Manitoba Liberal leader Dougald Lamont announced Thursday he would create a publicly-owned Manitoba Business Development Bank (MBDB) as part of his partiy’s economic growth strategy, if elected.

Lamont said businesses and entrepreneurs in the province have trouble accessing capital, and the MDBD would help them.

“A Manitoba Business Development Bank is one of the simplest and most powerful ways we can take our economy to a new level,” said Lamont.

“Manitoba has incredibly talented inventors, innovators and entrepreneurs, and the MBDB is the key to unlocking their full potential.”

Lamont said the new bank would:

  • Provide investments in growth-focused Manitoba businesses, including start-ups, scale-ups, co-ops, social enterprise, and farming
  • Include microfinance ($2,000-$5,000) up to larger investments in the $10-million range
  • Provide equity investments as “patient money” over a 10-15 year time horizon, to encourage true innovation
  • Be politically independent
  • Be province-wide and available to entrepreneurs whether they are in Winnipeg, rural or northern Manitoba, or on a First Nation

Lamont said the start-up cost would be $78M in the first year, and the goal in the medium term would be that the MDBD would be self-financed from return on investment.

He said if the business is successful, the bank gets paid in dividends or can sell the shares at a profit so the public gets a direct return on their investment.


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