The Réseau des SADC et CAE unveils its results

The Réseau des SADC et CAE has released its annual report for April 1, 2021, to March 31, 2022, which is testament to the major impact that Sociétés d’aide au développement des collectivités (SADC) and Centres d’aide aux entreprises (CAE) have had on the economic development of Quebec’s regions. 

In addition to investing over $100 million to support more than 13,000 businesses and 1,773 joint projects, SADCs and CAEs reached new heights by delivering the Technical Assistance Component of the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) to help entrepreneurs adapt their business models and seize opportunities in the recovery period. The year was also marked by the addition of the Virage vert program in March to expand the range of services offered by SADCs and CAEs to assist businesses and communities with sustainable development. 


“Thanks to our deep roots in our communities and our quick and effective action, we have been able to meet the needs of entrepreneurs in Quebec’s regions during the pandemic and the recovery period,”   said Vallier Daigle, President of the Réseau.

“This achievement is dedicated to our hard-working professionals and local leaders who sit on SADC and CAE boards of directors. I would like to thank the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec (CED) and Minister Pascale St-Onge for being such great partners in working with us to offer important programs like the new Virage vert program.” 

“From the start of my term, it was easy for me to see what a key role the SADCs and CAEs play for Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions in supporting businesses and rural communities in Quebec as they recover from the pandemic,” said the Honourable Pascale St-Onge, Minister of Sport and Minister responsible for Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions. “The over 1,000 passionate, dedicated volunteers and professionals who work with you help keep the economy moving in the province’s regions and create and maintain good jobs in our communities.” 

Read our annual report 


Technical assistance for entrepreneurs

In September 2021, SADCs and CAEs wrapped up the RRRF, a program launched by Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions in June 2020 to assist businesses affected by COVID-19. Over the course of the program, $123.5 million was invested to provide loans and technical assistance to businesses and to support joint projects.  

This year, SADCs and CAEs focused on the Technical Assistance Component (TAC) of the RRRF, investing nearly $9 million in over 500 businesses to provide specialist support to overhaul or strengthen aspects such as operations, management, human resources and technology integration.


New Virage vert program

In March 2022, Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions launched the Virage vert program to help SADCs and CAEs accelerate the roll-out of sustainable development in Quebec’s regions. Delivered by SADCs and CAEs, the program will run until March 2024 and provide $9.5 million to enable more businesses and communities to improve their environmental and economic performance. SADCs and CAEs will be able to provide funding for businesses to access the expertise they need to get there. 

Economic development projects for Quebec’s regions

It is easier to create jobs in communities that are socially and culturally prosperous. SADCs and CAEs leverage the strengths of the community to take on economic challenges and invest time and money in community-led initiatives and strategies. This year, over $25.5 million was invested to carry out 1,773 promising joint projects. These included feasibility studies, events and symposiums with a focus on socioeconomic mobilization, cohorts for exchanging the expertise and training needed to help businesses tackle current economic issues, initiatives to encourage consumers to buy local and efforts to tackle the labour shortage.

Les Crevettes de Sept-Îles: A company weathers the storm and goes green thanks to the SADC      

Les Crevettes de Sept-Îles is a company led by four entrepreneurs who own a seasonal restaurant named Les terrasses du Capitaine, a fish market called Poissonnerie Soucy and a seafood processing plant. In the summer of 2020, the mandatory closure of the restaurant forced them to pivot their focus to the fish market and processing plant. Faced with declining sales, the owners shifted gears and overhauled their production process to develop new markets in Quebec and abroad. With technical assistance from the SADC Côte-Nord, they were able to automate a number of production phases. 

The young entrepreneurs’ interest in sustainable development led them to take part in Synergie 138, a circular economy project established by the regional SADCs to make one person’s trash another person’s treasure. In addition to boosting productivity and reducing waste, they hope to develop a computer system to track merchandise, losses and transactions to be integrated into their current systems. This major technological shift should help keep their business afloat for years to come.

Le Réseau des SADC et CAE dévoile ses résultats

Bottom caption: Entrepreneurs: Jean-François Fournier, Gabrielle Néron, Frédérique Néron and Michel Bourque (not pictured) 



Our network of 57 SADCs (Sociétés d’aide au développement des collectivités) and 10 CAEs (Centres d’aide aux entreprises) has been working in community economic development for more than 40 years. The Réseau des SADC et CAE is made up of over 1,000 professionals and volunteers who support and provide funding to more than 10,000 entrepreneurs and 2,000 local economic development projects every year. SADCs and CAEs offer entrepreneurs personalized, sustained support and flexible financing products that are tailored to their needs. SADCs and CAEs receive financial support from Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions.


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Christine PiloteDirector, Communications | Phone: 581-999-6363 


Pascale St-Onge, the Minister of Sport and Minister responsible for the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec (CED), announced today a non-repayable contribution of $9.5M to the Réseau des SADC et CAE to help SMEs go green and support sustainable development in Quebec regions.

