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May 24, 2023

Quebec faces small business succession challenges

The Quebec business landscape is faced with a major challenge as small businesses that are prepared to transfer ownership may not have a place to go, says Réseau Mentorat, a non-profit organization that provides mentoring opportunities to entrepreneurs. Small business owners in Quebec show a massive willingness to sell or transfer their business in the next 10 years, but few are prepared to do so, says the ‘Quebec Entrepreneurship Index 2022’ by the Ministère de l'Économie, de l'Innovation et de l'Énergie du Québec and presented by Réseau Mentorat. In Quebec, six out of 10 business owners say they intend to sell or transfer their business within 10 years. However, only 38.8% of those are prepared and have a succession plan. At the same time, there may not be a rich pool of buyers available as intentions to create or buy a business have been low. Réseau Mentorat says, fortunately, after three years of consecutive declines in the major rates of entrepreneurial intentions and ventures (creating and buying a business), these rates stabilized in 2022 and even increased slightly. "Given the wave of departures of current business owners, there is a need to promote more business takeovers and better preserve the existing ones," says Pierre Duhamel, general manager, Réseau Mentorat.

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