From Les Affaires
In Quebec, 60% of new businesses close their doors before celebrating their fifth anniversary. Yet fewer than 25% of those that use the services of PME MTL fail before this critical point. What’s the secret of their success? Free expert coaching, along with financing adapted to each company’s situation.
Calculating your products’ cost prices, developing a revenue model and a marketing strategy, finding premises… Successfully launching a business is a serious matter, and it often feels like you’re stepping into the unknown!
A well-informed look at your business plan
The PME MTL mission is to coach and support new Montréal entrepreneurs. Financed by the city of Montréal and the Quebec government, this expert network is devoted to promoting private entrepreneurship and the social economy. Its team works in six different service hubs covering all of Montréal Island.
The support you’ll get from PME MTL starts with an analysis of your business plan. “Entrepreneurs always think they have the best business plan. But every plan has its shortcomings. By helping them organize the different business functions and referring them as necessary to concise training programs, we improve their chances of success,” explains Christian Bélanger, Assistant Executive Director of PME MTL Centre-Ouest.
He knows what he’s talking about: Last year alone, PME MTL experts assisted over 3,200 businesses!
Most PME MTL services are free. And what’s more, since it doesn’t sell any products or services, its advisors are objective. They have only one goal: to serve their entrepreneurial clients to the best of their ability.
“The PME MTL network has 75 experts with different areas of expertise,” says Bélanger. “For each case, they evaluate all the different ways they can help the entrepreneur, and draw on everyone’s skills.” The many tools available to PME MTL advisors are like a Swiss army knife: there’s something to answer every specific need.
Financing solutions suited to young businesses
“For start-ups, the key concern is liquidity,” says Bélanger. “But banks are often hesitant to finance these ‘seedlings.’” So access to financing is often an essential issue for PME MTL advisors.
To support new businesses, PME MTL offers financing solutions tailored to each one’s situation and needs. They’re eligible for loans of up to $400,000 from PME MTL investment funds, and grants of $5,000 to $50,000 are also available for social economy enterprises and young businesses.
What’s more, PME MTL financing gives them important leverage. The new company can establish a good credit record that it can later use to prove its reliability as a borrower to banks.
At the heart of the entrepreneurial ecosystem
PME MTL relies on a vast network of partners to offer a continuum of services for entrepreneurs. From training to financing and business mentoring, its experts guide entrepreneurs to the best resources to meet their specific needs.
Entrepreneurs can also benefit from PME MTL advisors’ vast network of business contacts. “We introduce entrepreneurs to complementary firms to help them test or complete their products,” explains Bélanger. “For instance, we put one client who was looking to develop a bee pollination monitoring tool in touch with a microprocessor maker, to speed up his product development.”
Because they are constantly working with financial institutions and entrepreneurship partners, PME MTL experts are very familiar with the different programs available and can suggest complete, value-added solutions.
Free services, available to all
All new entrepreneurs can use PME MTL services, provided that they are located on Montréal Island. The network offers free monthly workshops for people interested in the ins and outs of starting a new business. Advisory services are also free.
“We’re committed to supporting young entrepreneurs,” concludes Bélanger. “And you can be a young entrepreneur at 50! You’re never too old.”