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Montreal has no shortage of entrepreneurship programs. Listed below are 4 of the most prominent ones.

YES Montreal: Youth Employment Services is a non profit community organization and has been around for quite some time. Its entrepreneurship program covers a lot of ground and offers workshops and seminars. They can offer loans of up to $15,000 for new start ups.

Montreal Start Up: This one provides seed level financing, meaning start ups in their very early stages. Although they are looking for a wide variety of entrepreneurs, they are mostly aimed at technology related ventures such as software based services in the internet. Their financing is between $100,000 to $400,000.

YWCA Montreal: YWCA Montreal Entrepreneurship Centre aims to support women entrepreneurs on their journey to success. They have a wide variety of tools at their disposal such as counseling, networking, etc. 

BDC: Development Bank of Canada offers the most comprehensive tools for starting a business. Their consulting roster is better suited to the starting entrepreneur since they’re more used to dealing with smaller sized projects than most chartered bank. Their Financing solutions are finely tuned.

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One of the hardest barriers to overcome when setting up a business, whether it’s the first time or not, is fear. But not just any fear. More often than not, i’ve seen fear of loss discourage some potentially smart ideas and resourceful people from taking that crucial step forward. It’s not as easy as it sounds of course. In almost all aspects of business, fear of loss is a greater motivator (or hinderance) than the hope of gain. I think we’re all conditioned that way so naturally, those who have the least to lose are those who are the most likely to start something. 

It’s likely the problem also has its roots planted in time. Businesses, especially the new ones, are a big financial risk. But if you’re in your mid-twenties and screw up, big deal. There’s a line-up full of people at McDonnald’s who are in their twenties and broke. The same doesn’t apply if you’re 37 with a wife and kids. Regardless of the group though, starting a business is akin to leaping over a huge gap. It’s not enough to just jump though, it’s also important to be ready, to maintain the right momentum and have good timing. It’s a huge leap, but it’s just one leap.