The Provincial Government has announced the launch of a $500-million strategic investment fund to help position the province for a stronger post-pandemic economy.

B.C. said the government has introduced legislation to support the operations of InBC Investment Corp., which will provide strategic investments to B.C.-based businesses.

According to the Province, InBC will focus on driving innovation, sustainability and inclusiveness into the B.C. economy. The new initiative will focus on attracting investment, creating family-supporting jobs and diversifying the economy.

“By investing in people and businesses, InBC will support startups, help promising companies scale up and attract world-class talent to B.C. This new strategic investment fund is one of the tools we are using to build the foundation for a strong recovery and a bright future,” said Premier John Horgan. “The funds will be used to grow the economy and create jobs that will support British Columbians in all regions of the province.”

InBC will invest in high-growth potential businesses across the province and will leverage funds from the private and public sectors to help these businesses grow.

The province said InBC will have a “triple bottom line” approach, which will aim to do the following:

  • Establish B.C. as a globally competitive low-carbon jurisdiction.
  • Promote values that make life better for people in B.C., including job creation, advancing reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, promoting diversity and inclusion.
  • Achieve a financial return on investment.

“As we deal with the challenges of COVID-19, we must lay the foundation for a strong and vibrant economic recovery,” said Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation. “The global economy is undergoing rapid changes, and InBC will position our province for the long term. Helping fulfill our goals of growing innovation, attracting investment and creating jobs, this strategic investment fund will ensure B.C. remains competitive as we invest in our low-carbon future.”

According to the B.C. Government, InBC will work independently, with investment decisions made by a chief investment officer and a team of investment professionals.

The investment officer will in turn be held accountable to a nine-member board of directors, most of whom will be from the private sector.

The Province expects the board to be in place by May, with a chief investment officer expected to be in the position by the fall.

“This is a bold and important initiative that will not only make venture capital more accessible to small and medium-sized businesses in British Columbia, it will help drive the innovation needed to generate a cleaner, more sustainable economy,” said Wal van Lierop, executive chairman and founding partner, Chrysalix Venture Capital.