Today, Telus announced the launch of its new Telus Pollinator Fund for Good, a $100 million social impact investment fund created to power the biggest, boldest, bravest ideas in new responsible and sustainable startup businesses. The fund will invest in entrepreneurs building solutions aimed at improving healthcare, furthering social and economic inclusion, ensuring sustainable food production, and reducing our environmental footprint.

“The Pollinator Fund for Good represents the progression of Telus’ social capitalism thesis, as we invest in entrepreneurs and prescient business models that share our belief that to do well as an organisation, we must do good in the communities where we live, work, and serve,” said Darren Entwistle, President and CEO, Telus. “This $100 million investment will accelerate potent, scalable and socially responsible products and services coming to market, helping to answer some of the most pressing social challenges facing our world, including socio-economic inclusiveness.
As one of the largest corporate impact funds globally, our Telus Pollinator portfolio will improve health, environmental and food sustainability outcomes by investing in our next generation of innovators, leveraging transformative digital technologies, to advance Telus’ promise of a friendly future for all.”

The Telus Pollinator Fund for Good investments will focus on the following four areas:

  • Digital solutions that make safe and quality physical and mental healthcare accessible and efficient for all Canadians.
  • Startups building solutions to further social and economic inclusion and ensuring everyone has an opportunity to reach their full potential.
  • Companies providing innovative technology-first solutions that empower the agriculture industry to improve Canada’s food systems.
  • Companies and entrepreneurs building solutions to better the planet and reduce our environmental footprints.

An advisory board of entrepreneurs, investors and thought leaders with expertise across the impact areas is being formed to advise on strategy, markets, and deal sourcing. Early-stage companies receiving investment will benefit from the insights and expertise from Telus’ depth and breadth of resources, including the Telus Friendly Future Foundation, Telus’ Community Boards, Telus Health, Sustainability, and Telus Ventures with its broad-reaching network within the venture capital space, to drive meaningful social impact in Canada.

“As a leading corporation in the world, we have an accountability to invest in new responsible businesses to ensure their success and impact,” said Jill Schnarr, Chief Social Innovation Officer. “At Telus, we boldly believe profit and purpose are mutually inclusive and we’re doing our part to support purpose-driven businesses that are addressing the needs of our communities today, as well as those we expect to be significant drivers of our economy for years to come.”

Among the first three cornerstone investments is Windmill Microlending which offers microloans and individualized learning plans to help skilled immigrants and refugees continue their careers in Canada.

Rhiza Capital, a Sunshine Coast-based impact investment fund that invests in B.C.-based companies that drive both social and economic impact within the regions that they serve, will also benefit from the Telus fund.

The third recipient is Tidal Vision, a US based company that has developed a proprietary process for upcycling crustacean shells to develop a non-toxic, zero waste biopolymer that has applications across many industries, including textiles, agriculture, and wastewater treatment.

“As a global leader in social capitalism, we believe that responsible business means purpose and profit go hand-in-hand. The investments made by the Telus Pollinator Fund for Good aren’t restricted to Canadian-based companies driving social innovation; it’s open to entrepreneurs worldwide looking to scale and grow their impact in Canada,” said Blair Miller, Managing Partner. “We look forward to working with our partners and advisors to identify and support purpose-driven companies doing good around the world.”

The new Telus Pollinator Fund for Good is an extension of Telus’ continued commitment
to lead the charge in social capitalism through new investments in socially innovative and
responsible products to drive financial return and economic growth while providing portfolio
companies with the expertise and support from a world-leading communications and information
technology company.

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