News > 2016 > The DNA of Quebec Entrepreneurs

The DNA of Quebec Entrepreneurs

The Québec Entrepreneurship Index, produced in partnership with the National Bank Institute for Entrepreneurship, describes 4 profiles

November 1, 2016

The new Québec Entrepreneurship Index 2016 identifies four typical Quebec entrepreneur profiles: Individualist, Prudent, Established and Leader. The results of Réseau M’s latest survey are presented by the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec and produced in partnership with the National Bank – HEC Montréal Institute for Entrepreneurship and Léger.

Along with the 4 typical profiles, the study looks at entrepreneurial intentions since 2009. In particular, it examines the entrepreneurial chain in terms of demographic criteria and economic sectors.

The index is based on a survey of 2,515 respondents, including 800 Quebec business owners and 1,000 young people.

The core DNA of the four entrepreneur profiles

Individualist entrepreneurs account for almost half of Index respondents. Their primary goal is to create their own jobs by leveraging a highly targeted local niche.

Established entrepreneurs account for more than a third of the total. Their businesses often have regional scale and are thus significant employment generators. Entrepreneurs in these two groups are less likely to have completed university studies than those in the other two profiles.

By comparison, Prudent entrepreneurs are more often found to have a university degree. However, they form a relatively small proportion of the entrepreneurial pool. A low propensity to take risks and low willingness to hire constitute major obstacles for those in this group.

Leader entrepreneurs stand out due to their high levels of education, intention to go international from the inception of their business model, willingness to hire and innovate, and propensity to take risks. Men form the largest proportion in the Leader group, while women are best represented in the Individualist category, in which they account for nearly half the total.

"The knowledge, experience and contacts that universities make available can provide entrepreneurs with a short-cut to the usual business internationalization cycle and often lead to entrepreneurs taking their first steps abroad while they are developing their business models. We can definitely do more to promote entrepreneurship in higher education, but we also need to promote entrepreneurs who are ‘born global,’" said Luis Cisneros, Director of the National Bank | HEC Montréal Institute for Entrepreneurship.

An entrepreneurial chain supported by youth and immigrants

The 2016 Index shows that entrepreneurial intentions among Quebeckers have tripled (to 21.0%) from when it was first published in 2009. Entrepreneurial chain indicators have been relatively stable since 2015.

Once again this year, the slight increase in entrepreneurial intentions stemmed in large part from the 18-to-34 age group (36.6% in 2015 to 42.2% in 2016).

Immigrants form a high proportion of entrepreneurs, including 22.4% of Leaders, an impressive total relative to their overall 11.2% weight in the adult population of Index respondents.

Women have only a modest presence in the entrepreneurial chain. It is surprising that there are so few Quebec women in the Leader profile (22.9%), which is dominated by those with higher education, since there are more women at university in Quebec than men. Although their lower propensity to take risks is one of the factors explaining this situation, Réseau M feels that strong support for this group is crucial, as women represent the future of entrepreneurship in Quebec.

The Quebec Entrepreneurship Index 2016 was launched as part of Rendez-vous Réseau M 2016, an event attended by some 600 business managers and stakeholders.