Gazelles wanted – Applications will be accepted from high-growth firms until March 28, 2014

Quebec City, March 17, 2014 - The Ministère des Finances et de l'Économie reminds Québec companies that it is still accepting applications with the goal of selecting 300 high-performance SMEs, known as "gazelles," and 200 promising companies for its growth support program. Interested SMEs should submit their qualification form online by no later than 4 p.m. on March 28, 2014 and have their financial data checked by a member of the Ordre des comptables professionnels agréés du Québec. They will then have until April 4, 2014 to send their full file.

A total of 300 gazelles, at a rate of 100 per year, will be selected according to strict, objective criteria in the next three years. These companies will receive an integrated range of services from the government, in partnership with several renowned organizations. In addition to the 100 gazelles, 200 promising companies will be selected this year. These companies will receive exclusive and valuable support to help them boost their performance and potentially become gazelles.

The Ministère des Finances et de l'Économie is currently working with the regional offices of Investissement Québec, local development centres (CLD), Export Québec and Emploi-Québec to encourage SMEs to apply. Chambers of commerce and industry are also promoting the program among their members.

These organizations will pool their expertise to provide gazelles and promising companies with personalized coaching based on the companies’ challenges and needs. The gazelles will also have access to advanced training programs, including several given by the École d'Entrepreneurship de Beauce.

Companies that wish to apply must meet certain conditions: They must have been active in high value-added manufacturing or service sectors for at least 3 years, have less than 250 full-time employees and post annual sales of at least $2.5 million.

The companies will be assessed according to specific criteria in the following categories: economic influence; productivity improvement; performance and financial strength; management team drive and growth prospects. The gazelles and promising companies will be selected by a national committee composed of individuals with recognized entrepreneurship experience.

The concept of gazelles is not new. It dates back to the 20th century, when it was used both in the Americas and Europe. In addition to their strong growth, gazelle companies are often known for being highly adaptable, having a sound organizational base and acting as major catalysts, while still following their own path.

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