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BMO Introduces BMO for Indigenous Entrepreneurs Program
  • Indigenous business owners and entrepreneurs can access loans of up to $150,000
  • Provides optional educational resources and professional partnerships to start up, scale up and accelerate the growth of Indigenous-owned businesses

TORONTO, Oct. 24, 2023 /CNW/ - BMO today announced the launch of the BMO for Indigenous Entrepreneurs lending program, providing Indigenous business owners with greater access to working capital, educational resources, and professional partnerships to start up, scale up, and accelerate their businesses. The program is underpinned by BMO's longstanding support for Indigenous business banking and economic empowerment of Indigenous businesses and communities.

"For more than 30 years, BMO has invested in strengthening relationships with Indigenous business owners across Canada, many of whom successfully balance Indigenous traditions with innovation," said Mike Bonner, Head, Enterprise Indigenous Strategy and Canadian Business Banking, BMO. "The BMO for Indigenous Entrepreneurs program supports the potential of Indigenous entrepreneurs and fosters economic empowerment through eliminating barriers to capital, driving progress toward a more inclusive society, a thriving economy and a sustainable future."

Zero Barriers to Business

BMO for Indigenous Entrepreneurs aligns with BMO's Purpose, to Boldly Grow the Good in business and life, which includes a commitment to double the bank's support for small business and women entrepreneurs compared to 2019 levels. Through the program, Indigenous business owners and entrepreneurs can receive loans of up to $150,000 which can be used for capital investments such as equipment, property and leasehold improvements, working capital – including inventory, payroll, and lease payments – and short-term receivable financing. BMO for Indigenous Entrepreneurs is available for business owners on and off reserve.

BMO engages with Indigenous customers, colleagues, and communities across three pillars – Education, Employment and Economic Empowerment – built on a platform of Zero Barriers to Inclusion for all. BMO's commitment to drive progress towards an inclusive society with zero barriers and support the socio-economic progress of Indigenous communities includes:

  • In September 2023, BMO released Wîcihitowin ᐑᒋᐦᐃᑐᐏᐣ (pronounced: wee-chih-hito-win), its 3rd annual Indigenous Partnerships and Progress Report. The publication highlights the bank's partnerships with and commitment to Indigenous communities with inspiring stories from Indigenous customers, employees, and community leaders.
  • In support of Indigenous businesses, BMO has increased the level of procurement of goods and services from Indigenous partners – surpassing in 2022 its commitment to spend $10 million annually with Indigenous-owned businesses by 2023.
  • BMO's commitment to mobilize $300 billion in sustainable financing by 2025 includes lending to Indigenous businesses and communities in the structuring of the bank's Sustainable Bond program.
  • For advancing Indigenous interests and economic development, BMO has received Gold Certification in the Progressive Aboriginal Relations (PAR) program seven consecutive times. The PAR program is administered by the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business.

To learn more about the BMO for Indigenous Entrepreneurs program, please visit:

For more information about BMO's commitment to supporting Indigenous communities, please visit:

To learn more about how BMO can help small and medium sized enterprises make progress at every stage, please visit:

BMO's Commitment to Indigenous Communities
For more than three decades, BMO's Indigenous Banking Unit has been working with Indigenous communities to support economic self-determination. Through a network of branches and business banking offices both on and off reserve, BMO offers financial products and services, including housing and renovation financing, trust services, investment management solutions, and long-term financing for on-reserve infrastructure and economic development. Additionally, BMO has partnered with First Nations University of Canada to create Nisitohtamowin – Understanding Indigenous Perspectives, an e-learning course made available to all for free.

For more information about how BMO works with Indigenous communities in Canada, click here to view BMO's annual Indigenous Partnerships and Progress Report.

About BMO Financial Group
BMO Financial Group is the eighth largest bank in North America by assets, with total assets of $1.25 trillion as of July 31, 2023. Serving customers for 200 years and counting, BMO is a diverse team of highly engaged employees providing a broad range of personal and commercial banking, wealth management, global markets and investment banking products and services to over 13 million customers across Canada, the United States, and in select markets globally. Driven by a single purpose, to Boldly Grow the Good in business and life, BMO is committed to driving positive change in the world, and making progress for a thriving economy, sustainable future, and inclusive society.

SOURCE BMO Financial Group

For further information: Media contacts: Anke Suwanda, Toronto,, (416) 867-3996, Kelly Hechler, Toronto,, (416) 867-3996