WHAT IS ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT?
Economic development refers to the active transformation of the living environment and encompasses the entire ecosystem of an organization. Each stakeholder must participate in the community, whether from an economic, social, community, or other perspective. This implies that the entire community must adopt a common development vision and employ a participative, inclusive and collaborative approach. The realization of this vision is reflected through collaborative efforts, cooperation, or coopetition with neighboring municipalities or key partners.
ISSUES SURROUNDING ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
There are numerous challenges in economic development.
Economic development focuses on creating new businesses, sustaining existing ones, optimizing business growth, developing innovative sectors and attracting investments. Stagnation in economic growth is also a significant challenge. A lack of cohesion in local initiatives can lead to substantial business losses and community decline. This, in turn, poses challenges related to business succession and sustainability, closely linked to the labour shortage prevalent in Quebec and Canada.
CURRENT STATE OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT IN QUEBEC
Among current challenges, there is an observable decentralization of structures and a democratization of economic development, indicating an integration of economic development functions at various levels. Workloads are distributed within the community, resulting in an increased number of stakeholders and causing a fragmentation effect. Consequently, the role of the economic developer is evolving, along with changes in the competitive landscape.
Several major transformations are currently affecting the economic development landscape, including the rise of digital technologies and artificial intelligence, which have significant impacts on the role of developers.
For instance, the role of a network agent is gaining importance, primarily by connecting various ecosystem players to create links and synergies and by developing value-added partnerships. The developer position themselves at the core of a project while remaining neutral and not being a direct participant; instead, they structure and advance projects.
HOW CAN ESPACE STRATÉGIES ASSIST YOU?
Espace Stratégies’ experience in economic development since 2007 can contribute to your organization in various ways.
Economic development involves the entire ecosystem and we have built trusted relationships with numerous institutional stakeholders. Therefore, we can rely on the participation of all actors and partners, including economic development services, cities, regional county municipalities (RCMs), districts, municipalities, planning services, community-related organizations, local development centers (CLDs), commercial development corporations (CDCs), etc.
Espace Stratégies can train economic stakeholders and provide them with tools to optimize their contributions. We can also assist the organization in establishing partnership strategies and organizing coordination activities to mobilize the community around a common vision.
Additionally, we can support your organization in a strategic reflection to determine structuring directions and priorities to be implemented in the short, medium and long term. Thus, we can identify relevant and effective action strategies for any organization or institution.
To address various growth themes, Espace Stratégies offers several advisory services. In the case of economic development, the most relevant ones include:
UMQ, APDEQ and ADGMQ
For many years, numerous organizations have enlisted the services of Espace Stratégies for various economic development training, including innovative economic development. These organizations include the Association des professionnels en développement économique du Québec (APDEQ), the Union des municipalités du Québec (UMQ), and the Association des directeurs généraux des municipalités du Québec (ADGMQ).
Excellence industrielle Saint-Laurent
Excellence industrielle Saint-Laurent (formerly DESTL) is a multiservice gateway for the realization of business retention and expansion projects in the city of Saint-Laurent. When launching its innovation zone project, the organization chose Espace Stratégies to assist in developing its business plan. The ES team, in partnership with various stakeholders, participated in defining the concept, drafting the specifications and submitting the project to the Ministère de l’Économie.
Projets Signature innovation
In 2019, the government of Quebec created the Fonds régions et ruralité (FRR) to support the development of Regional County Municipalities (RCMs). Most RCMs decided to take advantage of the fund and create Signature Innovation Projects in their territories. Several of them chose Espace Stratégies to assist them in their strategic initiatives. This group includes RCM de D’Autray, RCM des Pays-d’en-Haut, RCM de la Minganie, RCM du Granit, and RCM de La Vallée-du-Richelieu.