Caisse de Depot et Placement du Quebec is launching a $250 million (US$190 million) fund to invest in small and medium-sized businesses in Canada that have diverse executives and owners.
To be eligible, companies must promise that at least 25 per cent of their boards, management teams and shareholders will be comprised of people of diverse backgrounds -- including women, visible minorities and indigenous people -- in the five years following the investment, Caisse said in a statement.
“It has been clearly established that greater corporate diversity positively impacts innovation, risk management, productivity and financial performance,” Kim Thomassin, head of investments in Quebec and stewardship investing, said in the statement.
Caisse, Canada’s second-largest pension manager, said it will offer companies guidance to implementing a customized diversity and inclusion plan. The new fund will offer investments from $5 million to $30 million and is targeting profitable SMEs and technology companies based in Canada.
“In addition to their commitments to diversity, mid-market companies will need to show strong growth combined with a history of profitability. Tech companies will need to demonstrate strong growth in sales, solid recurring revenue and a competitive technological offering,” Caisse said.