Learning the language of small business

Alain Rivard is a recognized socially responsible entrepreneur who spent several years as an economic development advisor before finding success with Le temps d’une pinte, a microbrewery he opened in Trois-Rivières. He’d be the first to tell you that his career would have turned out much differently if he hadn’t studied finance at HEC Montréal.

A credibility booster

In the 1990s, Alain was enrolled in a bachelor of business administration program in Trois-Rivières, with the intent of having a career where he could help entrepreneurs grow their businesses. He initially chose human resources as his major, but soon came to realize he did not have all the qualifications he needed. He decided to pursue his education so he could gain a better understanding of how businesses work, build a stronger profile and establish his credibility in the world of small and medium-sized businesses.

He landed on HEC Montréal’s finance and financial management certificate, citing the school’s reputation for excellence as a factor in his decision. Not only did he have an amazing experience with the program, it also sparked his interest in community building: he made the most of all the resources available to him on campus and joined his program’s student association.
Alain Rivard

“My goal was to work with small and medium-sized businesses, so I needed to speak the language of business owners. That’s why I decided to study finance at HEC Montréal: I wanted to understand accounting numbers and know exactly where a business stands.”

A pivotal stepping stone

  • The financial management skills that Alain gained at HEC Montréal served him well throughout his decade-long career in economic development, in which he helped entrepreneurs in the Mauricie area get their businesses off the ground, finance their growth and expand globally.

  • He started teaching at Cégep de Trois-Rivières, where he advises students on their business ideas. One of these ideas eventually turned into the coop microbrewery he co-manages today—and as a fun bonus, he got to take beekeeping classes!

  • In his most recent venture, he conducted a study on the challenges involved in entrepreneurial coaching and co-founded the Zone entrepreneuriale, an organization that provides concrete, practical training for business owners.

“My certificate in finance has taken me further than I ever imagined. I initially signed up for the program to enhance my credibility in the field, and it ended up defining my career! Every aspect of my professional development has been marked by my experience at HEC Montréal.”

Alain’s story

1993 Graduated with a certificate in finance and financial management, followed by further education (including an MBA from UQTR)
2007–Present Instructor at Cégep de Trois-Rivières (finance, financial mathematics, accounting, financial planning, etc.)
2013–Present Co-founded Le temps d’une pinte, a co-op microbrewery
2016–Present Co-founded the Zone entrepreneuriale, an organization that provides coaching to new business owners 

HEC Montréal: Where opportunities are created

More and more people are choosing HEC Montréal as the place to pursue their fundamental business education, build their skills in all areas of management and get the support they need for their entrepreneurial ventures. The School recently updated its mission to place greater emphasis on sustainable and responsible management approaches.

Certificates and short undergraduate programs


undergraduate certificates and short undergraduate programs in every area of management

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entrepreneurs coached through our 3 Base entrepreneuriale programs

Sustainable and responsible management


students across 10 specialized programs in sustainable and responsible management

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