Understanding the Québec entrepreneurship ecosystem

Québec is very different from region to region. Before you start your business, take the time to understand Québec and find the appropriate assistance organizations.

Québec has 17 administrative regions. These regions can be grouped into three general groups that are distinguished from each other by their economic structure and development conditions.

 

Resource regions

These include the Bas-Saint-Laurent, Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Côte-Nord, Nord-du-Québec, and Gaspésie–Îles-de-la-Madeleine regions. They contain 6.9% of the population and account for 7.6% of Québec’s gross domestic product (GDP). However, they represent 80.2% of Québec’s territory. Their population density is therefore low. The economy of these regions is particularly dependent on hydroelectricity and resource extraction, most of the production of which is sent outside of Québec.

 

Manufacturing regions

These include the Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean, Mauricie, Estrie, Chaudière-Appalaches, Lanaudière, Laurentides, Montérégie, and Centre-du-Québec regions. With 50.2% of Québec’s population and 39.7% of the GDP, these regions sometimes form an essential labour pool for the nearby urban regions. Manufacturing is generally very important in these regions.

 

Urban regions

These include the Capitale-Nationale, Montréal, Outaouais, and Laval regions. They contain 42.9% of the population, but account for more than 50% of Québec’s economy.

The organizations in the Québec entrepreneurial support ecosystem provide specialized services according to the following stages of development of a business project.

 

Pre-start-up

Stage of project ideation (choosing a business idea) and learning about entrepreneurship.

 

Start-up

Stage of project validation and structuring, launch of the business, and first sales.

 

Growth

Stage of acceleration, expansion, and innovation.

We have listed more than 650 organizations that can provide different types of assistance, depending on the entrepreneur’s needs and the development stage of the project.

Make sure you have a good understanding of the type of assistance you’re looking for and use our directory of organizations or ask for help from one of our counsellors by phone, at a point of service, or on the website through the virtual counsellor.

 

Technical assistance

Training

A number of training courses are aimed at consolidating the skills of entrepreneurs, executives, and everyone in a management position or who is called upon to manage projects. The courses are given in groups, and so you will be able to both share your experiences and broaden your professional network. If you think that training could help your reach your objectives as an entrepreneur, it is definitely worth investing your time in a course.

The Starting a Business training program is addressed to entrepreneurs and self-employed individuals who wish to develop their business project and prepare a complete business plan, which is essential to a successful business start-up. When you have completed this training, you will receive an Attestation of Vocational Specialization (AVS) from the Ministère de l’Éducation et de l’Enseignement supérieur.

This training program involves practical courses on different business operations: mission and offer, market study and marketing, operations management, financial forecasts, and more. It also offers numerous exercises, case studies of participating entrepreneurs, specialized workshops – business law, taxation, financing, etc. – lab work, and individual monitoring.

Guidance

There are many organizations devoted to guiding entrepreneurs with starting their business project. The aim of these organizations is to help solidify business plans to facilitate the search for financing. They also give advice on making a business project more realistic and viable. Guidance may be done in small groups or on an individual basis.

 

Financial assistance

There are many sources of financing (loans or grants) that enable you start up your business. Each loan or grant has specific features and is addressed to a different clientele or type of business. In every case, you must have a business plan. Depending on your business plan and financial forecasts, you may obtain money in the form of a loan or a grant to execute your business project.

 

Networking

There are many organizations devoted to helping you broaden your business network and giving you pertinent information on better understanding Québec’s culture and market. Information networks include the Entreprises Québec website, managed by the Ministère de l’Économie, la Science et l’Innovation, the websites of regional chambers of commerce, and a network of more than 40 chambers of commerce for cultural communities of different origins.

Consult the Entreprises Québec website

Our search tool allows you to filter organizations depending on your needs so that you can quickly contact the experts you need.

Consult the directory