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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, six projects by JMSB Faculty have been funded, focusing on diverse topics such as the role and effect of social capital in start-ups, the impact of gender diversity in top management teams, the evaluation of family firms by securities analysts, the extra costs family businesses incur in order to bridge a hypothesized talent gap, corporate venture capital investments and the legitimization of IPO firms, and risk management in SMEs and family businesses.

Click here for the 2019 call for applications from Faculty

National Bank Speaker Series

The first speaker event was held at JMSB 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.

National Bank Entrepreneur-in-Residence

The current Entrepreneur-in-Residence is Charles Bierbrier, founder and president of Bierbrier Brewing Inc., which began brewing operations in 2005 in Montreal. The company has recently expanded the distribution network of its beers beyond Quebec, into Ontario and the United States.

Bierbrier holds a BA in Economics from McGill University and an MBA from the John Molson School of Business. Prior to launching his brewery, Bierbrier worked in the banking and investment management industry.

Bierbrier is also involved in several volunteer, community and professional organizations and is currently sits on the board of directors of Beer Canada.

Bierbrier replaces Greg Adelstein, President of iGotcha Media, who was the first National Bank Entrepreneur-in-Residence (EIR). In 2015 and 2016 he took part in several activities at JMSB as a guest speaker in undergraduate Entrepreneurship classes, a panelist for business plan presentations in the Executive MBA, a speaker in the John Molson Graduate Student Association (JMGSA) Speaker Series and GradProSkills workshops , and a judge in the Dobson $EED Competition. Click here to see his Facebook Live Q&A

National Bank Student Awards and Bursaries

The National Bank Initiative supports research by JMSB 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 2019 call for MSc scholarships and PhD fellowships.


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