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Meet Siobhan McManus: the Women’s Entrepreneur and Client Diversity Champion at BDC

Siobhan McManus

Siobhan joined the Business Development Bank of Canada (also known as BDC), the only Bank devoted exclusively to entrepreneurs, 5 years ago, after working with a large commercial chartered bank, and spending time in healthcare philanthropy. She leverages her expertise to journey alongside entrepreneurs throughout all stages of the business cycle. She has worked across a diverse spectrum of industries and with businesses of all sizes, as a partner, to help them access the financing and advice they need to succeed. She is proud to support entrepreneurs through her leadership as a Client Diversity Champion, and B Corp (Beneficial Corporation) Champion. Supporting BDC’s national Client Diversity and Inclusion strategy, Siobhan works closely with Women Entrepreneurs to equip them with the resources and the tools they need to thrive, understanding the unique challenges they face, and the incredible strengths they possess.


My first job ever was…. I founded and operated a small commercial office cleaning business when I was a teenager. 

The best part of my role at BDC is… Seeing our clients succeed and being a partner in that success. Our mandate is impact, and we have incredible resources to help our clients reach their potential.

My proudest accomplishment is… A career path with positive impact, fundraising millions of dollars as a volunteer and professional, cycling across Canada in 2010, and running as a semi-elite athlete in the 2018 Tokyo Marathon.

I surprise people when I tell them… I don’t like bacon. 

My best advice from a mentor was… Run your race; this applies to all areas of life!

My best advice to women entrepreneurs is… Understand your finances and ask for help. Everyone wants to support your success!

The best lesson I’ve learned from women entrepreneurs is… Balancing risk and reward. 

My biggest setback was… Not making a career move sooner.

I overcame it by…Being more courageous, taking more risks, and always putting my hand up and name forward for opportunities to grow and help others!

The one piece of advice I give that I have trouble following myself is… Slowing down to enjoy the moment.

If I had an extra hour in the day, I would… Read, more.

If you googled me, you still wouldn’t know… I love to travel! Seeing new places and experiencing new cultures is a privilege that I am fortunate to experience.

My advice for aspiring entrepreneurs is… Ask for help. You cannot know everything and there is no need to re-invent the wheel; you’ll be surprised to find that your challenges are not unique, and there are lots of great solutions!

I stay inspired by… Being witness to the incredible resiliency of entrepreneurs.

The future excites me because… Consumers are increasingly voting with their dollars and want to support diverse, innovative and ethical companies. I’m excited to see this new appetite foster diversity, inclusion, and ethical commerce!

My next step is… To continue to support entrepreneurs with BDC’s diversity and inclusion mandate so that our Canadian economy is truly reflective of the diverse and rich fabric of our Country.