(Photo taken from BMO’s Instagram post)
The founder of Math Project, Shehreen Zaman, has officially been recognized by BMO as one of the top innovative Canadian women entrepreneurs who have elevated their business despite the COVID-19 crisis.
BMO’s Grant for Women-Owned Businesses
In their mission to empower women in business, BMO aimed to recognize and support women entrepreneurs who, faced with the pandemic’s effects, brought out innovation and resilience to ensure their business’ continued success. Consequently, BMO issued a new $100,000 grant program in collaboration with Deloitte, striving to help and award 10 women with $10,000 each to invest in their businesses and entrepreneurial ventures. As Erminia (Ernie) Johannson, Group Head, North American Personal and Business Banking, BMO Financial Group states:
“The new grant program honours the achievements of women-owned businesses and their ability to innovate and persevere during this difficult time […] We are deeply committed to developing programs that support the growth of women-owned businesses and to helping women make real financial progress.”
Math Project’s Application and Outcome
Out of the 1030 women who have applied, only 72 made it to the semi-finals of the grant program process. At that stage, the semi-finalists had to create a video that depicted their businesses, the challenges they faced at the onset of COVID-19, and how they utilized innovation and resilience to overcome these challenges.
Amongst all the other applicants, Math Project’s story of innovation stood out to the advisory panel of judges, winning the award for BMO Celebrating Women Grant Program.
Math Project’s Innovation Against Pandemic Effects
Founded in 2010, Math Project transitioned from a math literacy program to an innovative math learning centre, expanding from the Greater Toronto Area to North America with the mission to empower more young minds in math.
However, when the pandemic began, Math Project was faced with a barrage of problems that, without innovation, would affect the business for the worse. Despite the severity of the issue and the pressure to solve it, Shehreen and the talented team at Math Project were determined to keep the business running for the sake of fulfilling the necessity of math education. Due to their tireless efforts and innovation, Math Project promptly deployed an online-learning platform for their students to continue their math education safely and efficiently. As a result:
- An astounding 100% of onsite students successfully transitioned to the online-learning platform within one weekend
- Math Project did not shut down for a single day
In regards to the unique approach of their dynamic online-learning solution, Shehreen said:
“Most online sessions involve watching a previously recorded session where the teacher is not present. Listening to recorded lessons is boring for students, whereas our live, interactive online sessions create a social bond. It has all the advantages of in-class learning while being on a remote platform to ensure student’s health and safety”.
Future of Math Project
Without hesitation or doubts toward the survival of Math Project, Shehreen and her team showcased innovation and resilience through their hard work and efforts, leveraging technology in providing children with an enriching math learning experience. In being awarded with BMO’s grant, Shehreen aspires to utilize the money in continuing Math Project’s mission in empowering children with math knowledge. Shehreen also pledged some grant funds to sponsor more under-privilged girls at “Because I am a Girl” foundation, the organization Math Project has been supporting for a long time. Delighted by the announcement of Math Project’s place in the BMO Women-Owned Business Directory, Shehreen states:
“I feel absolutely thrilled and honoured in receiving this grant, as it will help us guide more young minds into becoming great problem-solvers of their generation.”
BMO Announces $100,000 Grant Program for Women-Owned Businesses – newsroom.bmo.com
BMO Celebrating Women Grant Program: Frequently Asked Questions – bmoforwomen.com
Instagram Announcement of BMO Celebrating Women Grant Program Recipients – instagram.com