BMO Financial Group, in collaboration with Deloitte, announced the continuation of its BMO Celebrating Women Grant Program, pledging $80,000 in grants to support the high-level growth plans of eight women-owned businesses across the United States.
Inspired by its Purpose, to Boldly Grow the Good in business and life, BMO is inviting women business owners to apply for one of the eight eligible grants by sharing their high-level business growth plans that satisfy one of the following requirements: new products and services, expanding to new markets or hiring plans. Applicants must have a business with a physical or mailing location in Arizona, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri or Wisconsin.
“We are thrilled to continue the BMO Celebrating Women Grant Program by offering more opportunities for more women-owned businesses to grow and succeed in their communities,” said Erminia (Ernie) Johannson, Group Head, North American Personal and Business Banking, BMO Financial Group. “Removing barriers to women’s financial progress is part of BMO’s ongoing Zero Barriers to Inclusion strategy. By increasing access to capital through lending, investing, giving and engagement in our communities, we are a catalyst for a thriving economy, sustainable future and inclusive society.”
“We’re proud to continue to work with BMO as they expand their U.S. support of women-led businesses,” said Kathy Scherer, Vice Chair and Chicago Managing Partner, Deloitte LLP. “Deloitte is committed to helping increase social and economic mobility, including those facing the greatest barriers to equity and prosperity.”
Since announcing the annual BMO Celebrating Women Grant Program in 2020, BMO has:
- Launched BMO 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 underserved businesses, communities and families. The program has already exceeded early targets with over $2 billion in commitments during the first 12 months of the program.
- As part of EMpower, announced $300 million for Women in Business and BMO for Black and Latinx Businesses to provide better access to affordable credit lending, meaningful partnerships, resources and tools to create more opportunities for growth and real financial progress.
- Launched the WMNfintech program, a collaboration between BMO and 1871, designed for women-led fintech start-ups that create services or solutions for the financial sector, offer insights and advice to customers or help identify customer needs. The program provides women founders with curriculum and guidance from industry experts and an opportunity to pitch venture capital investors for feedback, mentoring, continued connections, and potential for funding.
- Set new diversity goals for senior leaders and executive roles through its Zero Barriers to Inclusion 2025 strategy, including maintaining its leadership in gender diversity with at least 40 percent of senior leadership roles filled by employees who identify as women.
Apply for the grant
In addition to the grants, BMO is offering a comprehensive package to all BMO Celebrating Women Grant recipients that includes an invitation to an education series focused on business growth, a one-year membership with one of the bank’s partner advisory boards, a profile on bmo.com/women and other BMO social channels, as well as a BMO Celebrating Women Grant Recipient social badge.
Applications open October 3 and close October 31, 2022 during National Women’s Small Business Month. To assist with the grant recipient selection process, BMO is collaborating with strategic partners from this year’s advisory panel of judges.
To learn more about BMO Celebrating Women, visit bmo.com/women and join the social conversation using #BMOforWomen.
About BMO Financial Group
Serving customers for 200 years and counting, BMO is a highly diversified financial services provider – the 8th largest bank, by assets, in North America. With total assets of $1.07 trillion as of July 31, 2022, and a team of diverse and highly engaged employees, BMO provides a broad range of personal and commercial banking, wealth management and investment banking products and services to more than 12 million customers and conducts business through three operating groups: Personal and Commercial Banking, BMO Wealth Management and BMO Capital Markets.