In its contemporary context Tikkun Olam is a concept of Judaism that literally means to repair the world. It is defined as acts of social action that have as a goal to make the world a better place. Tikkun Olam is a mantra that ProMontreal Entrepreneurs strives to base itself on. Through our social business model, we want to support entrepreneurs whose ideas make a real impact in the world.
Our approach in helping people build their own businesses is for the purpose of helping the Montreal Jewish Community as well as the boarder Montreal start-up community. In the spirit of Tikkun Olam, many of the young entrepreneurs we support also have great potential to improve the state of today’s society.
“How and why do you do this?”
“But you’re not making anything in return…”
These two question come up often when discussing the program with partners or potential fund applicants. In a world where many initiatives are for the sole purpose of the financial gain of an individual or group, it is not surprising that people would question an offer that sounds too good to be true. While ProMontreal Entrepreneurs isn’t for the financial gain of one particular individual, it is for the long-term gain of Montreal’s start-up and Jewish communities.
At a time where many entrepreneurs are leaving Montreal in the hopes of finding better support or employment prospects outside of the province, our objective is to show them that establishing business roots in Montreal is well worth it.
By helping young entrepreneurs at the early stages of business development, with a hand holding approach and guidance, we have had great success. As have our entrepreneurs. Because these businesses pay taxes and hire people, they also contribute to the overall economic landscape.
In the past 16 years, ProMontreal Entrepreneurs has had a 70% success rate. Considering that 15 percent of new Canadian start-ups fail in their first year and 50 percent don’t make their fifth year, our success rate speaks for the work we do. Businesses we have funded have an approximate aggregated business value of $35 million. Additionally approximately 450 jobs have been created due to the existence of these businesses, ending the cycle of poverty for some whist helping others achieve their dreams. We are able to benefit from these results because of our approach. By stepping in early on when not much support exists for start-up founders, providing loans with great benefits, and an experienced pool of mentors, we are able to increase youth retention within our city by giving them financial and emotional support and incentive to explore their entrepreneurial endeavors.
ProMontreal Entrepreneurs offers more than just capital for new start-ups. Whether you have established a plan to start a business, are just in the idea generation stage, or simply want feedback, resources are available. Tikkun Olam embodies the spirit of philanthropy. By continuously aiming to base ourselves on this concept, what we get in return is much more gratifying than financial gain. We are able to help entrepreneurs achieve their dreams, and help our communities flourish.
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