BMO is committed to supporting initiatives that empower women—our colleagues, customers and members of the communities we serve. It’s all part of our Bold Commitment to help create a future with zero barriers to advancement and success, and it supports the fulfillment of our Purpose as an organization: Boldly Grow the Good – in business and life.
As part of that commitment, BMO has been a long-time sponsor of Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Awards, which recognize high achieving female leaders in the private, public and not-for-profit sectors. The Awards are an initiative of Women’s Executive Network (WXN), a Canadian organization devoted to professional women’s advancement, development and recognition. This year, we’ve given our name to the award category recognizing female founders who own and operate businesses, BMO Entrepreneurs.
Nominees for the BMO Entrepreneurs category are evaluated against a number of criteria, including how the entrepreneur has grown her business and adapted to changing markets and customer needs, grown her team to support her vision, and delivered strong earnings in the most recent fiscal year. Critically, the entrepreneur’s commitment to community is also a significant part of the criteria. We’ve seen how women entrepreneurs have led the business community across our footprint in integrating their values, social consciousness and sustainability considerations into their business model.
The winners of the BMO Entrepreneurs category for 2019 include:
- Barbara Fox, Enterprise Canada (Toronto)
- Reetu Gupta, The Easton’s Group of Hotels/ The Gupta Group (Markham, ON)
- Karina Hayat, Prizm Media Inc. (Vancouver)
- Jenn Lofgren, Incito Executive & Leadership Development (Calgary)
- Renee Merrifield Wasylyk, Troika Management Corp. (Kelowna, BC)
- Irini Mikhael, Lullaboo Nursery and Childcare Center Inc. (Richmond Hill, ON)
- Sanchari Sen Rai, Education Consultants Canada (ECC ASR Inc.) (Toronto)
- Jessica Tetu, Just For You Day Spas & Lia Reese Canada (Saskatoon)
- Susan Yorke, The Good Fat Co. Ltd. (Toronto)
Earlier this week, BMO hosted women entrepreneurs, including five of the category winners, at the BMO Institute for Learning for a retreat focused on developing the skills and strategies needed to grow resilience in business and life. The retreat included activities and skill building exercises to help unpack the mental, emotional and physical facets of resilience. The event also cultivated women connecting with other women across different communities, growing their professional and personal networks.
To hear from our winners, check out the video.