This financial assistance comes at the perfect time for Sociétés d’aide au développement des collectivités (SADCs) and Centres d’aides aux entreprises (CAEs), which for 15 years have been integrating sustainable development principles into their local economic development projects and business advisory services. This support from Canada Economic Development will allow them to continue helping businesses improve their environmental and economic performance and assisting communities with local economic development projects that promote sustainable development.

Vallier Daigle, president of the Réseau des SADC et CAE, is understandably very pleased with today’s announcement.  “This is excellent news because, in addition to recognizing our members’ expertise helping
small businesses with sustainable development projects, the Government of Canada is taking a concrete step that will ultimately have a positive impact on the environmental and economic performance of our SMEs. The SADCs and CAEs of Quebec are ready to take up the challenge and give businesses the support they need to build a greener future in Quebec regions.”

SADCs and CAEs have completed many sustainable development projects over the past few years in areas ranging from circular economy to carbon credits to renewable energy recovery.

These projects have been carried out across the province and benefit both SMEs and their communities. It’s only natural for the Government of Canada to collaborate with key economic stakeholders, such as SADCs and CAEs, to deliver this program, which is bringing us all one step closer to a greener, more
sustainable economy.



Québec City, February 3, 2022 – Today, the Réseau des SADC (Sociétés d’aide au développement des collectivités) et CAE (Centres d’aide aux entreprises) du Québec is launching The Road to Entrepreneurship (La route de l’entrepreneur), a website designed to guide entrepreneurs through every step of starting and running a business. It will also make it easy for entrepreneurs to reach out to their SADC or CAE’s business advisors, who understand their region’s particular issues and challenges. 

“Entrepreneurs often get lost in the maze of consulting services available online,” explains Vallier Daigle, President of the Réseau des SADC et CAE. “With The Road to Entrepreneurship, they will finally have access to dependable, unbiased and, above all, local expertise. This new site will refer entrepreneurs to the directory of SADCs and CAEs and to business advisors in their area. These advisors are professionals who live and work in the communities they serve and can also tap into a vast national network of expertise—that has been growing for 40 years and counting—to connect entrepreneurs with the resources they need.” 


The Road to Entrepreneurship will offer entrepreneurs practical advice and tools at every step of their business endeavour, whether that’s buying an existing SME, taking over the family business, or growing, financing or selling their business. The new website is chockfull of unrivalled content inspired by a 360degree approach to entrepreneurship. More advice from other entrepreneurs will begin to be added soon. 



A one-stop shop for the entrepreneurial know-how of Quebec’s SADCs and CAEs  


The Road to Entrepreneurship is also a forum where our network of over 1,000 professionals and volunteers from across the province can share tips and expertise and easily export best practices from one region to another. In this same spirit, the platform makes various userfriendly tools available for entrepreneurs to download, including a business plan template, a selfassessment grid for sustainable development practices, and a grid to calculate working capital that was developed by our members specifically for small businesses. In addition, the website has a blog with posts on a range of topics related to entrepreneurship, based directly on the reallife experience of our professionals. 


SADC de Papineau executive director Mélissa Bergeron encourages all local entrepreneurs to visit The Road to Entrepreneurship. “This site is for you, and it really dovetails with our simple and effective approach with our clients, who do not always have the time to search around for the best solutions for their projects. We truly want you to succeed, and we’re here to guide you along the way.” 


Visit The Road to Entrepreneurship 


Québec City, December 16, 2021 – A study on the performance of the Community Futures Program (CFP), which is delivered in Quebec by Sociétés d’aide au développement des collectivités (SADCs) and Centres d’aide aux entreprises (CAEs), confirms that Quebec businesses that work with the Réseau perform better.

The results of the Community Futures Program (CFP) performance study, conducted by Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions in collaboration with Statistics Canada, were published in November. The study compares the performance of businesses with up to 100 employees that received assistance through the CFP with other businesses with similar profiles that did not receive services from SADCs or CAEs over a five-year period.

Vallier Daigle, President of the Réseau des SADC et CAE, says he is very proud of these results: “We have been supporting the success of entrepreneurs and the economic vitality of our regions for 40 years. With the financial contribution of Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions, our professionals deliver our three complementary business lines: local economic development, technical assistance and business financing. How do we do it? With a strong, agile and effective provincial network of expertise that is firmly rooted in our communities and attentive to the needs of entrepreneurs.”


The study looked at 4,451 CFP files. Between 2013 and 2018, our network has made a difference for businesses by contributing to the following: 

Improved business survival rate: 77% after five years of existence, compared to 53% for those in the control group


Creation of over 10 times as many jobs: an average increase of 3.2% per year, compared to 0.3% in the control group


Creation of nearly 5 times as many jobs for women-owned businesses:

an average increase of 5.0% per year, compared to 1.3% in the control group


Stronger increase in sales: 5.2% average annual sales increase, compared to 3.14% for the control group


Faster payroll growth: 7.2% per year on average, compared to 2.9% for businesses in the control group


About the Community Futures Program (CFP)


The CFP is a federal government program that ensures financing for the operations of the 269 CFDCs, SADCs, CBDCs and CAEs in Canada, including 67 in Quebec. The CFP recognizes the expertise of local decision makers and decision-making autonomy, in order to encourage communities to take charge of their futures.