Highlights of the Quebec Artisans Accelerator

Points saillants de l’accélérateur des artisans du Québec

In November 2016, Quartier Artisan was born and with it, the first program to support the development of craft businesses – the Quebec artisans accelerator .

This ten-month program, designed in partnership with the Pôle Entrepreneuriat of HEC Montréal , invites eight artisans to participate in eight modules, each lasting two to four days.

Here, we want to share with you the highlights of the first two modules of the accelerator: the technical aspects and the skills imparted to the participants, but also the key success factors of this program.

1. Find the human behind the entrepreneur and the craftsman

Being a successful entrepreneur and craftsman (whatever definition we give to this word) requires anchoring with the individual. This is why we have relied on different approaches to facilitate this exercise. When you go into business, you develop a business vision. But what about the vision of our life? We are entrepreneurs of our lives, as much as of our business. The importance of this introspection forces us to step back and refocus on our motivations and goals.

Whether through a group workshop, individual coaching or even yoga, the accelerator of Quebec artisans aims to offer and facilitate these moments of reflection.

2. Create a group spirit

The eight artisans who participate in the accelerator have been chosen in order to create a group where each brings a unique element. To allow this confidence and this dynamic, we organized an activity where artisans could use their manual (culinary) and entrepreneurial talents. A unique challenge: to open a new pizzeria in Lac-Mégantic. It was hands in the dough that the participants got to know each other, while calculating the cost of the pizzas they intended to market! A wonderful evening spent eating well!

3. Learn from success

Even for the most ambitious towards themselves and their company, listening to successful personalities gives a huge boost !

We were fortunate to welcome Jean-Claude Poitras who, by “sharing his particular background, his experiences with the Quebec and international markets as well as his successes and failures, came to help us in our own journey”. Starting the accelerator with his intervention not only inspired, but also motivated the group!

4. Get inspired by each other

It is through interaction that most of the learning takes place. Whether through workshops with Karine Foisy or sharing circles with Michel Gagnon, artisans are invited to pool their knowledge and compare it with others. Whether we are talking about successes or failures, sharing in a caring environment contributes to the success of all – the conversations being based on concrete and lived experience.

5. Adapt theory to practice

In order to promote the transmission of knowledge according to the needs of the participants, we have relied on a reverse pedagogy. That is to say, instead of giving lectures in which the information circulates in one direction, we base ourselves on the questions and problems of the craftsmen. The double advantage of this approach is to adapt the content to the needs and, above all, to always illustrate the theoretical using real cases proposed by the entrepreneurs present.

Written by Bernard D'arche of the Magnetic Center.

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