February 16, 2018

The innovating young entrepreneurs conference in Montreal, organized by the Conseil québécois de la coopération et la mutualité (Quebec council of cooperation and mutuality) (CQCM), is the first event in a series of activities aimed at promoting cooperative entrepreneurship among young people aged 16 to 34 years old in Quebec.

Why? Because a survey conducted by the firm Léger Marketing for the CQCM found that young people know little or nothing about the model of the cooperative enterprise. Nevertheless, through the survey, they indicated that they favored cooperative work values such as honesty and transparency (59%), or altruism (51%). For several months now, the CQCM has been traveling all over Quebec to meet them and familiarize them with this model, by sharing the experience and expertise of stakeholders who are active in Quebec’s cooperative movement.

The program for the day included:

  • The presentation of the Léger Marketing survey and of the CQCM youth programs;
  • Group workshops on starting and simulating a business;
  • A dinner with expert entrepreneurs or representatives of cooperative organizations (COOP Network, Quebec Regional Development Cooperative, Solidarity Economy Fund, Guy-Bernier Chair of Cooperation, Niska Cooperative);
  • Discussions around inspiring entrepreneurial journeys.

In addition to the inspiring stories of the guest entrepreneurs, the young people were able to participate in a business start-up simulation, promoting the understanding of the model in a concrete way.

The panel of invited entrepreneurs and speakers included:

  • Nicolas Duvernois, founder and CEO of Pur Vodka, and young entrepreneurs, members and founders of Québec cooperative enterprises;
  • Francis Duperron, from Productions 4 Éléments, a cooperative of media production workers;
  • Mathieu Morin, from Belvédère, a communications and advertising cooperative;
  • Abrielle Sirois-Cournoyer, from ALTE Coopérative, a cooperative of engineering workers;
  • Emmanuelle Raynauld, from Espace Fabrique, a solidarity cooperative;
  • Anabelle Goupil, from Microbrasserie de Bellechasse, a solidarity cooperative.

The model of the cooperative enterprise is more relevant than ever. The success of this event reflects the interest of young people between 18 and 34 years old who find themselves in the values ​​conveyed by cooperatives.