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News Briefs

2024 BMO Celebrating Women Grant Program

A total of $100,000 in grants will be awarded to ten women-owned businesses.

BMO, in collaboration with Deloitte Canada, today announced the continuation of its BMO Celebrating Women Grant Program, an initiative dedicated to supporting real financial progress for women-owned businesses. Businesses must address the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDG). Applications open from April 30 to May 14, 2024.

BMO is pledging a total of $100,000 for ten women-owned businesses that can demonstrate how they are addressing at least two of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDG). Each grant recipient will be awarded $10,000. A BMO business advisor will support them directly, and they will have resources to support their business’ financial progress. This includes BMO for Women workshops, seminars and events, potential membership in select organizations and/or advisory boards, a profile on, and a BMO Celebrating Women Grant Program recipient social badge.

Applications are open from April 30 to May 14, 2024. Grant recipients will be announced in the fall of 2024.

BMO Celebrating Women Grant Program helps expand women’s empowerment through business ownership

“Women-owned businesses are a cornerstone in a thriving economy and the drivers of real change as challengers of the status quo, innovators and leaders for the next generation,” said Sharon Haward-Laird, BMO General Counsel and Executive Sponsor of BMO for Women. “Time and again, research shows that women-owned and women-led businesses adopt innovations and sustainability initiatives more readily, play a significant role in job creation, and boost GDP. The BMO Celebrating Women Grant Program is another way our bank is working to empower women-owned businesses in Canada as they make measurable, long-lasting impacts.”

“Empowering women-owned businesses is essential to driving innovation and economic growth. By investing in these entrepreneurs and providing critical access to capital, we are securing the prosperity of their businesses and bolstering our global competitiveness,” said Emmy Babalola, Partner, Deloitte Canada.

BMO Celebrating Women Grant Program was created in 2020. Inspired by BMO’s Purpose, to Boldly Grow the Good in business and life, the bank is committed to double support for women-owned businesses. Within four years, the program has expanded to reach a diverse range of sectors and industries. It has supported 56 women-owned businesses across North America. BMO provided over $500,000 to the program’s grant recipients, and connected them to business advisors and a vibrant professional network.

Notable BMO Initiatives

BMO has a longstanding commitment to breaking down barriers to advance women’s empowerment. Notable initiatives include:

  • A commitment to increase the number of women-owned businesses supported across the bank’s Canadian footprint. As of 2023, BMO supported more than 146,000 women-owned businesses in Canada, with more than $10 billion in loans.
  • Established customer programs including BMO for Women, which focus on advancing gender parity for the bank’s clients, supporting the growth of women-owned businesses, and empowering women to feel confident about their finances and financial futures.
  • A partnership with 1871, which has led to the development of the WMN FINtech program. Since its inception, over 15 percent of all women fintech founders in North America have come through this initiative.
  • Proudly supporting The Carol Shields Prize for Fiction. This is the largest English-language literary award in the world for women and non-binary writers. The award celebrates excellence in fiction in Canada and the US, while aiming to address inequalities in literary prize culture.
  • 2024 Report on Business recognized BMO for the fourth consecutive year. Women Lead Here list – an annual benchmark recognizing Canadian businesses with the highest achievement for executive gender diversity.

About BMO for Women

Officially launched in 2016, the BMO for Women program is dedicated to empowering women in business through tailored resources, community building and improved access to capital. This program oversees a nationwide group of Advocates – Commercial and Business Banking Relationship Managers committed to working with women entrepreneurs. Partnerships with key organizations such as the Women Presidents Organization, GroYourBiz and Women Business Enterprises augment the team further.

About BMO Financial Group

BMO Financial Group is the eighth largest bank in North America by assets. Serving customers for 200 years and counting, BMO is a diverse team of highly engaged employees. They provide a broad range of personal and commercial banking, wealth management, global markets and investment banking products and services. They serve 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. They drive progress for a thriving economy, sustainable future, and inclusive society.

About Deloitte

Deloitte provides audit and assurance, consulting, financial advisory, risk advisory, tax, and related services to public and private clients spanning multiple industries. They serve four out of five Fortune Global 500® companies through a globally connected network of member firms in more than 150 countries and territories. The company brings world-class capabilities, insights, and service to address clients’ most complex business challenges. Deloitte LLP, an Ontario limited liability partnership, is the Canadian member firm of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited. Deloitte refers to one or more of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited. This is a UK private company limited by guarantee, and its network of member firms, each of which is a legally separate and independent entity. Please see for a detailed description of the legal structure of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited and its member firms.

Our global Purpose is making an impact that matters. At Deloitte Canada, that translates into building a better future by accelerating and expanding access to knowledge. We believe we can achieve this Purpose by living our shared values. We will lead the way, serve with integrity, take care of each other, foster inclusion, and collaborate for measurable impact.

If you want more, check out our roundup of funding opportunities for May 2024.

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