Q: What should an entrepreneur be ready to invest?

Series: Questions & Answers

12 December 2018

Question of the week

What should an entrepreneur be ready to invest? 


A personal financial investment is essential for every entrepreneur in the making. However, investing yourself in the project is just as essential according to Manaf Bouchentouf, executive director, HEC Montréal.



The financial investment

There is no predefined secret recipe when we are talking about financial investments. Whether the money comes from the entrepreneur himself or his relatives, the ideal number varies from one project to another. Everything depends on how much the entrepreneur needs at first, and more importantly how much he is willing to invest. In 2015, the Quebec Entrepreneurial Index indicated that about half (50,1%) of start-up activities depended on “personal savings to launch”. A quarter (26,7%) answered that $5000 was sufficient to launch their business. Across Quebec, one out of five mentioned investing more than $100,000 in their project.


The personal investment

Before setting the wheels in motion, an entrepreneur must keep one thing in mind: he must not only invest in a financial way, he also has to fully invest himself in the project. In other words, he has to be ready to dedicate all of his time and efforts into the business. Starting a company is a question of conviction. We don’t jump in because we want to become rich, at least not at the beginning. We do it because we want to create change, through our values, principles, interests, and passions. The entrepreneur starts his business because he has identified a need and thinks he has an original approach or solution to meet it. A principle that is just as important as the financing.

Investing ourselves also means putting energy into risk management, unexpected challenges, and resources planning. It is a preemptive investment to minimize unforeseen costs.

Entrepreneurship is first and foremost a question of values, so the integration of personal choices into the process is essential.  HEC Montréal’s Entrepreneurship Coaching Programs (EntrePrism Incubator, parcours entrepreneurial Rémi-Marcoux, and The Accélérateur Banque Nationale – HEC Montréal) offer a human element to all activities. a human element to all activities. These programs have been designed for entrepreneurs or individuals executing business takeovers, in order to support them, from the initial idea to market validation. Entrepreneurs supported by these accelerators and incubators have access to advice that will help them capitalize on several available resources such as financing, networking, services … but especially to empower them and prepare them as entrepreneurs and future leaders.

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Executive director and head of customized support in the department of entrepreneurship, business takeover, and family businesses at HEC Montréal

Manaf Bouchentouf is Executive Director in charge of business support services for HEC Montréal’s Entrepreneurship, Entrepreneurial Acquisition and Business Families Hub. In this capacity, he set up and currently oversees the Accélérateur Banque Nationale – HEC Montréal and HEC Montréal’s entrePrism, an innovative incubator designed to support entrepreneurs, especially from cultural communities.

He is also a business model design, project management, and value creation coach and instructor who provides targeted training in entrepreneurship and innovation—whether on a technological or business model level—mainly at HEC Montréal, Executive Education.

Before joining HEC Montréal, he held a series of executive-level research and industry positions in Canada and abroad.

About the author

Florence Thouin

About Florence Thouin

Community Manager

Florence Thouin has a Bachelor’s degree in Communications (cultural and media production strategies) from the Université du Québec à Montréal. Her interest in the world of social networks stems primarily from her love of people and her communication skills. Her desire to understand others and her altruism have always led her to be in contact with the community developing around her.