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BMO Financial Group Reaffirms Commitment to Women Entrepreneurs
  • Dedicated strategy teams introduced for Canadian women entrepreneurs across the country

TORONTO, March 6, 2020 /CNW/ - In the lead-up to International Women's Day 2020, BMO Financial Group has introduced new initiatives in support of women entrepreneurs across North America.

In Canada, BMO has launched dedicated and specialized teams to support women entrepreneurs across the country. The Women Client Strategy Teams tie together Business Banking, Private Wealth, and Financial Planning to provide a holistic support model. The Teams are in place in the Greater Toronto Area and Calgary. Teams will also be introduced in Montreal and Vancouver in the coming months.

In the U.S., BMO Harris Business Banking has launched a strategy focused on women business owners, as well as a website with tips and tools for them. The team has also kicked off a new series of in-branch coffees at which women business owners can learn and exchange ideas. The networking events will take place in more than 30 locations across the U.S. this calendar year.

"We are looking to be the bank of choice for women entrepreneurs," said Erminia (Ernie) Johannson, Group Head, North American Personal & Business Banking, BMO Financial Group. "From speaking with clients in both Canada and the U.S., we understand that women face unique challenges when running a business – securing capital and advice – and we see an opportunity to support them better. In Canada, we previously announced a capital commitment specific to women business owners and now have teams across the country dedicated to their success. This is an always-on activity for us – we are completely committed and will continue to look for ways to help."

In June 2018, BMO Bank of Montreal announced that it would make $3 billion in capital available to women-owned businesses across Canada over three years. Since making the announcement, the bank has increased its authorized lending to women business owners by over $1.4 billion.

Since making the announcement, particular industries for women business owners have shown growth:

  • The largest number of women-owned businesses falls within the agriculture sector.
  • The healthcare and professional services sectors are the second and third largest verticals of women business owners and continue to grow.
  • Regionally, women running a business in the technology and innovation space have also seen growth in the Greater Toronto and Montreal areas – two of Canada's more prominent technology hubs.

BMO has also invested in solutions to better support women entrepreneurs – and all small businesses – like BMO Business Xpress. With access to capital a barrier for women-owned businesses, BMO's commitments and investments in platforms like BMO Business Xpress will help a growing segment of Canadian small businesses get their business off the ground and help them grow. Since November 2019, BMO has funded over $35,000,000 to women-owned businesses via BMO Business Xpress.

To learn more about how BMO is supporting women entrepreneurs, visit: https://bmoforwomen.bmo.com/.

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 $880 billion as of January 31, 2020, and a team of diverse and highly engaged 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, BMO Wealth Management and BMO Capital Markets.

SOURCE BMO Financial Group

For further information: Media Contact: James DeCosimo, Toronto, james.decosimo@bmo.com | (416) 867-3996

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