Tuesday, September 15 was held the virtual AGM of CDÉA. Its managing director, Étienne Alary, is satisfied with the achievements of the year 2019-2020, but admits that it is difficult to speak of success in these difficult times for many entrepreneurs. The CDÉA has been able to adjust to the needs of its members and is looking more towards the future to support entrepreneurs. Looking back on a busy year.
The pandemic has had, and still has, a big impact on Alberta businesses. When the lockdown began, the entrepreneurs mostly needed liquidity and the government set up a $ 40,000 loan program. Currently, for Étienne Alary, the biggest impact that we see is the need to move towards electronic commerce.
“It is this shift that we want to instill in our entrepreneurs that will allow them to get through it. But even after the pandemic, what we are putting in place today for tomorrow will still be fully operational and beneficial for these entrepreneurs. As more and more people consume electronically, this online presence of entrepreneurs is becoming very important.
From the start of the pandemic, the CDÉA set up a resource to encourage consumption in French. The organization contacted various francophone entrepreneurs to find out if they were still in service or if it was possible to obtain their products by delivery. The CDÉA therefore posted on its web page a list of entrepreneurs who still offered products.
“We encouraged people to consume in French at their local businesses. It may have enabled people to discover some entrepreneurs who could deliver. Notably, Old school cheesery which is in Vermillion, which could deliver by mail or when they went to major centers. Mr. Alary hopes that this initiative could be beneficial for French-speaking entrepreneurs.
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A variety of activities
For the director of the CDÉA, two achievements of the year 2019-2020 should be noted. First, the first edition of the Rallye gourmand held in Calgary in June 2019 brought together several Francophones to tour various Francophone and Francophile businesses and taste their products. The activity was very successful. Then, the Rendez-Vous d’affaires in February is a flagship activity for the CDÉA. It brings together the Francophone business community and its key players in the province around various workshops, conferences and networking.
The CDÉA was also involved this year with newcomers through the Start-up Immigration and Women and Entrepreneurship activities. In addition, the organization has played a role in various sectors such as entrepreneurial mentoring, early childhood with the development of a guide to starting a daycare in Alberta, tourism, agriculture and regional development. Several projects will be pursued during 2020-2021 and CDÉA employees will continue to adjust to meet the needs of its members.