BMO and Deloitte have pledged US$200,000 in grants to women-owned businesses across North America. In addition, BMO’s Celebrating Women community programme will recognise six businesses for social, environmental, and economic sustainability. ‘We’re excited to build on the momentum and success of last year’s Grant Programme’, said Erminia Johannson, Group Head of North American Personal and Business Banking at BMO. ‘We’re expanding support for women entrepreneurs across North America’.
How Has BMO Supported Women?
Ever since launching its Celebrating Women grant programme in 2020, BMO has pledged recurring funding to organisations that help women advance in the workforce:
- EMpower. Committed US$5bn over five years to address challenges faced by minority businesses, communities, and families.
- SheEO. Announced US$1.2mn in funding to help the organisation support women and non-binary individuals, especially those working on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
- Women in Business. Launched US$750mn solution that helps women-owned businesses of all sizes.
- Zero Barriers to Inclusion. Set diversity goals for all senior and executive roles, filling at least 40% of its senior roles with female leaders.
How Will the 2021 Grant Programme Work?
Eighteen grants will go to Canadian women-owned businesses, with ten grants worth CAD$10,000 and eight grants worth CAD$2,500. The other eight grants will be awarded to companies in the United States, all worth US$10,000. ‘This year, we’re awarding grants to women-owned businesses that are advancing sustainability’, said Johannson. ‘This is an opportunity to remove barriers and help those leading positive change in their communities’.
BMO will collaborate with strategic partners and North American sustainability leaders to create its annual Advisory Panel of Judges, which will award the grants. ‘We’re proud to work with BMO as they expand this programme to the US’, said Kathy Scherer, Vice-Chair and Chicago Managing Partner at Deloitte. ‘Women-owned businesses are vital to our economy’.