A joint dossier from Carrefour education and L'École branchée


  • Simon Bonenfant, youth projects officer, Carrefour Jeunesse-Emploi d'Argenteuil 
  • the team of the Quebec Council of Cooperation and Mutuality (CQCM) 
  • the OSEntreprendre team
  • Rino Levesque, Founder and Leader, Entrepreneurial Education Idea
  • Annie Pelletier and Julie-Soleil Leclerc Tremblay, educational advisers at the Fleuve-et-des-Lacs Service Center (CSFL)
  • Annie Roberge, educational advisor, and Martin Vallée, assistant director, École hôtelière de Laval 

Under the coordination of Sophie Nadeau-Tremblay, educational advisor, Entrepreneurial Education Idea and Audrey Miller, Director, École branchée

Entrepreneurship at school: the primary image that many associate with it is the creation of a microenterprise managed by students. But it's much more than that! This dossier will show, in particular, the idea of an education in the spirit of enterprise which is part of a broad educational perspective, placing young people and adults in learning in contexts where many of their facets are called upon. 

To promote the development of an entrepreneurial culture at school, a new and unifying educational project is an important factor of success. Indeed, a vision of education emphasizing educational success (for example: in-depth learning, skills of 21e century), and not only academic success, reinforces teaching in reading, writing, mathematics, science, humanities, and those related to various general knowledge. 

By taking into account school learning and global education, and without opposing them, pedagogical and educational approaches in entrepreneurship, the whole school and its community put forward philosophical, educational and organizational actions that make possible a better balance, then an overall educational success.

This file aims to raise awareness of different ways to achieve this and provides several resources and examples to inspire you. 


  • Approaches to engage students in meaningful projects for their community
  • From primary to vocational training: examples of promising entrepreneurial projects 
  • Resources to educate on the entrepreneurial spirit at school
  • Conclusion 

Approaches to engage students in meaningful projects for their community 

“Young people are particularly sensitive to the challenges of our century. We see it through social movements, including the student strike Fridays for the Future initiated by the young Swedish Greta Thunberg. What could be more understandable than this mobilization of youth when it is their very future that is at stake. », Write the authors of the article Educating for responsible entrepreneurship: A project up to the challenges of our century. Alongside activism and political commitment, different forms of entrepreneurship, such as responsible entrepreneurship and conscious entrepreneurship, are possible ways for young people to direct their power of action towards creating the world of tomorrow. . 

It is important to celebrate huge changes already underway in Quebec and around the world. They are of all kinds. Ideas are jostling, many of them are encouraging. Some combine scientific research and entrepreneurship such as production of fuel from CO2, or the creation (and constant improvements) of the smart car: autonomous and connected

Here are two approaches to entrepreneurship at school that can already help create a culture that will lead young people to engage and seek creative solutions to the challenges of our world. 

1. Conscious entrepreneurship: acting for viable environments

Theconscious entrepreneurship is a learning model designed to educate for sustainable environments. In other words, to learn to act for the sustainable development and the common good of human living environments. Today, we see the importance that settles, throughout the school career, of a mode of teaching which educates in the conscience of oneself, of its community (its entourage), of the planet on which we live and which trains a conscious entrepreneurship to act in a united and responsible way towards others and nature. The hope is that such a spirit, the idea of a conscious entrepreneurial culture, can spread widely in the various systems that structure our societies - education, business, state. Being a bearer of optimism, conscious entrepreneurship has the particular goal, at school, of "teaching people and giving them the right to dream", in particular by seeing the challenge that arises as possible. 

Source: Unsplash

For the teacher, it is a question of activating the curiosity of the learners with regard to phenomena which become pretexts for the realization of more global learning and involving them in their school learning. On various occasions, the classroom is a space of creativity - at school, in the community or in the countryside - where the learner is empowered and invited to act as a responsible innovator. 

In short, it is putting forward in the classroom an educational mode, then a coherent organization, which generate the Factor E3 (enthusiasm, wonder and commitment), where young people and adults in apprenticeship are called upon to be the initiator, developer and manager of their entrepreneurial creativity. They learn to be entrepreneurial, to undertake and to create innovation in a conscious, responsible and autonomous way. Often their projects are carried out as a team.

Another specificity of the conscious entrepreneurial approach consists of a deep determination of educators and young people to want to lay their foundations to help restore the destabilized balances both at the level of the educational environment (school, community partners, home), the human environment (community, society, world) than with regard to the environment of natural life (nature, the biosphere). Why? Because everything is linked, interconnected, interdependent, as the global health situation around COVID-19 is forcefully demonstrated.

