Is Entrepreneurship Part of the English Language?

Is Entrepreneurship Part of the English Language?

by Cynthia A. Sheehan

A new study conducted by Léger Marketing for the Fondation de l’entrepreneurship revealed that Anglophones living in Quebec tend to start twice as many businesses as their Francophone counterparts. Although this difference has long been known, it has never been fully understood. Why is it that Francophones systematically present lower levels of entrepreneurial intentions and business creation? Authors of the study wanted to know if this was a question of language.

So they looked at Francophone Quebecers who have left Quebec for another Canadian province as well as Francophones living in the rest of Canada. Results are surprising. It would seem that if you take Francophones out of Quebec, they become just as entrepreneurial as Anglophones Quebecers and Canadians in general.  Furthermore, Francophone Canadians (who have never lived in Quebec) exhibit the same levels of entrepreneurial behaviours as their Anglophone counterparts.

If language is not an issue, then what could explain that Francophones in Quebec continue to lag behind Canadians when it comes to entrepreneurship? A few key findings may shed light on the issue. When we compare Quebec Francophones with the rest of Canada, we find that fewer Francophones identify “ambition” as an important trait for an entrepreneur. The same goes for “risk-taking” which is not seen as important by Francophones than Canadians. Also, financial success is perceived negatively by more Francophone Quebecers than Canadians. Add to that a low tolerance to failure and low confidence in one’s ability to start a business and you have the perfect recipe for poor entrepreneurial culture.

There is light at the end of the tunnel though. Entrepreneurship is starting to become a valued career choice. In fact 62% of Quebecers think it is a desirable career choice compared to 46% of Canadians. Also, more young Quebecers have learned about entrepreneurship in school than in the rest of Canada. Let’s hope this translates into more business creation in Quebec’s future.

For an in depth look at the study’s findings you can download a copy for free (in French only) on the Fondation de l’entrepreneurship website.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Cynthia A. Sheehan is an Entrepreneurship lecturer at Laval University and one of the owners of Ross & Sheehan inc.

Categories: Business, News

About Author

Cynthia A. Sheehan

Cynthia A. Sheehan grew up in a bilingual family in Quebec City. She teaches entrepreneurship and management at FSA Laval and is working on many projects including a book on entrepreneurship and the organisation of the TEDxQuébec. You can follow Cynthia on Twitter @SheehanCyn.