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2004 Call for Nominations for the Rotman Canadian Woman Entrepreneur of the Year Awards  

The University of Toronto's Joseph L. Rotman School of Management and BMO Financial Group are pleased to announce the Call for Nominations for the 2004 Rotman Canadian Woman Entrepreneur of the Year Awards. The deadline for nominations is May 21, 2004.

To nominate an entrepreneur, please visit or call 416-946-7462/1-866-884-8830 for more information.

Candidates for these Awards must own a profitable business registered and operating in Canada for three full years as of May 31, 2004 (not a franchise), earn their primary income from the business, and be responsible for its day-to-day management. Ownership is defined as having been a founder of the business and owning or controlling the majority of the voting shares.

Co-founded by the Rotman School and BMO Financial Group in 1992, this unique recognition program has grown into an exciting national tribute to Canada's most outstanding women entrepreneurs. To date, more than 4,000 women have been nominated and 71 Awards have been presented for outstanding entrepreneurial achievement in the areas of Start-Up, Innovation, Impact on Local Economy, Export and Lifetime Achievement.

For several winners, this Award has been a stepping-stone to greater heights. Some have attained prominent board positions and recognition by other programs, including Canada's Top 40 Under 40, placement on the PROFIT Top 100 Women Business Owners list and the Order of Canada.

Past Award winners include Doreen Braverman of The Flag Shop in Vancouver (BC); Doris Tan of International Beauty Services in Edmonton (AB); Bonnie Struthers of Normont Industrial Hardware Canada Ltd. in Montréal (QC); Gloria Parsons of Chancellor Park Inc. in St. John's (NL); and Linda Knight of CarePartners Inc. in Belgrave (ON).

The growth and contribution that women entrepreneurs make to Canada is staggering. In the late 1970's there were just over 200,000 women-owned businesses in Canada. Today, more than 821,000 women entrepreneurs contribute in excess of $18 billion to our economy every year.

"Entrepreneurs are a driving force of social and economic development in Canada," says Roger Martin, Dean of the Rotman School. "Supporting and recognizing their contributions is more critical than ever, because innovative initiatives not only catalyze economic growth, they advance new technologies, redefine products and services, and in some cases, create entirely new industries."

"Over the past decade, our nominees and winners have successfully forged new paths in Canadian business, often being asked to redefine the boundaries of their chosen field, while still finding the energy to raise families and contribute to their communities," says Kathleen O'Neill, Executive Vice President, Small Business Banking, BMO Bank of Montreal.

Many nominees, applicants and winners feel the Award has opened new doors, generated increased respect and approval from their peers and customers, and in some cases, launched them into the international marketplace.

These Awards are presented by BMO Financial Group in partnership with Export Development Canada, Business Development Bank of Canada, National Post and National Post Business Magazine, Chatelaine and PROFIT and supported by Deloitte & Touche LLP, Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP and Ove Design & Communications Ltd. Tiffany & Co. design and create the 18-karat gold brooch that is presented to each Award Recipient.

BMO Financial Group (TSX, NYSE: BMO), is one of the largest financial services providers in North America, offering a broad range of retail banking, wealth management and investment banking products and solutions. BMO serves clients across Canada and in the United States through its Canadian retail arm, BMO Bank of Montreal; through its Chicago-based Harris Bank, a major U.S. mid-west financial services organization; and through BMO Nesbitt Burns, one of Canada's leading full-service investment firms. It is the second largest small business banker in Canada and one of the largest in North America.

Recently ranked by the Financial Times and BusinessWeek among the best business schools in the world, the University of Toronto's Joseph L. Rotman School of Management offers leading-edge research and degree programs. Visit for more information.