Humber College students don’t have to wait until graduation to show off their skills. The BMO Financial Group (BMO) has made a $750,000 donation to the college to support student and alumni entrepreneurs.
The contribution will support the BMO Launch Me Competition, where students develop and pitch business ideas with the potential to receive start-up funding. The bank’s gift will also expand the competition to include three new pitch streams: BMO Women Innovators Competition, BMO Groundbreaker Competition and BMO New Graduates Start-up Competition.
Global Business Management student and entrepreneur Anshika Na has participated in several pitch competitions and found the BMO opportunity to be unique. She enrolled in the competition right away.
“The BMO Launch Me Competition is a great thing for innovators. It acts as a gateway between the entrepreneurial mindset and the actual market," she said.
"It helps cultivate all your entrepreneurial thoughts and put them to work in the real world."
As part of its gift to the college, the BMO Entrepreneurship Scholarships will be established supporting students across the college each year who excel in their fields of study and who exemplify the entrepreneurial spirit through their course work, and involvement in entrepreneurial activities in and outside of the classroom.
Humber will also be able to offer BMO Entrepreneurship Workshops, a series of training and skills development opportunities.
“The BMO gift will strengthen and enhance our current programming and help grow new programs to support the next generation of entrepreneurs and prepare them to take their ideas to the next stage,” said Cheryl Mitchell, director of Humber’s Centre for Entrepreneurship (CfE).
The centre works with students, alumni and community members.
“This gift will support future discoveries, innovation, it will break down barriers and encourage experimentation,” said Mitchell.
The college will be naming the event space at the CfE the BMO Innovation Commons in appreciation of the bank’s contribution.
To learn more about entrepreneurship at Humber, visit humber.ca/cfe