What is one of the biggest hurdles for entrepreneurs? The answer is, finding or raising capital. Three banks in Alberta have programs and services designed to overcome this hurdle and help more small businesses’ dreams come true.
Tanya Kroeker, VP Entrepreneurial Growth at ATB Financial, says, “Entrepreneurs have always been the cornerstone of Alberta’s economy and will continue to drive prosperity in the future. I am grateful to be part of the Entrepreneurial Growth team at ATB Financial that is focused on supporting Alberta entrepreneurs and businesses.”
What sets ATB apart is that its purpose has always remained true to help Albertans cultivate prosperity.
Kroeker notes, “ATB understands the province and the unique needs and wants of Alberta businesses. Everything we do is focused on how we can serve Albertans – from providing expert advice and supporting entrepreneurs with their business operations and banking needs, to connecting them with partners and like-minded businesses.”
This bank wants to help Albertans succeed because it understands the ambition and the possibilities of its business clients. “They are dreaming big; partnering with them to make their goals possible is what’s taking Alberta into the future,” smiles Kroeker.
ATB believes that small business owners should have access to expertise and complete banking services to support them in achieving their goals. The services, which include business and cash flow planning, help each owner start, expand or optimize operations. ATB can also connect small business owners with a strategist to help prepare for financial assistance requests and offers unique learning programs such as ATBX for access to planning guides, cash flow templates and networking.
“We understand that starting, building and growing a business is a journey; we provide the resources and expertise for all stages of business,” says Kroeker,
Additional support includes:
- The Entrepreneur Centre website: The site (atbentrepreneurcentre.com) has been recently relaunched and improved to bring ATB’s entrepreneurial products and services under one umbrella. A business owner can easily request to meet with a strategist and access financial literacy resources, which will become even more robust in the coming months.
- Branch for Arts + Culture (BFAC):This is a specialized team of bankers and community managers that provide innovative lending solutions, events and specialized services to creative entrepreneurs and non-profits. BFAC team members are artists/creatives themselves and that lens allows them to be empathetic and better advocate for projects, and for practices or organizations to get more substantial loans, lines of credit and other financing. BFAC also hosts events for artists to build community, connections and financial literacy within the industry.
- ATB Entrepreneur Centre Events: ATB hosts events across the province specifically for entrepreneurs and welcomes both clients and non-clients. The events help entrepreneurs learn essential skills, solve problems, build new connections and access industry leading expertise. They’re created by business owners, for business owners and are often hosted in the Entrepreneur Centre locations of Lethbridge, Edmonton and Calgary.
- ATB Entrepreneur Centre Newsletter:This newsletter keeps entrepreneurs and business owners connected by providing perspectives on industry topics and trends and highlighting upcoming ATB community events.
Learn more at atb.com
Bank of Montreal (BMO)
BMO provides a variety of banking services for entrepreneurs at every stage of their journey, from startup to succession. Accounts that are designed to grow with the business include chequing, premium rate saving and speciality (for non-profit and agricultural businesses).
However, these are not the only programs provided for entrepreneurs. BMO also offers:
- BMO for Black-Owned Businesses: As described by BMO, the focus is on better “access to capital, access to education and access to partnerships.”
- Indigenous Business Banking: “To advance the economic empowerment of Indigenous businesses and communities, [BMO] provides financial products, services and advice that contribute to success,” claims the brand on their website. Indigenous services include 13 designated Indigenous branches, a resource hub and gold level certification through the Progressive Aboriginal Relations™ (PAR) program.
- BMO for Women in Business: In recognition of the power of women, BMO provides personalized services and support to help women reach personal, financial and business goals.
Visit www.bmo.com/main/business to learn more.
Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC)
With a focus on small and medium sized enterprises, BDC helps Canadian businesses prosper by providing financing, advisory services and capital. The institution has been complementing the financial sector since 1944. To date, BDC has worked with thousands of Canadian entrepreneurs, has committed over $47 billion exclusively to business owners and enjoys a high 94 per cent client satisfaction rate. This Certified B Corporation has earned a spot in Canada’s Top 100 Employers rankings for 15 years.
Recently, BDC was pleased to share its fiscal 2022 annual results, showing incredible ongoing support for Canadian business owners. In a media release, the institution shared that it has “served 95,000 clients, including 16,500 via programs delivered in partnership with the private sector.”
The release continued with a statement from President and CEO Isabelle Hudon.
“While uneven, the economic recovery gathered momentum through the year, and many entrepreneurs invested in new and postponed growth projects. This created exceptional demand for BDC’s financing and advisory solutions. Building on an approach that is consistent with our unique mission, BDC was able to extend its reach and deepen its impact through lending deployed in collaboration with financial institutions to help entrepreneurs weather the pandemic’s effect.”
Not one to rest on its laurels, BDC is committed to pushing the envelope when it comes to diversity, equality and inclusion. The bank helps achieve this with a $160 million Black Entrepreneurship Loan Fund (part of the Black Entrepreneur’s strategy) and the $150 million Indigenous Growth Fund.
Sustainability projects saw BDC commitments reach $1.2 billion, including $600 million for its Cleantech Practice (which invests in globally competitive Canadian cleantech firms).
Learn more at bdc.ca
Whether you have an idea and want to start talking to banking professionals, are ready to launch, are looking to grow your business or engage in succession planning, there are banks and programs designed with you in mind. From conception to completion, Alberta entrepreneurs have options when it comes to capital, financing and banking.