- $200,000 in grants will be awarded to 26 women-owned businesses
- Applications open July 26, 2021, and close August 13, 2021
- Grant recipients will be announced in November
TORONTO and CHICAGO, July 12, 2021 /CNW/ - BMO Financial Group today announced the expansion of its 2021 Grant Program for women-owned businesses across North America, in collaboration with Deloitte. As part of this year's program, BMO Celebrating Women – a BMO-owned community program – has pledged $200,000 in grants and will recognize 26 women-owned businesses across North America for their contribution to social, environmental and/or economic sustainability outcomes through their organizations' policies, practices or products.
Grants will be broken down between Canada and U.S. as follows:
- 18 grants will be awarded to women-owned businesses in Canada; 10 grants of $10,000 CAD and eight grants of $2,500 CAD
- Eight grants will be awarded in the U.S. of $10,000 USD
"We are excited to build on the momentum and success of our Grant Program last year and expand our support for women entrepreneurs across North America. This is an opportunity to remove barriers for women-owned businesses and to help those already leading positive change in their communities to grow the good," said Erminia (Ernie) Johannson, Group Head, North American Personal and Business Banking, BMO Financial Group. "This year, we're awarding grants to women-owned businesses that are advancing social, environmental or economic sustainability, and we continue to look for new and bold ways to support and advance women in business."
"We're proud to work with BMO as they expand this program to the U.S. to support women entrepreneurs," said Kathy Scherer, Vice Chair and Chicago Managing Partner, Deloitte LLP. "Women-owned businesses are a vital piece of our economy and Deloitte is committed to advancing their financial progress."
To assist with the grant recipient selection process, BMO is collaborating with key strategic partners and leaders in sustainability across North America to form this year's Advisory Panel of Judges.
BMO is a long-time leader in the advancement of women in business. Since announcing the annual BMO Celebrating Women Grant Program in 2020, BMO has:
- Launched Empower – a series of long-term commitments to advance inclusive economic recovery in the United States, pledging $5 billion over five years to address key barriers faced by minority businesses, communities and families.
- Announced $1.2 million in funding to SheEO – a not-for-profit company which offers financial support to businesses led by women and non-binary people. BMO's financial commitment will allow SheEO to fund all 2021 venture applicant companies working to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
- Launched a $750 million Women in Business Bond solution with proceeds being allocated toward women-owned enterprises as defined in BMO's Sustainable Financing Framework, including micro, small and medium-sized businesses.
- Set new diversity goals for senior leader and executive roles through its Zero Barriers to Inclusion 2025 strategy, including maintaining its leadership in gender diversity with at least 40 per cent of senior leader roles filled by employees who identify as women.
To learn more about the US Grant Program, visit bmoharris.com/women.
To learn more about the Canadian Grant Program, visit bmoforwomen.com.
About BMO for Women
BMO is committed to supporting initiatives that empower women within its workforce and the communities the bank serves. BMO has partnered with organizations such as the Women Presidents' Organization, GroYourBiz, Women Business Enterprises, and Women Get On Board to provide expertise, leadership, knowledge, and opportunities for women to network and learn. In 2018, BMO announced $3 billion in capital available over three years specifically for Canadian businesses owned by women. Through the only bank-owned recognition program for women in North America – BMO Celebrating Women – BMO celebrates successful women who have given back to their communities or achieved success in business. Since 2012, BMO Celebrating Women has honoured more than 200 women in communities across Canada and the United States.
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 $987 billion as of April 30, 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.
Deloitte provides industry-leading audit, consulting, tax and advisory services to many of the world's most admired brands, including nearly 90% of the Fortune 500® and more than 7,000 private companies. Our people come together for the greater good and work across the industry sectors that drive and shape today's marketplace — delivering measurable and lasting results that help reinforce public trust in our capital markets, inspire clients to see challenges as opportunities to transform and thrive, and help lead the way toward a stronger economy and a healthier society. Deloitte is proud to be part of the largest global professional services network serving our clients in the markets that are most important to them. Building on more than 175 years of service, our network of member firms spans more than 150 countries and territories. Learn how Deloitte's more than 330,000 people worldwide connect for impact at www.deloitte.com.
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SOURCE BMO Financial Group