Entrepreneurship in Québec has seen a real boom in the last decade. A number of studies on the topic, such as the Indice entrepreneurial québécois (Québec entrepreneurial index), attest to the strong entrepreneurial spirit of Quebecers and its ever-growing entrepreneurial culture.
Furthermore, the rate of women who intend to start a business has tripled since 2009, and women are now proportionally more likely than men to take the plunge.
However, women-owned businesses are still largely in the minority among Québec SMEs, particularly in sectors of the economy such as manufacturing and technology, and all the sectors that depend on them.
As is the case with women, diversity in entrepreneurship is also a key part of Québec’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. In 2019, more than one in three recent immigrants intended to start a business, and nearly one in five people from diverse backgrounds had taken steps to do so.
However, the pandemic has hit women- and minority-owned businesses hard, reminding us how fragile our gains are in terms of parity and inclusion.
As long as this disparity exists, Québec will deprive itself of immense wealth and significant economic, social and environmental benefits. Moreover, several studies show that the presence of women entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds is a guarantee of excellence and financial performance.
In order to drive this momentum, the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal is proud to partner with Femmessor to launch its first initiative on inclusive entrepreneurship. The aim is to mobilize the ecosystem in favour of a strong and diversified economy.
The Forum on Inclusive Entrepreneurship sets the stage for the coming unveiling of a study on the representation of women and people of diversity in the entrepreneurial ecosystem, carried out jointly by the CCMM and Femmessor.
Please join us for this virtual forum.
8:15 a.m. Beginning of the conferences
Master of ceremonies
Block 1 – Entrepreneurial diversity: State of play
8:25 a.m. Political Words
Jean BouletMinister of Labour, Employment and Social Solidarity
Cathy WongResponsible for diversity, employment inclusion, the French language and the fight against racism and discrimination, Executive Committee member
Ville de Montréal
8:55 a.m. Words from the co-developers
9:10 a.m. Panel – Entrepreneurship and COVID-19: Inclusiveness, a source of resilience
Caroline Arnouk, ing., M. Ing. Founder & CEO
Souad Elmallem Executive Partner
Tania Saba, Ph.D., CRHA BMO Chair in Diversity and Governance
Full Professor - School of Industrial Relations
Université de Montréal
Block 2 – The drivers of a more inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystem
9:45 a.m. Panel – A financing ecosystem at the service of entrepreneurial diversity
Catherine Desaulniers Lamy Director, Investment
Sévrine LabellePresident and CEO
Wils Theagene Senior Director, Québec
Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec
Sylvie Pinsonnault Senior Vice-President, Strategies and Business Solutions
10:20 a.m. Discussion – Coaching and mentoring, key levers of entrepreneurial success
10:50 a.m. Panel – Business markets and networks at the service of entrepreneurial diversity
Déborah CherenfantRegional Director, Women Entrepreneurs, Quebec Region
TD Bank Group
President and spokesperson
Junior Chamber of Commerce of Montreal
Jennifer CookeDirector, Inclusive Trade, and Corporate Lead, Women in Trade
Export Development Canada
Réseau des femmes d’affaires du Québec (RFAQ)
Block 3 – Society, economy and environment: Entrepreneurial diversity to meet tomorrow’s challenges
11:20 a.m. Panel – Spotlight on entrepreneurial success stories
Gabriel Bran Lopez, M.S.M.Founding President, Youth Fusion
Co-Founder, FIRST Robotics Quebec
Former President, Jeune Chambre de commerce de Montréal
Amina Gerba President and CEO
Afrique Expansion Inc. and Kariliss Laboratories
Chair of the Board of Directors
Sabine Le Névanneau Co-Founder and President
Concept GEEBEE Inc.
Co-President of the R&D and Innovation Working Group
11:55 a.m. Panel – Entrepreneurial diversity and society: opportunities and advantages of an inclusive economic recovery
Danièle Henkel Founder and CEO
Daniele Henkel Enterprises
Vickie Joseph Co-founder
Groupe 3737 and Femmepreneur
Co-founder and President
Geneviève Morin President and Chief Executive Officer
Michel LeblancPresident and CEO
Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal
End of the Forum