BMO provides funding to women entrepreneurs through SheEO
BMO has announced $1.2 million in funding to SheEO, a Toronto based organization with a mission to transform how women and non-binary people get capital and support for their businesses.
Founded in 2015, SheEO is a community made up of thousands of Canadian women who have gifted capital to loan out to Canadian women entrepreneurs at 0% interest, repayable after five years. Entrepreneurs who receive funding from SheEO are those who are working on achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, known to SheEO as the “World’s To-Do List”.
“The pandemic has created an additional challenge and barrier to women business owners, but we want to turn that around and ensure these entrepreneurs hold their ground and emerge from the pandemic in a stronger position,” said Mike Bonner, Head, BMO Canadian Business Banking, BMO Bank of Montreal. “This investment is another example of our Purpose in action, as we look to Boldly Grow the Good in business and life.”
– Mike Bonner, Head, Canadian Business Banking, BMO
“BMO’s investment in SheEO will help a growing number of women-owned businesses affected by the pandemic to have the opportunity to grow and prosper with this additional funding. We are excited to have the opportunity to double the number of ventures for the first time since we launched in 2015 – together we have an even greater opportunity to tackle some of the leading social issues of our time.”
– Vicki Saunders, Founder, SheEO
An innovative way for women to support women
The SheEO model brings together women from all backgrounds called Activators who contribute to a fund from which capital is loaned out to women-led Ventures. SheEO currently has 110 BMO Activators.
The Activators also select who gets funded and some Activators even participate in coaching and mentoring the selected business owners. Once loans are repaid, they go back into a revolving fund to support more women owned businesses. This year, 61.5% of the semi-finalists are BIPOC business owners who span multiple geographies across Canada and represent a variety of industry sectors.
At BMO, we are committed to Zero Barriers to Inclusion and we recognize the power of women and their contributions to the economy and their communities. As part of our long-standing commitment to women-owned businesses, we have:
- Made $3 billion in capital available to women-owned businesses across Canada over three years
- Invested in solutions to improve support for women entrepreneurs – and all small businesses – like BMO Business Xpress
- Funded over $35,000,000 to women-owned businesses via BMO Business Xpress
- Pledged $100,000 in grants to women-owned businesses to help them better position themselves coming out of the pandemic
- Managers, focused on understanding the barriers faced by women business owners and how to better assist them