To learn more about conscious entrepreneurship, read the article Educating for Conscious Entrepreneurship: Acting for Sustainable Environments, by Rino Levesque, Founder and Leader of IDEA Entrepreneurial Education. 

2. Cooperative entrepreneurship: promoting living together

Cooperative entrepreneurship aims to learn and acquire social, intellectual and cognitive skills based on cooperative values, including care, solidarity, equality and equity. The development of the individual and of a well-being that promotes living together are at the center of the cooperative entrepreneurial process. Thus, the transversal competence "cooperate" and the general area of training "living together and citizenship" of the Quebec school training program (PFÉQ) are implemented. 

Concretely, to carry out a cooperative entrepreneurship project, the students form a board of directors responsible for making decisions in a democratic manner according to the fundamental cooperative principle 1 member = 1 vote. In fact, cooperative entrepreneurship offers an opportunity for citizenship education by creating a place for experimentation with democratic principles. 

Committees are also formed to engage all students. Some will be able to put their creativity to work in the marketing committee, others will prefer to experiment with accounting, still others will be responsible for production or human resources. Young people will thus have meaningful experiences allowing them to explore their interests, skills, values and needs. 

During the various stages of the cooperative project, the methods employed promote the equitable participation of everyone. For this purpose, group work is privileged. It differs from traditional teamwork, since it offers a more structured framework by assigning roles and tasks as well as planned interactions. In addition, it values equal participation and positive interdependence. 

From primary to vocational training: examples of promising entrepreneurial projects

In society, more and more " conscious companies " emerge. We can think of: 

  • In Quebec, the company Loop was founded by a group of dreamers who came together for a cause close to their hearts: ending food waste. In particular, it recovers fruit and vegetables rejected by the industry for recycling, for example in the form of juice.
  • In Canada, the project Plastic Oceans aims to reduce the entry of plastic into our oceans by 75 % by 2025. 
  • In the world, let's think about the forms of green oil in Morocco or even in France, to projects linked to local, renewable and more decarbonised energy to replace crude oil emitting large quantities of CO2.

But what about in school settings? The following examples, experienced in elementary, secondary and vocational training, aim to provide responsible responses to the challenges of our century. 

1. The C-FIER: a small school committed to its community 

The C-FIER school team

In spring 2019, with only 11 students, the small Parchemins school, located in St-Elzéar in Témiscouata, was doomed to close. Supported by the educational services team of the Fleuve-et-des-Lacs School Board, the community mobilized to save the school in its village. 

In the fall of 2019, following consultations, renovations, development chores and investments on the part of the community and the school board, the C-FIER (Responsible Interactive and Environmental Training Center) of St-Elzéar was inaugurated. In this establishment, everything that makes thestimulating and meaningful learning, such authentic projects, links with the community, outings and learning in nature and technologies as a lever for learning, is brought together to respond to the natural curiosity of children and to reaffirm the importance of the village school as a pillar of its community. 

Increasingly, its teachers are appropriating the principles of conscious entrepreneurial pedagogy and encouraging students to be not only learners, but also innovators. To do this, the school is set up differently, allowing for decompartmentalization and flexibility. In addition, time is set aside for each cycle so that the school team can consult and plan activities together, with the help of the administration and educational advisers. The team also receives bi-monthly support fromEntrepreneurial education idea

Young people immediately forged a place in their new school. Some have been shocked by the change, but others have found themselves like fish in water. In spring 2020, the school had 18 students. Unifying projects around robotics and IT, the development of a wellness room for the students, the organization of concerts and the development of a path in the forest are already in place at school.

One of the next conscious entrepreneurial activities will be planning the forest management behind the school. This idea was born, once again, from a need of the community and involves collaboration with various stakeholders, such as the forestry group, the town hall, the forestry vocational training center and other partners who ask to participate.  This Radio-Canada report talk about it in more detail. 

The history of CFIER is detailed in the article C-FIER, Responsible interactive and environmental training center, by Annie Pelletier and Julie-Soleil Leclerc Tremblay, educational advisers at the Fleuve-et-des-Lacs Service Center (CSFL). 

2. Raise awareness of average intellectual disability

Ms. Joséphine Machalani's class, at Lavigne High School in Lachute, wants to raise awareness and promote the inclusion of students with an average intellectual disability (IMD), of which they are a part. She uses entrepreneurial education as a lever to achieve this. 

