Are we going to teach how to manage a pandemic?

The pandemic will undoubtedly have longer-term repercussions on the workplace and businesses. However, will it change the way of teaching and telling the story of entrepreneurship to the “athletes” of the École d’Entrepreneurship de Beauce, which is celebrating its tenth anniversary this year?

At least that’s what happened between May and August when a program for entrepreneurs had to be given remotely. However, there is no question of offering only this practice, says President Martin Deschênes, also vice-president of the Board of the Deschênes Group, who considers it important to maintain physical contact between people.

Nearly 150 entrepreneurs are now teachers at the École d’Entrepreneurship de Beauce. Mr. Deschênes calls them the coaches because they provide advice and share their lived experience so that “the athletes” improve their performance in the business world.

Moreover, according to figures provided by the establishment led by a CA made up of entrepreneurs, in ten years, the school has participated in the transformation of more than 1,500 “athletes” with its Elite and Emergence programs.

In 2018, a study commissioned by management revealed that 94% of companies, whose managers had received training at school in 2010, were still in business after eight years.

“While in Quebec, 25% of businesses [créées en 2010] were still alive at the time, ”says Deschênes.

In addition to its programs, the École d’Entrepreneurship de Beauce also holds bootcamps. Among the coaches who have shared their experience over the years are Jean Coutu, Christiane Germain, Geneviève Biron, Charles Sirois, Dominique Brown and Alain Bouchard.

A feat

Mr. Deschênes, who is also a coach, considers it an “achievement” that the school has survived the last decade by adapting to the needs and new challenges of entrepreneurs. That’s why he says he sees the next ten years as a bit of a return to square one.

“As in any business, you have to renew yourself and be better all the time,” he replies. “You have to be able to meet the needs. The COVID-19 crisis makes us question ourselves. We don’t know what the future holds and we have to adapt, ”he continues.

The latter does not believe that the establishment will eventually offer training focused on management during a pandemic. He believes that this aspect will be conveyed more through the experience of coaches.

“I was president of the Deschênes Group on September 11, 2001. It was chaotic in our community. […] Did we teach about September 11 or the 2008-2009 economic crisis? I don’t think we teach that. We teach more about resilience to adaptation, ”he says.

According to Geneviève Biron, president of Biron Groupe Santé, the École d’Entrepreneurship de Beauce has contributed to growing and improving the image of the world of entrepreneurship in Quebec since 2010.

“The feeling we had towards entrepreneurship is more positive today than ten years ago. The school has carried out a lot of initiatives to encourage entrepreneurship, ”suggests the one who also occupies the chair of secretary of the school board.

Remember that the Beauce Entrepreneurship School is a project that was initially piloted by businessman Marc Dutil, President and CEO of Canam Group.

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