There is sometimes the false perception that the Quebecers have no entrepreneurial spirit, that Quebec is lagging behind others and that it is impossible to enter the market in this province. Then perhaps you’ll be surprised to hear that Quebec surpasses all the countries of the G7, besides the rest of Canada, when it comes to the ratio of entrepreneurs to overall population? Quebecers are ambitious, creative and innovative — this is enough to allow a province to outperform countries like Germany, the United States, Japan, France, Italy and the United Kingdom.
Quebecers go after more business opportunities than any other country of the G7 but 38.9% of them don’t go into business for fear of failure despite a favourable economic landscape. Other very interesting figures about entrepreneurship like the one shared above can be found on the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor website.
This goes to show that the potential for starting a business in Quebec is huge but it is first and foremost necessary to understand the skill level of people here and to adjust our perception of the success rate of Quebec businesses. However, there is no shortage of inspirational models in Quebec. I had the privilege of meeting several who shared their experience as entrepreneurs and who confirmed that it was possible to achieve success through a truly local business. On that note, let me introduce you to Marc-André Gauvreau, owner of Brasseur de Montréal. Fun loving and passionate, his wife, Denise Mérineau, and him built a microbrewery which is in its early stages of a journey filled success. He worked in the brewery industry for 30 years and brought a wealth of extensive experience and a plethora of ideas. She is the mastermind behind the business plan and has a natural ease with numbers. “The two of us, we are Batman and Robin. We make an incredible team!”
“The great thing about working with your wife is that she’s always there. The down side about it is that she’s always there!” Living with your business partner 24/7 means that it is much less likely to forget something. “But in 10 years, we have never fought.” And after witnessing the way he speaks to his wife, I believe him.
If you don’t know their beers, I urge you to visit their location in Griffintown or Old Montreal where you’ll be able to taste the Docker IPA or the Ghosttown, while eating a smoked meat poutine or ribs made with Black Watch beer, which is brewed on the spot. The rest of the menu is just as mouth-watering. And to make sure you discover this place, we are giving away a $100 gift card to Brasseur de Montréal. All you need to do is go to our Facebook page to enter the draw.
The selection of beers is also available in supermarkets and convenience stores. The product is easily recognizable because all the labels show the image of a gaze. The idea behind this is that each beer has its own personality and its own name. You can also enjoy it in restaurants and bars like Cage aux sports because they have just signed a distribution agreement with Six Pintes, a subsidiary company of Molson. “The oldest brewery in North America chose a tiny microbrewery. That’s absolutely magical!” It was beer giant Molson who approached Brasseur de Montréal because their beers are good, affordable and high-quality. This partnership is excellent news for the Montreal-based microbrewery which will see many doors open for bigger projects in the coming years! To keep up with what’s new, follow them on Instagram.
After only 30 minutes of talking with Gauvreau, it is hard to keep thinking that Quebecers do not have a strong entrepreneurial spirit. So I asked him what the most important quality that an entrepreneur must possess is. His answer: “You have to work hard. What it comes down to is passion; you have to breathe it, love it and see everything that happens around it. I think that the chances of success are greater if, relatively speaking, you are open, having fun, in a good mood and ready to give it your all.” That quote is so on point that there’s nothing else to add. Cheers!