Montreal has various tools for fostering an inclusive approach to the labour market.
For instance, through the “Doing Business in Montreal” entrepreneurship action plan adopted by its Economic Development Department, the city provides funding for the Quebec School of Entrepreneurs (EEQ) under a two-year agreement to enable the latter to enhance its “Immigraffaires” business training course. This is designed to facilitate the socioeconomic integration and success of future entrepreneurs from diverse ethnocultural backgrounds, in particular through support and help with developing their entrepreneurial skills.
The city’s funding will be used to produce a guide for entrepreneurs from ethnocultural communities, run workshops for them, devise tip sheets and co-development activities, produce podcasts showcasing them and draw up specific skills profiles for entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds. The programme should raise entrepreneurship awareness among some 1 000 migrants and train 180 migrant entrepreneurs.
In 2018, the city approved a funding agreement with the Entrepreneurship Foundation, which has the task of developing entrepreneur potential through the “Réseau M” mentoring network. Under the agreement, a number of requirements for the inclusion of diverse, migrant and cultural communities were laid down, in particular mentoring groups designed specifically for those groups.
Other support measures are also provided for in the same action plan, including, for example, co-operation with the entrepreneurship organisation, Entreprendre ICI, and the BINAM to facilitate access by migrant entrepreneurs to the business ecosystem, as well as networking events for bodies focusing on migrant entrepreneurship and diversity for the purpose of building links between communities.
Lastly, reference should be made to two other strands of action, namely co-operation with Montreal Chamber of Commerce and with the Montreal artistic diversity body, DAM. The chamber of commerce is a regional body which promotes diversity, including through the “Interconnexion” programme, which helps newcomers to find initial employment in their fields of expertise in Quebec and employers to find a new pool of talent.
DAM’s remit is to foster cultural diversity in the arts and culture by promoting the recognition and inclusion of all artists and art forms in professional networks, cultural institutions and distribution circuits in Montreal.