BMO Financial Group on Monday 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 entitled BMO Celebrating Women, the two organizations will provide $200,000 in grants and “recognize six 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 and eight grants of $2,500.
- Eight grants will be awarded in the U.S. of US$10,000
“This is an opportunity to remove barriers for women-owned businesses and to help those already leading positive change in their communities to grow the good,” said Erminia Johannson, group head of North American personal and business banking at 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.”
To assist with the grant recipient selection process, BMO said it is collaborating with “key strategic partners and leaders in sustainability across North America” to form this year’s Advisory Panel of Judges.
Since announcing the annual BMO Celebrating Women Grant Program in 2020, BMO said it has:
- Launched Empower – a series of long-term commitments to advance inclusive economic recovery in the U.S., pledging US$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 said the 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% of senior leader roles filled by employees who identify as women.
To learn more about the Canadian Grant Program, visit bmoforwomen.com.