ABOUT the project

The Restigouche CBDC is proud to present this package of tools and resources, developed for people who work as BUSINESS LOAN AGENTS within financial lending institutions.

The Restigouche CBDC has been involved in a project to explore issues and challenges relating to women’s access to business financing, titled “Improving women’s access to business financing.”


In the first phase of the project, the project team organized research activities including consultations, interviews and surveys. The materials in this package were developed based on the findings and results of this research.


In many instances, women are more likely to be turned down for financing. An Industry Canada (2015) report, for example, suggested that the rejection rate for financing was more significant for majority female owners than majority male owners. This was due to insufficient collateral, and the fact that the lending institutions judged that women are more likely to operate in unstable (i.e., risky) sectors, such as service-oriented businesses.


There were also other, more intangible, barriers identified in research, such as “inherent bias against women on the part of lending institutions.” During consultations for this project, for example, some loan agents expressed to us that the following assumptions might present barriers: “Women think differently.” “They have different values and priorities.” “They are more emotional than men.”


These assumptions could also be called “stereotypes”, taking an idea that many people might have about a group (i.e., “all women”) that may often be untrue or only partly true in a given situation, without verifying whether it actually applies to the particular individual.


Such assumptions or “stereotypes”can influence (unknowingly) the decision that you, the loan agent, might make about whether or not to approve a loan or extend a line of credit. This can result in “barriers” to access. 


The materials in this package focus on the “systemic barriers” that were identified (“Systemic barriers” are things within the system itself that represent ongoing obstacles). At the same time, this package takes into consideration (based on our discussions with collaborating loan agents) what is practical and realistic to expect loan agents to be open to receiving and to consider using, and what is within the scope of the project.

Industry Canada SME Research and Statistics. (June 2015) Determinants of Entrepreneurship in Canada: State of Knowledge. Small Business Branch. Accessed September 2015 at www.ic.gc.ca/SMEresearch

The Prime Minister’s Task Force on Women Entrepreneurs, 2003. www.womenable.com/content/userfiles/Canada_Prime_Ministers_Task_Force_Report-en.pdf


As CBDCs, we assist in the creation of small businesses and in the expansion and modernization of existing businesses by providing financial and technical services to entrepreneurs.

  • Financial assistance is available in the form of loans, loan guarantees and equity financing to existing and aspiring entrepreneurs.

  • Business counselling & advice is available to small businesses. We help businesses to succeed and therefore we give high priority to the advisory role of our mandate.

  • Entrepreneurship development and training to individuals and small business owners/managers is available in many of our offices.

  • Technical assistance usually takes the form of guidance and coaching, and sometimes advocating on behalf of our clients to other lending establishments or regulatory agencies.




  • Located throughout rural New Brunswick, the 10 CBDC offices are there to help potential and existing entrepreneurs living in rural communities access capital and other business resources.

  • We are not-for-profit organizations run by volunteers from the local business community who firmly believe in improving the economic viability of their region.

  • We are high risk niche lenders who do not compete with conventional lenders, but work with those entrepreneurs who have difficulty securing capital through traditional sources.

Visit our website for more information: www.cbdcrestigouche.ca