August 2, 2022

BMO Announces Plans To Invest In Madison’s Black Business Hubs

Financial group, BMO, has unveiled new plans to invest $650,000 in business hubs based in Madison. This includes two Black-owned business hubs, Urban League of Greater Madison’s Black Business Hub and The Center for Black Excellence and Culture business.

The financial firm aims to develop the Madison community and create greater access to opportunities for BIPOC in the banking industry. The investment of $250,000, which will be given to each company across five years, will work to help talented Black people build their careers by providing economic growth and prosperity to their members. 

“We are proud to work with the Urban League, The Center for Black Excellence and Culture to support the delivery of these important community programs. Alongside the economic growth and prosperity achieved by customers we serve, this financial commitment is a direct investment in the future of the Madison economy,” said Jeff Ticknor, Senior Vice President, BMO Financial Group. 

The Urban League, founded by CEO Dr. Ruben Anthony, is the Madison region’s premiere enterprise center devoted to incubating, accelerating, and networking Black and other BIPOC entrepreneurs. The hub’s mission would be to create “a new pipeline of businesses to serve South Madison and Dane County and the region as a whole.”

The pivot, which aims to open in early 2023, will be home to retail and other businesses owned by Black and other entrepreneurs of color, ranging from startups to established companies. It will also serve as an economic anchor, drawing resources to the area to create business growth, employment, and social development opportunities.

“The Urban League of Greater Madison is enormously proud of the partnership that we have with BMO in creating greater access to opportunities in the banking industry,” said Ruben Anthony, President and CEO of Urban League of Greater Madison.

“As we are on a mission to help build wealth for Black and Brown people in this community, BMO is right there with us, supporting initiatives such as the development of the Black Business Hub.” 

The Centre for Black Excellence and Culture – which will work with BMO over the next five years – is a state-of-the-art performing and visuals center focused on building the careers of talented Black people. The center offers unique, multi-generational, interconnected programming to help support the Black community. 

“The Centre for Black Excellence and Culture offers an exciting and important opportunity to create a cultural home for the Black community in Madison,” said Dr. Alex Gee, Founder of The Center for Black Excellence and Culture. 

“This important investment in The Center demonstrates BMO’s support in making the Madison community a welcoming, culturally rich home where everyone has the opportunity to thrive,” 

BMO’s five-year, $5 billion investment will continue to support and address barriers minority businesses, communities, and families face. 

Kumba Kpakima

Kumba Kpakima is a reporter at POCIT. A documentary about the knife crime epidemic in the UK got her a nomination for the UK's #30toWatch Young Journalists of the Year.