FAQ

What is myGPS.ca?

In order to succeed, a business must be able to quickly and efficiently access the support network in order to address the many challenges it has to address, including planning, hiring, by-laws and regulations, purchasing, training, funding, taxes and exports. Those challenges will change as a business progresses through its development. Addressing those challenges costs money and takes up precious time. The myGPS.ca platform provides immediate access to the right resource at the right time.

How does the platform work?

The myGPS.ca platform accelerates connections between service suppliers and entrepreneurs.

Businesses can access all of the following services online:

  • an interactive database of service providers;
  • a calendar of training workshops, networking opportunities and events; and
  • news, blogs and tools.

myGPS.ca agents provide:

  • Close coordination to assist with processing requests;
  • a communication strategy to introduce businesses and entrepreneurs to the platform;
  • knowledge of the services available throughout the territory; and
  • follow-up with references and monitoring of the platform’s performance.

Why set up this kind of project in the Outaouais?

Quebec’s support ecosystem has expanded over the past few years, offering extensive resources geared to business development, as well as to the activity sectors in which those businesses operate. There are currently 30 national organizations, and more than 1,000 satellites, cells and organizations on the front lines (2011).

In the Outaouais alone, there are 50 satellites/organizations/departments. Most businesses and in some cases agents, are not familiar with everything that is out there. Overlapping services and duplication in mandates are detrimental to the democratization of entrepreneurship. The goal is not to cut resources, but to improve collective efficiency in order to improve business’ chances of survival and accelerate their growth.

Benefits to the Outaouais:

  • entrepreneurs and businesses become aware of the offer of services provided by the agents, and obtain services more quickly;
  • agents receive more qualified clients, secure their reputation in the community, discover weak links in the service chain, and identify ways to improve collaboration;
  • funders can provide resources more efficiently and enhance their respective performances; and
  • economic activity in the Outaouais flourishes.

What types of organizations are invited to participate?

Most not-for-profits offering services to entrepreneurs and businesses are invited to take part in the initiative. The network comprises municipal services (groups of municipalities), foundations, funders, regional organizations, colleges, universities, chambers of commerce, incubators, mentoring cells, networks, research centres, libraries, financial angels, and economic development agencies.

Who administers the platform?

Three committees have been set up to ensure the project’s success: a Steering Committee, an Advisory Committee and a Marketing Committee.

The Steering Committee

The Steering Committee’s principal mandate is to implement the elements needed to maximize the project’s success.

Members:

  • Jean Thiffault, President, Table d’action en entrepreneuriat de l’Outaouais
  • Jeffrey MacHan, Regional Director, ministère de l’Économie, de la Science et de l’Innovation (representative of MESI)
  • Jean Lepage, Executive Director, ID Gatineau
  • Pierre Plangger, CEO, Solacom Technologies (entrepreneur representing the high tech sector)
  • Pierre Samson, Founder, Samson & Associés (entrepreneur)
  • André Landry, Executive Director, La Relance (entrepreneur representing the social economy sector)
  • Gilles Chartrand, President, Optima (entrepreneur)
  • Nathalie Coutou, Owner, Khewa (entrepreneur representing the Aboriginal communities)
  • Pascal Audet, co-Founder and Owner of Les conseillers forestiers de l’Outaouais (entrepreneur)
  • Anne-Marie Proulx, Executive Director, Chambre de commerce de Gatineau (member representing the marketing committee)
  • Jean-François Guitard, Communications Advisor, ID Gatineau (member representing the Marketing Committee)
  • Christelle Pary, Business Advisor, ID Gatineau (member representing the Advisory Committee)

The Advisory Committee

The Advisory Committee’s principal mandate is to ensure that organizations master, populate and use the platform in order to effectively collaborate in the best interests of entrepreneurs.

Members:

  • Massilia Badaoui, Export Outaouais
  • Mylène Caron, MRC Vallée-de-la-Gatineau
  • Shauna Loise Cameron, Carrefour jeunesse emploi (CJE) Papineau
  • Julie Boissinot, Chambre de commerce de Gatineau
  • Danielle Paris, Centre d’Entrepreneurship de l’Outaouais
  • Chloé Martinetti, Cilex
  • Claudia Gagné, Carrefour jeunesse-emploi (CJE) Outaouais
  • Annik Jolette, CLD des Collines-de-l’Outaouais
  • Jasmine Bradbury-Klyman, Centre de Transfert d’Entreprise du Québec (CTEQ)
  • Sophie Trudel, Femmessor
  • Christelle Pary, ID Gatineau
  • Bada Bah, Secrétariat au Développement Économique de la ville de Gatineau (SDE)

The Marketing Committee

The Marketing Committee’s main mandate is to propose, develop and implement communication and marketing strategies. It is also responsible for the technological aspects.

Members:

  • Chloé Martinetti, Cilex
  • Mylène Caron, MRC Vallée-de-la-Gatineau
  • Jean-François Guitard, ID Gatineau
  • Anne-Marie Proulx, Chambre de commerce de Gatineau

Who is funding the project?

For the time being, start-up costs are covered by ID Gatineau and the ministère de l’Économie, de la Science et de l’Innovation (MESI). The Le Droit daily is also involved as a media partner.

Who are the initiators?

ID Gatineau is the initiator, and for the time being, the project manager. The Table d’action en entrepreneuriat de l’Outaouais (TAE-O) at MESI is the leader.