BMO and Startup Canada partner to advance women-led businesses


OTTAWA, September 20th – Bank of Montreal, a leading financial institution dedicated to supporting women entrepreneurs, will join Startup Canada on Oct. 18 as its official ‘Women Entrepreneur Sponsor’ of the fifth annual Startup Canada Day on the Hill, providing more than 250 women entrepreneurs with the opportunity to attend this major convention.

Startup Canada Day on the Hill is the largest annual gathering of entrepreneurs, innovators, anchor companies, investors, industry leaders, media, and government decision-makers to raise the bar in building Canada as an innovative, entrepreneurial nation.

Expected to draw over 2,000 attendees to the Shaw Centre in downtown Ottawa, Startup Canada Day on the Hill will bring together some of Canada’s top entrepreneurs, innovators, investors, and government officials to discuss and promote policies to support startup and small business growth.

The partnership will support 250 women entrepreneurs to attend the Summit for free, featuring a mainstage panel, a 2-hour Women Entrepreneurs Scale-Up Boot camp, and a policy hack-a-thon on what Canada needs to do to advance women-led businesses. BMO-sponsored speakers include Eva Lau, Toronto-based founder of Two Small Fish Ventures, Sophie Boulanger, Montreal-based founder of BonLook, and Aisha Addo, Founder of Toronto-based startup HerDrive, providing a safe alternative to Uber for women.

Small and medium-sized businesses make up the majority of Canada’s business landscape. BMO considers supporting women-owned businesses a priority for the bank and Canada’s economy” says Vittorio Pellegrino, Senior Vice President, Eastern, Central & Northern Ontario Division. “Our involvement with Startup Canada is a natural extension of the initiatives we have undertaken such as earmarking credit for women entrepreneurs, partnering with organizations like GroYourBiz and Women Presidents’ Organization and our own proprietary Celebrating Women program.”

We are proud to partner with the Bank of Montreal to support the success of women entrepreneurs,” said Victoria Lennox, CEO of Startup Canada. “Through our Women’s Founder Fund, THRIVE Podcast for Women Entrepreneurs, grassroots Startup Communities, and research and advocacy efforts, Startup Canada is committed to working with industry and government to support the success of women entrepreneurs across Canada.”

At Startup Canada Day on the Hill, BMO is working alongside Startup Canada to provide a platform for entrepreneurs to meet with Members of Parliament, Parliamentary Standing Committees, and Ministers to discuss the future of Canada as an entrepreneurial nation.

BMO has partnered with Startup Canada since 2015. Together, the organizations have worked to reach and support hundreds of entrepreneurs to gain financial literacy training. This 2018 partnership marks the beginning of BMO and Startup Canada working together to advance opportunities for women entrepreneurs.

For more information, please contact:

Maddie Stiles
Media Relations
1-613-627-0787 ext. 105

About the Bank of Montreal

At BMO, we recognize that women are an economic force. BMO is committed to being the bank of choice for women by:

  • Empowering women investors to manage their money with confidence, whether it is to plan, grow, protect or transfer their wealth.
  • Supporting, and providing solutions for women business owners to help them realize their aspirations.
  • Recognizing women who make a difference in their communities.

As a woman, you’ve got what it takes. Now get the support you deserve.

Visit to learn more.

About Startup Canada
Startup Canada is the national rallying community and voice for Canada’s 2.3 million entrepreneurs. Since launching in 2012, Startup Canada has grown to represent more than 200,000 entrepreneurs and 50 grassroots communities from coast to coast to coast. Through digital programs and flagship events, Startup Canada is the network promoting, inspiring, educating, connecting and giving a voice to Canada’s entrepreneurs; supporting them to start, operate and scale businesses that build a better Canada for the world today and for future generations. For more information, visit

Maddie Stiles

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