For example, these young people offer an entrepreneurial service (picking up leaves from several people living near the school), an entrepreneurial product (as part of a school store, they repackage and sell used school items at a lower cost) and an entrepreneurial event (as part of Intellectual Disability Week, they prepared awareness-raising activities aimed at all students of the school).

This makes it possible to break down the barriers of difference and bring a better knowledge of the capacities of young people in the DIM class within their community. In the fall of 2019, they presented their projects to various stakeholders, including a Belgian delegation and various community partners (city of Lachute, MRC d'Argenteuil, Chamber of Commerce). The recognition they received following these presentations could certainly have helped to increase their self-esteem. You can find out more about the projects in this class by reading the article Different, but not indifferent ..., by Simon Bonenfant, youth projects officer at the Carrefour Jeunesse-Emploi d'Argenteuil. 

They were supported by the Argenteuil Youth Entrepreneurship Partners Committee (PEJA), created in May 2019 by the Carrefour Jeunesse-Emploi d'Argenteuil. This committee brings together institutions and organizations from schools, municipalities and communities to facilitate the organization of concerted entrepreneurial activities for young people in the region. More specifically, they provide the opportunity for students to present their projects to members of the community in order to facilitate mentoring, networking and funding. Moreover, students were even able to explain how their projects fit into the strategic planning framework of the city of Lachute, which inevitably promotes the establishment of solid partnerships for the realization of entrepreneurial projects. . In short, this grouping of partners makes it possible to facilitate the integration of several of the 21 structuring components of the philosophy of the ECEC (conscious entrepreneurial community school).

To learn more about the PEJA, read the article The PEJA: An active committee in its community, by Simon Bonenfant, youth projects officer at Carrefour Jeunesse-Emploi in Argenteuil

Presentation to OIECEC delegates
Presentation of the students at the MRC d »Argenteuil

3. Vocational training and entrepreneurship at École hôtelière de Laval 

Laval Hotel School (ÉHL) is a vocational training center that has placed innovation at the heart of its culture, and particularly in a conscious entrepreneurial perspective and in connection with information technologies. 

In fact, for the past two years, ÉHL has been learning to become a mindful entrepreneurial community school (ECEC). This pedagogy was introduced within the framework of moments of reflection and exchanges during meetings between the members of a team made up of teachers from the five training programs. The teaching team is therefore called upon to put in place a pedagogy focused more on the development of the person to ensure that each student becomes an “entrepreneur of himself”. For this, it is about developing and offering learners educational activities with a conscious entrepreneurial flavor, through which various entrepreneurial skills, attitudes, strengths and qualities are developed (young person's exit profile). We can cite ice-breaking activities around self-confidence or communication, team building activities focusing on collaboration, entrepreneurial activities to learn how to observe the needs in an environment. specific, etc. These will allow students, eventually, to set up entrepreneurial projects themselves, of which they will be initiators, directors and managers and which will have an impact in the community. 

An important lever of the ECEC is the setting up of a micro-chamber of commerce, that is to say a governance (committee) made up of enterprising students. The challenge to be taken up to ensure the sustainability of this entity comes from the fact that training in the various EHL programs is given over the course of one year, with new young people and adults arriving at the end of August and in March. The committee thus renews itself along the way. Her goals :

  • Encourage students to become more involved in school life; 
  • Organize events in the school and in different environments with our partners;
  • Convey opinions and opinions to other students and to all staff, including management; 
  • Support the development of the school's conscious community and entrepreneurial character.

More details on the entrepreneurial approach of this establishment can be found in the article Laval Hotel School, by Annie Roberge, educational advisor and Martin Vallée, assistant director.

Photos taken during the job fair, organized by the micro-chamber of commerce on April 2, 2019.

Resources for education in the entrepreneurial spirit at school 

The entrepreneurial spirit is based on the human ability to dream, to create, to empower oneself, to develop one's skills, to be more autonomous and confident. But how do you get there at school? Accessible resources for schools are available throughout Quebec through various organizations, here are a few examples. 

The Quebec Council for Cooperation and Mutuality

The Youth Entrepreneurship service of the Quebec Council of Cooperation and Mutuality (CQCM) offers educational guidesavailable online in order to support teachers. These guides offer a three-step process: 

  1. training in the values of cooperation and the acquisition of skills for cooperative teamwork; 
  2. an introduction to cooperative entrepreneurship;
  3. the experimentation of the cooperative enterprise. 

