Each new year provides a fresh start and an opportunity to evaluate and set intentions. In my new role as CEO of InBC, a $500M strategic investment fund, I am leaning into the possibilities that lie ahead by outlining my intentions for 2022.
We are in a time of significant change and uncertainty, with the impacts of climate change being more evident every day, the ongoing global pandemic and exposure of inequalities and vulnerabilities.
In our province of British Columbia, we have seen the direct impacts of climate change through extreme temperatures, excessive flooding, forest fires and multiple severe winter storms. Events that used to happen once per decade are now happening in each season. Add in the global pandemic, and the increased pressure on the economy and people (especially those who are marginalized as well as essential workers, parents, and small business owners), and the consequences are significant.
Yet, we are also in a period of advanced innovation and recognition of the positive possibilities that new models and reframed ways of thinking can realize.
Our entrepreneurial ecosystem is vibrant. BC companies raised a record setting $9.2B in financing in 2021 (Source: T-Net), and we are seeing an increase in both the number of companies being started, and those growing, in multiple sectors and regions of the province. Diversity of entrepreneurs is also increasing. For example, in 2020 39% of entrepreneurs in BC identified as women and 11.4% Identified as Indigenous (Source: Small Business Profile 2021), which is above the national average. The ecosystem is responding with initiatives that recognize and value broader diversity such as Raven Capital, Black Innovation Capital and the Indigenous Growth Fund. These new models incorporate broader yet integrated thinking. InBC has been designed with this in mind and has outlined a triple bottom line investment mandate aiming to:
- achieve a financial return on investment;
- promote values that make life better for people in B.C. including job creation, advancing reconciliation with Indigenous people, and promoting diversity and inclusion;
- establish B.C. as a globally competitive low-carbon jurisdiction.
Working alongside the private sector, InBC is committed to supporting the growth of BC companies, with a focus on those companies addressing the pressing needs of our time.
Mariana Mazzucato, Economist and Author of “The Mission Economy” says ”History tells us that innovation is an outcome of a massive collective effort”.
InBC represents an opportunity for catalyzing a massive collective effort to drive economic growth across our province. From companies driving innovation at each step along the growth continuum and across all sectors, to service and capital providers, to governments and citizens at all levels. We need all players in the ecosystem working together to design a fresh, inclusive and problem-oriented approach.
To make this happen, I am setting my 2022 intentions as follows:
- Build a highly skilled, values-based team using an inclusive hiring approach.
- Support the CIO to begin deployment of capital upon the finalization of an Investment Policy that addresses financial return with multiple intersectionalities including:
o Asset classes
o Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
- Craft an aspirational strategic plan with a long-term outlook generating financial and social returns for all British Columbians.
- Engage actively with the ecosystem to develop opportunities for collaboration.
- Provide updates to our stakeholders through regular communications and reports.
This is a start as intentions are about shifting mindset and taking action to have long lasting sustainable change. I know the path ahead will have challenges to navigate. However, I believe through collaboration, courage, and transparency guided by strong intentions, innovative thinking and a collective effort, we can achieve positive impact for all British Columbians.
I invite you to join us on this journey. Stay in touch by receiving our regular updates here