National Bank Initiative in Entrepreneurship and Family Business

The National Bank Initiative in Entrepreneurship and Family Business is funded by a generous gift from the National Bank.

Entrepreneurship is a key engine of economic growth in Quebec and Canada. It is estimated that 70% of businesses are family owned and managed. The purpose of the National Bank Initiative in Entrepreneurship and Family Business is to focus on research projects dedicated to knowledge creation in the field of entrepreneurship and family business, and to provide support to graduate and undergraduate students with an interest in these areas.


The National Bank Initiative in Entrepreneurship and Family Business supports the following activities:

Targeted research

The Initiative provides funding for projects dedicated to knowledge creation in the field of entrepreneurship and family business. Since 2015, 17 projects by John Molson faculty have been funded, focusing on diverse topics related to entrepreneurship and family business. See the list of recent research projects funded by the initiative.

Click here for the 2020 call for applications from Faculty

National Bank Speaker Series

The first speaker event was held at John Molson in November 2016 on the topic of Innovation in family business and entrepreneurship.

The second speaker event was held in November 2017, with a panel discussion around the following topic: Are Quebec businesses facing a talent gap?

The third speaker event was held in September 2019, with a presentation by Louis Vachon, President and CEO of the National Bank of Canada, on the topic: Entrepreneurship and Transformation.

The fourth speaker event was held in November 2020, with a panel of distinguished speakers (Stéphane Achard, Executive VP Commercial Banking and Insurance, National Bank; Geneviève Biron, President and CEO, Biron; Anne-Marie Hubert, Ernst & Young Canada East Leader), who discussed how to start up a business in the current business environment, focusing on opportunities, resources and strategies for start-ups in the COVID-19 context.

Researcher - Practitioner Exchange Series

The Researcher - Practitioner Exchange Series aims to bridge the knowledge gap between what is studied in academic research and what is experienced by entrepreneurs in real-life business contexts. On March 9 2022, the inaugural event, titled Managing your organization during and after a crisis, welcomed Sean Arani, Emilia Mattei, and Sarah Takforyan, and Matthäus Tekathen to discuss their challenges, experiences and lessons learned through navigating the on-going COVID-19 crisis. The hybrid event saw the participants engage with the following questions: 

  • What challenges did you face at the onset of the pandemic?
  • What managerial actions did you take to address this crisis?
  • After adapting to this crisis, did your company experience any lasting changes to how you operate your business?

National Bank Entrepreneur-in-Residence

The current Entrepreneur-in-Residence is Anie Rouleau, Founder & CEO of The Unscented Company. The Unscented Company, founded in Montreal in 2011, offers exclusively unscented natural home and body products with a sustainable approach at heart. Anie Rouleau holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Ottawa. As a seasoned entrepreneur and executive, Rouleau has extensive experience in manufacturing, distribution and commerce.

Anie Rouleau replaces Charles Bierbrier, founder and president of Bierbrier Brewing Inc., which began brewing operations in 2005 in Montreal.

Previous Entrepreneurs-in-Residence 

National Bank Student Awards and Bursaries

The National Bank Initiative supports research by John Molson undergraduate and graduate students.

At the undergraduate level, bursaries are awarded to BComm students who are taking a minor in entrepreneurship.

At the graduate level, MSc scholarships and PhD fellowships are awarded to students with an interest in entrepreneurship and family business. These student projects have addressed how venture capital backing affects entrepreneurs’ exit methods; how the founder’s entrepreneurial spirit is transferred to future generations in family businesses; the effects of hedging on firm value throughout the business cycle; fraud risks of crowdfunding; and social media adoption and usage in family firms.

View the 2021-2022 call for MSc scholarships and PhD fellowships.


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