The Future is Bright
The RJCCQ currently supports a network of 40 young chambers of commerce and youth wings across Quebec, representing more than 10,000 young professionals, executives, self-employed and entrepreneurs between the ages of 18 and 40, and includes twelve organizations from cultural communities.
History of the RJCCQ
Originally formed as an alliance between The Youth Chambers of Trois-Rivières, Montreal and Quebec City in 1991, the Regroupement des jeunes chambres de commerce du Québec (RJCCQ) has a long history of business successorship, representing the biggest young workers’ network in Quebec.
In 2007, as the RJCCQ grew to 22 members, it shifted its focus to an entrepreneurial culture. Different partnerships followed suit in the years to come, including important actors in the political and economical spheres of Quebec. Constantly evolving, the RJCCQ achieved 30 members by 2011.
In 2012, preoccupied by the youth’s involvement on Board of Directors in Quebec, the RJCCCQ launched the training program “Administrateurs de la relève” (Administrators Succession) in collaboration with the “Collège des administrateurs de société” (CAS), “Autorité des marchés financiers” (AMF), and the “Conseil régional des élus” (Elected Regional Council). In 2014, the RJCCQ had 33 members and was invited to the G20 Young Entrepreneurs Summit in Australia.
As of 2015, Mr. Monsef Derraji, current President and CEO of the RJCCQ, grew the member base to up to 40 Youth Chambers—which represents about 10,000 young workers and businessmen. The organization then presented a brief to the “Secrétariat à la jeunesse” (SAJ) with three recommendations at the basis of its strategic actions. The first was training, educating and bringing awareness of the youth to proper management skills; the second, the development of an entrepreneurial ecosystem within the province; and finally, favouring internationalization of enterprises.
“Our main objectives are representing young business workers within the public and private sectors, at the provincial and national level,” says Derraji. “We favour exchanges and synergy within the Youth Chambers of Commerce members as well as the development of Youth Chambers of Commerce and their respective members.”
As 2017 marks the RJCCQ’s 25th year, it is a time of reflection and pride. To mark the occasion, special thanks were announced publicly to the founders of RJCCQ before, during and after the “Grands Prix de la Relève d’Affaires”.
“Our Members mostly get to enjoy the opportunity to interact and develop business relationships within the network,” says Derraji. “The RJCCQ creates several annual meetups allowing well-implemented, organized and dynamic networking. Not only is the network diversified (with 12 Cultural Youth Chambers), but it also benefits from different services (such as commercial advantages, training, and leaders’ conferences.”
The RJCCQ deals with a diverse range of issues. Developing an entrepreneurial ecosystem on the Provincial scale by bringing awareness, educating, encouraging and launching startup enterprises are main priorities. By creating links between economic actors in each region of Quebec and between each regions of Quebec the RJCCQ hopes to push forward all issues related to innovation, creativity, takeovers, technological advancement and information in a constantly evolving startup era. Lastly, the development of individual business diplomacy allowing young Quebecers to export their know-how on an international level, hence developing Quebec’s perspective, and conquering global markets.
Success stories of the organization are many. Overall, the organization has witnessed fruition of many young workers and entrepreneurs in different sectors: political, technological, innovation, etc., for which the RJCCQ proudly accounts for. Also, the RJCCQ periodically organizes private meetings with political and economical figures in order to exchange on important current topics.
The RJCCQ is good for Quebec, and Quebec is also good for the RJCCQ. “The Quebec Government is willing to help young entrepreneurs and workers’ demands and issues by allowing an important status within its political directives,” continues Derraji. “It truly wants to help potential problems faced by young workers, promote its representatives and give right of speech during public consultations.”
Strategies of the RJCCQ
Educating, bringing awareness and training about the proper management skills is a strategy aiming at freshening up decision-making within organizations. The project “Administrateurs de la relève” (ADR – Administrators of Successors) allows management training for young administrators to develop these proper tools in context. Thus far, over 600 young workers have been trained to take part on Boards of Directors. “The Alumni Association enables networking for all these young administrators within the regions of Quebec, making them interact and consolidate their training during organized conferences aiming at further developing and constantly evolving their competencies,” says Derraji.
Developing an entrepreneurial ecosystem on the Provincial scale is another huge priority of the RJCCQ. The main objective is to create startup communities on the provincial scale for all the Young Chambers of Commerce by giving them access to the tools and experts who can advise them for the well-being of their businesses. The link between investors and startup programs can guarantee economical prosperity, and the RJCCQ’s ultimate goal is to help hundreds of startups fly toward success within 2020. Moreover, as of 2017, the Government of Quebec financed a pilot project: commercial missions for immigrant entrepreneurs willing to invest in enterprises in different regions of Quebec.
The development of individual business diplomacy will allow young Quebecers to export their know-how on an international level, and develop Quebec’s presence on the global stage. Says Derraji, “Developing web platforms and linking Quebecers amongst themselves with an economical expansion in mind will promote the privileged path of young startups to explore international markets, increase income and create global business opportunities.”