Horizons · Friday, November 3, 2017

5 observations on female entrepreneurs in Quebec

Quebec Entrepreneurship Index 2017

The Quebec Enterpreneurship Index 2017, a study led by Réseau M from the Fondation de l’enterpreneurship, is cause for hope for women entrepreneurs. Devenir entrepreneur presents a five-point summary of one of the largest studies ever completed on female entrepreneurship in Quebec.

Réseau M of the Fondation de l'entrepreneurship has dedicated almost all of its research attention for the first time to women enterpreneurs. “This is the first report on entrepreneurship of this size and at this level of depth. We had a record number of respondants—17,500 women,” says Rina Marchand, senior director of content and innovation at Réseau M.

Amongst men and women alike, the numbers of youth who intend to launch a business has tripled since 2009.

1. Women are taking action

The percentage of business owners in the Quebec population is 6.9%. There is still a lower rate of entrepreneurship amongst women compared to men, specifically 5.3% for women, as opposed to 8.6% for men.

Although women are less present in entrepreneurship, more of them express an interest in starting a business compared to men.

“There are not more women in absolute terms, but they are increasingly making their ideas a reality compared to men. They want it more,” states Rina Marchand.

2. Equality is achieved amongst new business owners

While there are still more male business owners than female business owners, the ratio of young male to young female business owners who started their business less than a year ago is very encouraging. In fact, young women entrepreneurs outnumbered their male counterparts in 2017.

3. The family business: A powerful model amongst women

Coming from a family that owns a business is a strong influence on women. In fact, this increases their chances of becoming an entrepreneur by a factor of 2.9 (compared to 1.6 for men).

4. Leaders are ambitious and motivated

Women running businesses with employees and who are taking on international markets display entrepreneurial aptitudes that are equivalent or superior to men. They are younger on average than men in the same category, and this youth may be matched with greater strength and endurance, according to Rina Marchand.

On the other hand, women in the Leader category are more invested in their businesses than male entrepreneurs in the same category. The average amount of time dedicated to running the business is higher amongst women by 20%. Furthermore, women spend on average two hours more taking care of their families every week compared to men.

Chantal Trépanier, the CEO of SIM, is not surprised by the data.

See also: Chantal Trépanier: From employee to CEO of the year

“Clearly a person’s gender has no effect on their capacities as a team leader. Girls are just a good as guys. They have their strengths and weaknesses, but where they seem to confront a real challenge is in terms of balancing their work and family lives,” states the entrepreneur.

5. Young women feel less skilled when it comes to entrepreneurship

Young women who do not consider entrepreneurship as a career path have more negative perceptions of it than men and also feel they have less of an aptitude for starting a business. These women consider themselves as being less competent than their male counterparts.

“We need to have women models that have succeeded in every sector, every domain and every region. Women can then identify with them and will realize that the mountain they need to climb is not as high as they thought. There is still some work to be done in terms of fostering an entrepreneurial culture,” explains Rina.

Even though there is still work to be done to stimulate more female entrepreneurship, women today are increasingly taking their futures in hand and making the jump into the business world. The 2017 Index testifies to a real transformation, but it is still necessary to continue supporting women at every stage of their journey.

To learn more:

Consult Réseau M and the Fondation de l’entrepreneurship’s complete report

The 2017 Index is presented by the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec and was created in partnership with the Institut d’entrepreneuriat Banque Nationale│ HEC Montréal (IEBN) and Léger.

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