How To Fund Women-Owned Businesses | Francoise Lyon


DGC Capital

Ep. 202 - Francoise Lyon knows the true meaning of pivoting from the corporate world and within her business. She shares her pivoting journey and how she is shaking up the status quo in the venture capital world to make an impact. Francoise Lyon is the president and managing partner of DGC Capital, a private equity & VC advisory firm based in Montreal. They focus on investing in entrepreneurial players from a diverse number of industries, looking to positively impact society. She had a 30-year career as a wealth manager before pivoting to impactful venture capital right before the pandemic. Listen in to learn how you can pivot your original business idea and pursue the business you feel is best serving you and making an impact. You will also learn the importance of having an authentic, sincere, and trustworthy advisory board to help you grow your new business.

Key Takeaways:

  • Set aside adequate money for capital and expenses to last up to 2 years when starting a business
  • Build a solid advisory board of people you trust when starting a business to help you grow
  • Ensure you are physically and mentally healthy to achieve success as a new business owner
  • The importance of listening to your gut feeling and going with it in most of your decisions
  • How to be authentic to your values and align yourself with people with the same values to succeed
  • Learn to embrace mistakes as part of your growth journey and not view them as failure

"Be authentic in who you are, and what you do. If you're able to figure out what is important to you from a value point of view, make sure you align yourself with people, who have a similar construct to you in terms of value." - Francoise Lyon

In this episode you’ll discover:

Francoise on why she left her career in wealth management and chose to reinvent the VC world [1:08]

How she mentors, sponsors, and invests in women-owned service businesses as a VC [2:44]

Three key items to consider if you’re thinking of quitting your job and starting a business [4:20]

How she organized her life to successfully survive as a new business owner during the pandemic [6:16]

Why she took that leap of faith and started a business to impact herself and people in the society [7:50]

Why she pivoted away from the traditional construct of a VC fund to pursue profit with purpose [10:31]

She explains why she’s utilizing external and non-physical teams to first grow the business [15:18]

She shares three things she believes are crucial to keep in mind when starting a business [18:20]

Francoise on how the flexibility and freedom that comes with being an entrepreneur excites her [20:53]

She shares some golden tips and advice for aspiring women entrepreneurs [24:37]


Francoise Lyon is President & Managing Partner of DGC Capital, a boutique advisory firm based in Montreal focusing on supporting & advising innovative tech founders, growth projects, family offices, and VC & PE funds looking to positively impact society.

Over the past 25 years, Françoise has held several senior executive positions within the investment and wealth management industry in Canada and has served on several Boards as a trustee or administrator. With a natural affinity for building long-term relationships and facilitating consensus among different stakeholders, Françoise has extensive experience in helping companies, funds & families in business in setting & delivering their strategic initiatives and achieving their goals.


Françoise is Chair of the Board of Trustees of the National Gallery of Canada, the President of the Financial Women’s Association of Quebec, and President of IWF Canada.

She also sits on the board of start-up Bopper Music and is a founding partner of the tech start-up-focused Markers Fund.

She’s the Founder of the philanthropic circle of giving – the Women’s Circle of Influence (WCI) – at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.


She’s an HEC Montréal and McGill University graduate with degrees in Business & Public Relations Management. She has completed numerous finance industry specialization courses and regulatory training. Françoise is fluent in French, English & Spanish, and holds dual citizenship with Canada and Great Britain. She has lived, worked, studied, and traveled extensively to more than 50 countries.


In 2013, Françoise was awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for her extensive work with women & wealth over the years. In 2015, she was identified as one of the top 8 women in Finance in Quebec by the Magazine Premières en Affaires.

In September 2018 she was identified by the magazine Entreprendre as one of the Top 100 women leaders in Quebec to watch.


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