A culture of entrepreneurship is an essential component of a healthy economy. According to the Indice Entreprenaurial Québécois, in 2012, entrepreneurs represented only 10.2% of the population in Quebec compared to 17.5% in the rest of Canada indicating that support is clearly needed in order for small businesses to grow, innovate and thrive.
In recognition of this important opportunity, CEDEC organized “Entrepreneurship in Quebec”, a bilingual forum held on Friday, March 22 in Montreal.
Facilitated by Noah Redler, owner of NR Project Development and Publikit, the purpose of this conference was to discover new opportunities to stimulate entrepreneurship, innovation, and economic development. Guest speakers discussed business incubation and mentorship as a means to stimulate economic opportunity.
Rina Marchand, Director of Products and Innovation at the Fondation de l’entrepreneurship presented a portrait of entrepreneurship in Quebec. She stressed that the Fondation’s main objective is to increase the overall number of entrepreneurs and promote entrepreneurial culture in Quebec.
Michel Auger, Head Mentor at Réseau M at the Fondation de l’entrepreneurship, discussed how much mentorship can help the small business owner and ultimately contribute to a strong, sustainable economy.
Mr. Auger said that today, 2500 mentees have benefited from mentoring services at 82 service points across Quebec. He went on to say that a successful mentorship is contingent on a good matching system.
Daniel Béliveau, Executive Director of the Entrepreneurial Centre in Shawinigan, told the story of how the centre was created and the impact it has had on entrepreneurs in the area and the sustainability of the economy in this region.
Thanks to the active discussion that the presentations stimulated among participants, there is general interest and sentiment in developing a collaborative approach to support the development of SME’s in Quebec and increase access to services in order to foster success and business innovation. This will be essential if we are to make a positive impact on the development of an entrepreneurial culture in Quebec for wealth creation, innovation, productivity and economic growth.
“Entrepreneurs are the driving force behind the new businesses that bring innovations to market, launch novel industries and create high-paying jobs. … These dynamic business owners can inspire others to start exciting new ventures and offer valuable advice to the next generation of Canadian entrepreneurs”, CANADA’S ECONOMIC ACTION PLAN 2013, p 206, Promoting an Entrepreneurial Culture in Canada.
CEDEC is a leading partner and driving force for community economic development and employability. A volunteer-driven organization, CEDEC sparks economic innovation in building forward-looking, prosperous and confident communities across Quebec through sharing expertise, knowledge and building partnerships.
The CEDEC Small Business Support Network (SBSN) supports communities across Quebec by providing personalized business development services in English. It is the only provincial network positioned to help English-speaking entrepreneurs network, acquire new skills, and build successful businesses that are competitive in the global economy.