BMO Bank of Montreal today announced it is committed to advancing $3 billion in capital to women-owned businesses across Canada over the next three years.
The announcement builds on BMO’s commitment of $2 billion in credit for business owners announced in 2014 and follows its recent partnering with Carleton University and The Beacon Agency to release Everywhere, Every Day Innovating: Women Entrepreneurs & Innovation. The BMO report along with the Canada-U.S. Council for the Advancement of Women has identified access to capital and credit as a significant issue for women entrepreneurs.
The BMO study also highlighted the greater need of recognizing women’s innovations both in and out of the technology sector. The report included a discussion on funding opportunities for Indigenous female business owners.
“BMO is deeply committed to helping women entrepreneurs grow their businesses and strengthen their communities with capital, other financial products and advisory services which will ultimately support these leaders in creating new jobs and opportunities,” said Dev Srinivasan, Senior Vice President and Head, Canadian Business Banking, BMO Bank of Montreal. “We are proud to go beyond solely providing banking services to female business owners by investing in research, creating innovative educational platforms and sponsoring business-related conferences and seminars with a focus on Canada’s women entrepreneurs.”
To continue supporting women entrepreneurs, BMO will be rolling out the following initiatives in the coming months:
- Providing an online resource centre for women business owners at various stages of business – offering tools, tips and templates across a wide range of topics. Topics will include how to position companies most effectively for financing, cash flow management, etc.
- Gold sponsorship of Start Up Canada’s Day on the Hill. The Ottawa event will offer an on-site workshop specifically for women business owners.
BMO has a long history of championing the advancement and visibility of women entrepreneurs through a number of key initiatives, including:
- Inclusionary training: BMO is committed to training and educating its frontline employees on how to have more informed, thoughtful and thorough conversations with women who choose BMO as their financial institution.
- Educating women entrepreneurs: To date, BMO has hosted more than 350 women across Canada to participate in its “Entrepreneur’s Imperative” workshop. BMO has also launched a series of podcasts titled “Her Money, Her Way” which are intended both to educate and inspire women through a combination of subject matter experts and other women’s stories.
- Partnering with organizations that provide mentorship for women: BMO is a sponsor of GroYourBiz and Women Presidents’ Organization (WPO), organizations that provide women business owners the opportunity to support each other through groups that meet monthly.
- Using our voice to recognize women’s achievements: Since 2012, BMO has honoured more than 100 women in communities across Canada and the United States through its BMO Celebrating Women program. BMO’s proprietary recognition program honours women who step forward as leaders in business or their communities by being successful philanthropists, innovators and business owners – which BMO is uniquely positioned to do given its leading cross-border capabilities and full spectrum of financing, advisory and wealth management services.