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BMO Expands Grant Program for Women-Owned Businesses

BMO 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 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 historic 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 BMO Celebrating Women and to apply to this years program, visit and join the social conversation using #BMOforWomen.

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