Of youth cooperative entrepreneurship promotion agents (APECJ) are available to offer project support. They can, among other things, train managers in the stages of carrying out a project and in the use of the appropriate tools, offer specialized advice and lead discussions. Young COOP workshops. The EduCOOP scholarship program also offers groups carrying out a cooperative project a support allowance of 100 $ to 1000 $, depending on the school level. 

To find out more, read the article Learning to be an entrepreneur through cooperation, a special collaboration of the team of the Quebec Council of Cooperation and Mutuality (CQCM).


More than 7,800 local school workers have adopted the pedagogical approach of Education in the spirit of entrepreneurship at school. With more than 68,000 participants in the OSEntreprendre Challenge alone in 2018-2019, the relevance cannot be denied. Even polls indicate that more than 90 % teachers observe greater persistence among students, say they do less classroom management and have more fun teaching. 

Moreover, the observation of teaching practices for 20 years has enabled the team toOSEntreprendre identify four intervention levers which, combined with one another, increase the benefits for student development: 

Lever 1: Awareness | "The student witnesses entrepreneurship" 

Awareness contributes to the entrepreneurial culture, which is reflected in greater risk tolerance, openness to novelty, sensitivity to local purchasing or encouragement of innovators. For example, the Entrepreneurs' week at school, games on qualities, a company visit, a case study are awareness-raising activities.

Lever 2: Experimentation | "The student carries out an entrepreneurial project" 

In addition to giving meaning to knowledge (what is it for), experimentation has impacts on the construction of identity (who I am), the feeling of competence (what I am good at), the feeling of belonging (emotional commitment) and, for the older ones, on orientation (which I like to do). Activities such as identifying a need, finding an idea to solve it and carrying it out are offered to the students.

Lever 3: Radiation | "The student's involvement is highlighted" 

In addition to contributing to the dynamism of the environment and inspiring other students to take action, recognition makes them aware of their progress and reinforces the relevance of the efforts made. We can think of an article in the school newsletter, of participation in the OSEntreprendre Challenge, upon delivery of the certificate.

Lever 4: Affirmation | "The student asserts his entrepreneurial qualities" 

This photo is taken from the royalty-free image bank made available to you by OSEntreprendre.

Identifying one's own entrepreneurial qualities is a powerful generator of pride and self-knowledge, which serves the student in all spheres of his life. It can be student testimonials, identity t-shirts or reflection on their skills.

The Quebec Ministry of Education and Higher Education has also updated a budget measure (15111) to support education in the entrepreneurial spirit at school with its Component 1, which supports projects initiated by students, and its Component 2, intended for schools that offer 4 intervention levers cited above. OSEntreprendre has gathered all the information on its website in order to allow as many young people as possible to benefit from it. 

IDEA entrepreneurial education

Finally, Entrepreneurial education idea supports communities that wish to establish a conscious entrepreneurial culture among primary school children, secondary school students, as well as young people and adults attending vocational training or post-secondary education establishments. They support schools in the appropriation of organizational and pedagogical strategies favorable to the development of a conscious entrepreneurial culture, within the framework of a unique and hopeful “school-community” system.


To see these young people at work, whether they are six years old, whether they are adolescents or young adults, empowering themselves to change things, is the demonstration of the idea that, even in the At school, it is quite possible to make a contribution, to "do your part". The following hope results: a culture of fulfilled citizens carrying new capacities, and aware of their duty to invest for a future and viable economies. 

The entrepreneurial approach to education contributes to the academic motivation of all young people, as much those who leave the framework as the turbulent and dreamers. In elementary, secondary and vocational training, examples of engaging projects for learners can be seen across Quebec. Initiatives that are also continuing on the university side. Let us quote Laval University which, a few years ago, added to its Strategic Planning theresponsible entrepreneurship, thus combining the 3 dimensions of sustainable development (economic, environmental and social). Matthias Pepin, Maripier Tremblay and Luc K. Audebrand present in the article Educating for responsible entrepreneurship: A project up to the challenges of our century some lessons that can be drawn from this experience in the journey of learners.

Schools benefit from doing their part, as do citizens, businesses, organizations of all kinds and states. The combined efforts will play a structuring and favorable role environmental balances. We must commit to it. A lot of'Mindful Entrepreneurial Community Schools (ECEC) show the example, and they are not the only ones. In Quebec and around the world, schools are growing aware of the idea of taking action for the environment - educational, human, natural (biosphere) -, the common good and the sustainable development of communities. What will be your contribution to this vast project?