QUÉBEC CITY, March 30, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - The Québec Entrepreneurship Contest is especially pleased to announce that this year, the Business Creation division has recorded its second highest participation rate ever. To be more precise, 1107 companies run by 1688 entrepreneurs participated in the 2012 edition of the contest, a 2.8% increase in comparison with the previous edition.
"Over the years, there has always been strong participation in the Contest. We believe that this proves beyond a doubt that entrepreneurship is a top choice for Quebeckers, and that the Québec Entrepreneurship Contest is a major asset for those who choose to control their own destinies. We are very proud to help these entrepreneurs step into the spotlight and shine thanks to our network of collaborators and prestigious partners," said Natacha Jean, President and Director General of the Contest.
Participation rates increased in several parts of Québec. The Côte-Nord region soared above the rest with an increase of 75% over the previous year. In the Mauricie (19.6%), Montréal (8.2%), Laval (30.23 %) and the Laurentides (29.8%) participation rates not only increased significantly but were also the best recorded in years.
These remarkable results are not only due to the substantial concerted effort of the entrepreneurs to bring their project to fruition, but also to the guidance and support of hundreds of people involved in helping them attain such a coveted goal. These people are the 121 local coordinators who work for socioeconomic organizations dedicated to entrepreneurship and who carry out their responsibilities devotedly. We sincerely thank these coordinators, their collaborators and their partners throughout Québec for their support and for their commitment to the Contest.
The percentage of participating companies in each category was as follows: Services to Individuals (26.9%), Services to Companies (22.2%), Commerce (19.6%), Business Operation, Processing, Production (12.2%), Technological and Technical Innovation (7.9%), Bio-Food (6.2%) and Social Economy (5.0%). These new companies created 2478 jobs and hope to increase this to nearly 6000 jobs within three years. These figures include the 64 Business Transition projects submitted this year in five of the identified sectors of activity. The transfer of business ownership is becoming increasingly topical and we are continuing our efforts to reach a larger number of clients in the future in order to provide more recognition for the efforts invested in this specific sector.
We also note that 57.8% of the promoters participating in this 2012 edition were less than 35 years of age. The percentage of women heading up emerging businesses also increased, 48.5% compared to 44.5% last year. In addition, women accounted for 60.8% of participants in the Commerce sector, 55.3% of the Social Economy sector and 54.6% of the Services to Individuals sector, all sectors more oriented to them, as borne out by data collected during the course of previous editions.
The winners will soon be revealed!
Putting forward an idea and working hard to reach their goal makes every Contest participant a winner. Over the next few weeks, the process to pick the award-winning projects will begin. On the local and regional levels, hundreds of people will work with those in charge of the Contest to choose the projects that will advance to the final step of the selection process that will take place in May 2012.
The winners of the 2012 edition of the Contest will be revealed on Wednesday, June 20, 2012, at the Desjardins Grand Prize Gala to be held in Québec City with Sophie Brochu, President and CEO of Gaz Métro as Honorary President.
It should also be noted that there were 2381 entrepreneurial projects in schools carried out by over 45 000 students submitted this year to the 14th edition of the Québec Entrepreneurship Contest.
The Québec Entrepreneurship Contest is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to support the development of Québec's entrepreneurial culture by rewarding entrepreneurial initiatives throughout Québec. The Student Entrepreneurship division encourages the creation of projects that contribute to the development of entrepreneurial values in the schools. Through its Business Creation division, the Contest encourages entrepreneurs who are just starting up a business. Over the last 12 years, the Contest has attracted more than one million participants.
This initiative was made possible by more than 40 partners, including the Desjardins Group, the Gouvernement du Québec, Rogers, Deloitte, Gaz Métro, La Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, Journal les affaires, Barreau du Québec, Fondation CMA, Fonds de solidarité FTQ, Ingenio (a subsidiary of Loto-Québec), La Capitale Financial Group, SAJE accompagnateur d'entrepreneurs, Saputo and the Association des CLD du Québec.
For further information:
Director of Operations
Québec Entrepreneurship Contest
418-644-4222, ext. 2428