Leveraging networking to better bounce back

Marie-Claude Boisvert, Executive Vice-President, Business Services, shares her thoughts on opportunities in the current context.

With the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re all learning how to deal with an unprecedented situation.

As key players in the economy, we need to keep looking ahead and get into “solution mode,” which calls for a great deal of flexibility and determination.

This applies not only to entrepreneurs, but also to financial institutions, governments and other socio-economic partners.

A time of new opportunities

I personally believe that every period of change also opens the door to new possibilities.

There are still issues to solve, solutions to find and, unfortunately, companies that have to shut down.

But in the coming weeks and months, there will also be new needs to meet, supply chains to rebuild and consolidation opportunities to seize.

In the financial sector, we’re here for entrepreneurs. We’re here to help you weather the storm and get your second wind.

Strengthening and multiplying ties with our various partners

A period of crisis, such as the one we’re experiencing, is a perfect opportunity to redefine the ties that unite us with our partners, deepen them and forge new ones. We’re all faced with the need to innovate, adapt our methods and find new solutions.

Now, more than ever, we need to leverage networking between companies.

Networking can mean talking directly to your competitors. Like you, they’ve been affected by this crisis. You may have challenges in common that will lead you to collaborate in the future. And, who knows, they may have to consider selling, thereby paving the way to an acquisition.

In the same spirit of networking, I often encourage entrepreneurs to make full use of the Desjardins network to meet their needs. I even tell them to take advantage of us, because our contribution can go far beyond financing.

Our account managers and specialists are all networked and constantly communicating with each other. They can support you by drawing on their collective strength, which combines all their experience and knowledge.

Our account managers also know the strengths and expertise of their clients, namely the 360,000 business members we serve. So they can put you in touch with other entrepreneurs whose needs or resources complement your own.

At Desjardins, we’ve also forged many partnerships with external organizations that offer services meeting specific needs.

That’s the case with the École d’entrepreneurship de Beauce, which promotes transferring knowledge and experience between various generations of entrepreneurs.

Then there’s votresite.ca, which helps entrepreneurs make the digital shift and kick their online business activities into high gear.

We’re also working with Fundica, which offers a search tool that enables you to search through 250 business assistance programs offered by governments and various institutions to find those that could be useful to you.

Those are just a few examples out of many.

By contacting your Desjardins account manager, you can access a wide range of resources.

Entrepreneurs: Driving the recovery

I’ve been working with entrepreneurs for over 30 years. I know your qualities and strengths. And I’m absolutely convinced that they are even more important in today’s environment.

We need bold people like you who refuse to be cowed by fear and uncertainty.

We need people with vision who can anticipate what will be relevant in the months and years ahead, and bring it to market.

We need people who know how to reinvent themselves and bounce back.

As we leverage these entrepreneurial qualities and our ability to pull together, I believe in our collective ability to bounce back.

At Desjardins, it’s in this spirit of collaboration and solidarity that we’re ready for the challenges to come.