Despite the challenges that the pandemic has thrown at us, close to one in three Quebecois still consider entrepreneurship to be the “optimal profession”1, reveals the Quebec entrepreneurship index report, 2020 edition. However, for many of these people, starting a business or taking over an existing one can be intimidating. From next fall, LaSalle College will offer a new attestation of college studies program (AEC) in Entrepreneurship and Takeover, so that you can acquire all the skills you need to run a successful business.
The pandemic hasn’t discouraged young aspiring entrepreneurs. According to the 2020 Quebec entrepreneurship index report, the number of people in the 18-34 age group planning to start a business has increased from 30% to 34%. The number of people starting their business straight out of college has also increased (from 11.4% to 17.6%).
LaSalle College has developed its new program to satisfy this appetite for entrepreneurship among generations Y and Z. “We want help those young adults who have the drive and profound desire to start a business to achieve independence and take control of their own lives,” explains Fernand Campbell, teacher and program designer.
The AEC in Entrepreneurship and Takeover targets the development of skills, both interpersonal—communication, sales and negotiation, etc.—and technical—marketing, accounting and operations management. “The original teaching methods and dynamic educational tools used will enable future entrepreneurs to organize resources appropriately to build a functional, efficient and cost-effective business plan,” Campbell continues.
Instead of using strictly lectured or theoretical methods, we teach these notions in a way that is particularly adapted to the needs of each team and their project. “The teacher’s role isn’t to tell the students what to do, but to guide them, raise the right issues and reproduce the environment of a real company,” explains Fernand Campbell. “In this way, we allow the project to develop until we make a high-value business concept out of it.”
Cohorts are limited to around twenty registrations to facilitate more proximity between teachers and students. “Students often develop certain interpersonal skills on a very personal level; in a large group it would be difficult to pay enough attention to everyone,” comments the teacher and program designer.
Before becoming teachers at LaSalle College, many teachers are—or started off as— entrepreneurs, or even consultants, like Fernand Campbell, who completed several corporate mandates in 25 years. “This professional knowledge has a great deal of added value in class. It helps us to back up theory with concrete examples from our own experiences,” Campbell explains.
Teachers’ practical experience is added to that acquired as mentors at LaSalle College. Projects such as the Global Student Entrepreneurship Contest, an intensive one-week Bootcamp, and the CEO event—a competition inspired by the show Dragon’s Den—are proof that entrepreneurship plays a prominent role in the establishment.
The third and final session of the program focuses on bringing a business plan to fruition, whether it be a pre-existing idea, or a concept developed during studies. At the end of this intensive pre-incubator process, each project will take the form of a complete business model. “We expect that every year some students will be ready to get financing and start their business right away,” concludes Campbell.
The AEC program in Entrepreneurship and takeover is offered in 3 sessions (1065 hours). The registration process consists of 3 steps: first, you must fill out an admission application form, provide a cover letter, and then participate in an interview for candidate selection.
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