Entrepreneurs gather for Quebec’s third annual Foire des entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurs gather for Quebec’s third annual Foire des entrepreneurs

Article and photo: Mitch Vandenborn

Entrepreneurs from Quebec City and across the province gathered together last Thursday For the third annual Foire des entrepreneurs at the ExpoCité exhibition centre in Limoilou.

Organized by the Chambre de commerce et d’industrie de Québec, the conference was a mix of exhibitors offering services to entrepreneurs, one-on-one business coaching, workshops, and panel discussions.

More than 130 exhibitors filled the room, showing off their services available to entrepreneurs in fields such as financing, marketing and information technology. Big names offering enterprise services like Desjardins and Vidéotron shared space with small organizations such as public-speaking group Toastmasters.

One of the exhibitors was the Community Economic Development and Employability Corporation (CEDEC), an organization that works with entrepreneurs from across the province on developing their business ideas.

Offering its services in both French and English, CEDEC works in communities across the province, making it unique and inclusive to a variety of Quebec’s linguistic and cultural groups according to project manager Sterling Lambert.

“We’re offering services that wouldn’t necessarily be available otherwise,” he said.

CEDEC offers coaching sessions, webinars and connects business owners with other organizations that can offer help with specific areas like financing and marketing.

“The whole idea is really to help small business owners and help them grow,” he said.

One of their tools for helping entrepreneurs is the GrowthWheel, which CEDEC’s Frédérick Perrier gave a presentation on during the day.

Developed by Danish entrepreneur David Madié, Perrier said the GrowthWheel is a tool that doesn’t hand over the answers entrepreneurs are looking for, but is more like a tool for self-reflection.

“When we meet an entrepreneur, the first thing they have to do is self-assess,” he said.

By having the entrepreneur analyze their strengths and weaknesses in a variety of areas, such as product, marketing or financing, Perrier said that usually they figure out what part of their business they need to work on.

After figuring out what they need to upgrade, the entrepreneur then comes up with a 30, 60 or 90 day plan to bring their business to the next stage.

“We basically just try to end procrastination,” he said.

Thursday also marked the release of the 2015 edition of the Fondation de l’entrepreneurship Quebec Entrepreneurial Index, which looks at the state of entrepreneurship in the province.

A new element in this year’s index is that rather than just comparing the level of entrepreneurship in Quebec versus the rest of Canada, it also takes a look at differences in Quebec’s different regions.

Throughout Québec, 20.1 per cent of adults age 18 to 65 planned on on going into business for themselves, compared to 14.8 per cent of adults in 2013.

The entrepreneurial is spirit even stronger amongst young people in the province, with 36.6 per cent of 18 to 34 year olds saying they plan on starting a business.

The full index report can be read here:
http://www.entrepreneurship.qc.ca/sites/default/files/docs/IEQ2015_web.pdf

Categories: Business

About Author

Mitch Vandenborn

Originally from southern Ontario, Mitch Vandenborn moved to Quebec City in September 2014 to improve his French. It's still a work in a progress. Mitch studied journalism at Carleton University, Ottawa and has worked in writing and communications for several years. He's also a frequent Tweeter: @mitchvandy

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