canadian funds have supported the original program launched in 2018 to pledge US$1 billion in women-led companies. Participants agree to set informal targets for gender diversity in their portfolios. Those targets aren’t binding, but Kamal Hassan, founding partner at Loyal VC—an early-stage VC fund that, along with Cycle Capital Management, is leading the initiative’s effort in Canada—told The Logic there may be a point where the organization holds funds accountable for their pledges. “Right now, we’re trying to make it inclusive and get as many people talking about this as possible,” he said. Andrée-Lise Méthot, founder and managing partner of Cycle Capital, said large investors participating in the program sends a signal to smaller funds and VCs that they need to start considering gender representation if they want support from or to co-invest with institutional investors.