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BMO Hosts Roundtable Discussions on How Canadian Women Entrepreneurs Innovate

The half-day conference brought together senior leaders from business, all levels of government, and academic institutions to inform a research report on women entrepreneurs expected to be released in February 2018

TORONTO, Jan. 11, 2018 /CNW/ - Yesterday BMO hosted a roundtable discussion attended by over one hundred leaders ranging from women business leaders, government officials, academic researchers and entrepreneurs for a discussion surrounding women entrepreneurs and innovation.

From left: Cam Fowler, President, BMO North American Personal & Business Banking; Janice McDonald, President, The Beacon Agency; Lisa Milburn, CMO BMO Wealth Management & Executive Sponsor BMO for Women; Joanna Rotenberg, Head, BMO Wealth Management; Darryl White, CEO, BMO Financial Group; Hon. Bardish Chagger, Minister, Small Business & Tourism, Government of Canada; Clare Beckton, Executive in Residence CREWW, Carleton University; Andrew Irvine, Head of BMO Business Banking Canada & Partners. (CNW Group/BMO Financial Group)

The discussions of the roundtable event will help inform a study the bank will release in partnership with Carleton University and The Beacon Agency, which examines female entrepreneurs and their participation in driving innovation in Canada. The report, which will be released in February 2018, will showcase findings from interviews with diverse female entrepreneurs across Canada on the types of innovation activity they are using to scale their ventures, what is supporting and hindering their ability to innovate and counter the misconception that innovation is equated solely to technology enhancements.

"It is our goal to lead the industry when it come to the research and support of female entrepreneurs, and help foster conversation for a group that is truly helping to drive the Canadian economy," said Andrew Irvine, Head, Canadian Business Banking & BMO Partners, BMO Bank of Montreal. "By broadening the understanding of the different forms innovation can take, we can create real opportunities for funding and mentorship for female entrepreneurs across industries."

"We are proud to once again be partnering with Carleton University and The Beacon Agency to shed light on the unique issues being faced by female entrepreneurs," said Lisa Milburn, Chief Marketing Officer of BMO Wealth Management & Executive Sponsor of BMO for Women. "It is encouraging to see the support and interest of so many policy makers to support change for this group, and we are excited to share the findings of our new report shortly as we continue to work towards being the bank for women."

The report will also highlight the importance of a more robust eco-system for female entrepreneurs, including better access to capital, incubator and accelerator programs and building strong networks that support entrepreneurial growth and eliminate gender biases.

For more information on #BMOforWomen, please visit

About BMO Financial Group

Serving customers for 200 years and counting, BMO is a highly diversified financial services provider – the 8th largest bank, by assets, in North America. With total assets of $710 billion as of October 31, 2017, and more than 45,000 employees, BMO provides a broad range of personal and commercial banking, wealth management and investment banking products and services to more than 12 million customers and conducts business through three operating groups: Personal and Commercial Banking, Wealth Management and BMO Capital Markets.

SOURCE BMO Financial Group

For further information: BMO MEDIA CONTACTS: Michelle Agnelo,, (416) 867-3996; Mark Beazley,, (416) 867-3996; Web:, Twitter: @BMOmedia

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