The 2019 edition released this summer of the Quebec entrepreneurship index of the Entrepreneurship Foundation presents a complete portrait of the evolution of the last ten years of entrepreneurship in Quebec.
First, the rate of entrepreneur-owners in Quebec, which was 7.2% of the population in 2009, is only 6.2% in 2019. In addition, closures have more than doubled, from 6 , 0% in 2009 to 12.7% in 2019.
These indicators are all the more surprising when we see that the entrepreneurial intention of Quebecers jumped from 7.0% in 2009 to more than 20% in 2019. The same goes for the steps to start a business which were a low 2.8% in 2009 and which multiplied to reach 9.7% in 2019.
This trend is even more glaring among 18-34 year olds, with an intention rate of over 30% and procedures at 15.8%, which is more than the Quebec average in both cases. And during this time, the number of young owners has stagnated around 3% for 10 years, not to mention the closures which rose to 10% in 2019, negatively affecting the overall performance of entrepreneurship in Quebec.
The findings of the last ten years show quite clearly that the Quebec model of entrepreneurship is more oriented towards awareness and start-up assistance, rather than the growth and survival of businesses.
These data, based on 10 years of analysis, show that the time has come to revisit the Quebec model of entrepreneurship, both at the government level and that of organizations working in entrepreneurship or partners from the private sector.
Some avenues for reflection:
- Is it still relevant to support so many programs and organizations geared towards “start-ups” or young shoots, when the results are not there?
- Would an in-depth analysis of programs and organizations, based on precise indicators of entrepreneur retention and the sustainability of businesses (particularly among 18-34 year olds) merit updating?
- Rather, should we improve the accompaniment and support for existing businesses in order to ensure their long-term development, which would promote a growth in the rate of owners while reducing closures?
- Should the private sector, organizations and government authorities work more in synergy rather than silos, in particular in order to avoid duplication (as is too often the case in entrepreneurship in Quebec) but also to facilitate access to services for entrepreneurs?
The question is asked: should we review the Quebec model of entrepreneurship? This is even more relevant in the current context as the world changes and evolves at high speed.