2015 Employer Excellence Award Recipient

Congratulations to the Business Development Bank of Canada!


The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) is a different kind of bank, and it’s committed to having a different kind of workforce.

BDC is the only financial institution in Canada dedicated exclusively to entrepreneurs. Its mission is to help create and develop strong Canadian businesses through financing, consulting services and securitization, with a focus on small and medium-sized enterprises.

Canadian businesses are as diverse as the people who run them. It’s important for BDC to create a workforce that is representative of the diverse client base it serves.

BDC recognized there was an untapped labour pool of experienced international commercial lenders, so it reached out to community agencies in target markets in Ontario who provide bridging programs to finance professionals. In Ottawa, the local BDC Business Centre worked with Hire Immigrants Ottawa and World Skills.

BDC staff work as volunteer mentors and coaches to support foreign-trained professionals, while an internal Champion with the Ottawa Business Centre takes the lead to coach other BDC employees who work with new Canadians.

The bank has developed an extensive onboarding process to ensure new Canadians make a successful transition to its team, with coaching and six months of in-class and on-the-job training. It also provides continuing personal development opportunities to all its staff, and flex days throughout the year to respect diverse cultural and religious observances.

Since 2010, BDC has hired 28 new Canadians via partnerships with bridging programs across Ontario. Over the past year, the Ottawa Business Centre has offered two six-month paid Commercial Lending internships, which resulted in one full-time permanent hire and one internship extension.

BDC_Logo_CMYK “The candidates we have hired have demonstrated passion, tenacity and teamwork as they strive to be successful, and they have exhibited a strong bond of loyalty to BDC, as we were able to give them their first employment opportunity in Canada,” said Stephen Bald, Vice-President Financing & Consulting, GTA North, BDC.

While this has been a “win-win” for these new Canadians and BDC, there has been a clear third win for BDC clients, many of whom are new Canadians and appreciate working with BDC staff who can relate to their experiences.

“The diversity that immigrant employees contribute to BDC only serves to enhance our clients’ experience,” said Susan Rohac, Senior Vice-President, Financing & Consulting Ontario Region, for BDC. “The sharing of life and work experiences amongst employees enhances the cultural diversity of BDC. Connecting with the immigrant workforce, is not ‘a feel good activity,’ it is a business imperative.”


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