Start of the Entreprendre Ensemble Project
This article is based on information gathered during an interview with Mr. Pierre Graff, CEO of the RJCCQ
For 29 years now, the Regroupement des jeunes chambres de commerce du Québec (RJCCQ) has supported a network of 45 young chambers of commerce and youth wings across Quebec, representing more than 13,000 young professionals, executives, self-employed workers and entrepreneurs between the ages of 18 and 40, and counting 15 organizations from cultural communities among its ranks. Its mission is to support and promote young businesspeople in their ecosystem.
The Entreprendre Ensemble project
The first edition of the Entreprendre Ensemble project was launched on November 23rd. This initiative was made possible thanks to the financial support of the City of Montreal. The RJCCQ was therefore able to implement this project, which aimed to offer personalized support to young Indigenous self-employed workers and entrepreneurs. The objectives of this project are to create linkages between the various business communities and promote the creative expression and talent of First Nations, Métis and Inuit and thus provide personalized support and create a favourable dynamic to support them.
The project will be carried out through two main pillars:
- The deployment of a tailor-made support and co-development program that is adapted to the needs of participating entrepreneurs with the support of experts from Indigenous communities.
- Annual support aimed at forging ties with the Montreal business community and carrying out a project in their image.
This project was intended for all First Nations, Inuit and Métis entrepreneurs. In order to be eligible for the program, they had to live within the territory of Greater Montreal. The Regroupement des jeunes chambres de commerce du Québec, assisted by the First Nations of Quebec and Labrador Economic Development Commission (FNQLEDC), recruited candidates in the fall of 2021. Following this process, a dozen young entrepreneurs were selected for the project.
They all had projects in different stages of development, which greatly enriched the initiative, as it allowed the organization to understand all the needs based on the progress of each project. From that moment, they were able to create a specialized program suitable for everyone. The program started on November 23, 2021 with a round table allowing all participants to meet. Specific support and preparation for the next steps will take place in January 2022.
For its part, personalized support will begin at the end of January. The Bank of Montreal (BMO), one of the partners, will provide mentoring and support for everything related to financing applications. The Jeune chambre de commerce de Montréal will offer an annual membership to participants so that they can engage with members, build relationships and develop their networks.
The ultimate wish would be to promote Indigenous entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial initiatives and create a provincial ripple effect. Mr. Graff, Chief Executive Officer of the Regroupement des jeunes chambres de commerce du Québec has expressed that he would like this initiative to be replicated throughout the province in order to further support Indigenous entrepreneurs and promote them more.
The valuable partners of this project are the City of Montreal, BMO, the FNQLEDC, Propulsio 360, the Jeune chambre de commerce de Montréal and Wapikoni. This project will help create a more prosperous and inclusive Quebec, driven by the ambitions of young businesspeople. It will carry the voice of young Indigenous entrepreneurs, increase their economic impact and support them in their development.
The programming activities began with the round table last November. Until next fall, there will be several presentations of mentorship paths and networking sessions and activities to help young people develop their entrepreneurial projects.
Looking forward, the Regroupement hopes to replicate the initiative and create a second cohort of entrepreneurs. If you missed your chance to participate in this great project, you can send your application today by email to the management of the Regroupement des jeunes chambres de commerce du Québec at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In conclusion, we would like to underscore the relevance of this wonderful project that brings hope, which will encourage the next generation of Indigenous people to pursue their dreams and achieve their greatest professional aspirations.
For more information on the Entreprendre Ensemble project: https://bit.ly/3KZeCLR and on the RJCCQ: https://bit.ly/3Hm0aeE
To discover other programs and resources, we invite you to consult our blog.