The Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal and Femmessor released their study entitled Entrepreneurial Diversity: Major Impacts for Quebec and Montréal on April 14 during a press conference at the Palais des congrès de Montréal.
The study was released in the wake of the Forum on Entrepreneurial Diversity, held March 26 to spotlight the importance of entrepreneurship among women and people from diverse backgrounds in the entrepreneurial ecosystem of Quebec and Montréal.
“ This study offers insight into the scope of potential benefits of a more inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystem, to better understand the challenges of underrepresented entrepreneurs and identify levers to stimulate the creation and growth of a larger number of businesses that reflect diverse, inclusive ownership. ” – Sévrine Labelle, president and CEO of Femmessor
The study reveals, in part, that:
- Women represent 40% of entrepreneurs in Quebec, but they are owners of only 25% of businesses;
- The number of businesses owned by women grew 32% from 2017 to 2019 compared with 3.7% for those owned by men;
- 42% of immigrants consider entrepreneurship an optimal career choice compared with 32% of native-born Canadians;
- The presence of immigrant entrepreneurs increased in the majority of sectors, and they are more likely to see a strong rate of growth.
The study identified obstacles to successful entrepreneurship among women and people from diverse backgrounds, the main ones being stereotypes and biases, access to financing, and a lack of familiarity with the business environment and opportunities for networking.
Recommendations to respond to these issues
The study spotlighted the most effective levers to achieve better representation of women and people from underrepresented groups in Quebec’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.
Additionally, recommendations for developing a culture of inclusive, diverse entrepreneurship emerged from the study, including ambitious public policy, improving the availability of statistical data, as well as easier access to financing. Improved access to knowledge and experience, training, and markets was also identified as an effort to encourage the development of entrepreneurship among women and people from diverse backgrounds.
Ambitious targets with tangible positive impacts
Michel Leblanc, president and CEO of the Chamber, took advantage of the release of the study to show that a realistic target is to double the growth rate of businesses managed by women by 2031, i.e., increasing entrepreneurship among women by 35%.
Reaching this target would reduce the gap between men and women and have considerable economic advantages for Quebec, including creating 45,000 to 58,000 new jobs, while taking into consideration the labour issues that persist in certain sectors.
“ Doubling the rate of creation of businesses owned by women in Quebec over 10 years will have a major impact, creating a ripple effect in the community and ensuring better representation, ” said Michel Leblanc, president and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal
TO CONSULT THE STUDY
About the study
Released as part of the Strategic Forum on entrepreneurial diversity, Entrepreneurial Diversity: Major Impacts for Quebec and Montréal is a study by the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal and Femmessor, in cooperation with the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, Desjardins, Export Development Canada (EDC), Fondaction, the Government of Canada, the Government of Quebec, Hydro-Québec, Investissement Québec, La Presse, Montreal Gazette, the Palais des congrès de Montréal, the Women Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub and Ubisoft.