Entrepreneurial diversity: Major impacts for Quebec and the Montreal metropolitan area

In April 2021, Aviseo Consulting conducted a study for the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal and Femmessor with the aim of promoting women’s and diversity-based (Indigenous peoples, visible and ethnic minorities, people with disabilities and members of the LGBTQIA2+ community) entrepreneurship by identifying how to increase their presence and contribution to our economy. Despite a marked increase over the past 10 years, women and people from diverse backgrounds are still under-represented in entrepreneurship. To increase their involvement, there must be improved access to financing, inspiration by providing diverse models, better alignment of service offerings, and sustained support for businesses affected by the pandemic.

Key figures

  • Women account for only 25.2% of entrepreneurs.
  • Men have companies with an average of 5 employees and women have companies with an average of 3.9 employees (22% fewer employees).
  • A 98% increase between now and 2030 would be necessary to reach a parity zone within which at least 40% of entrepreneurs are women.
  • Increasing the number of women entrepreneurs would create between 21,300 and 45,600 jobs and generate additional wages between $911 million and $1.955 billion.
  • Bridging the gap between women-owned and men-owned businesses would create between 27,200 and 58,300 jobs and generate between $1.17 billion and $2.50 billion.
  • Between 2017 and 2019, women-owned businesses grew by 32%, while men-owned businesses grew by 3.7%.
  • Of Quebec’s immigrants, 14% are entrepreneurs; in the Montreal CMA, this figure jumps to 25%.
  • In 2019, one in three immigrants planned to start a business. One in five immigrants had taken steps to do so.
  • Nearly 50% of business start-ups by immigrants occur in the retail, accommodation, and food services, and professional and technical services industries.
  • Disparities in industries lead to a $558,500 decrease in sales on average, as a result of lower wages.
Please note this publication is only issued in French.