Part of the book: Global Perspectives on Sustainable Forest Management
Over the last 30 years, the forest industry in Eastern Canada has undergone a radical transformation, from a model where larger forestry businesses operated their own production equipment to a model where harvesting, transport, and forest road construction are awarded to contractors. This change in strategy on part of the large corporations has created new start-up opportunities for many forest entrepreneurs. Their dependency on a single large client (wood buyer), however, could hinder entrepreneurial behavior. This study aims to examine the forest Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) population, identify the factors that stimulate their performance despite a business environment that may be deemed unfavorable, and draw an overall picture of the existing situation. An analysis of 535 questionnaires filled by forest machine owners suggests that SMEs with four employees or more show better performance results than those with three or fewer employees, considered very small enterprises (VSEs), essentially because these businesses are typically able to work more weeks in a year. Their managers use a significantly higher number of tools to measure performance and attribute greater importance to management duties. The results have enabled us to identify certain performance factors, but suggest that further research is needed to better understand the underlying causes of contract assignment and the relationships that develop between SME managers and large forest product companies.
Part of the book: Precious Forests
Entrepreneurial mentoring is the support of novice entrepreneurs by experienced professionals in the business world. Despite this practice gaining popularity, a question remains: is it necessary for these organizations to train mentors or is the mentor’s experience sufficient? To answer this question, we analyzed the effect of the mentor’s training, as well as his/her profile in terms of experience, on the mentee’s degree of satisfaction and learning. Our results show that the more a mentor is trained, the more he/she develops relational competencies, thereby creating a favorable (trusting) environment and developing an appropriate mentoring style (maieutic), which allows the mentee to learn and become more autonomous. However, the mentor’s experience in entrepreneurship does not have an impact on the quality of the mentoring relationship, nor does it impact the novice learning. Our results also show that, contrary to our expectations, mentoring experience has a negative impact on most of the psychological functions of the mentor. We found that this negative effect is neutralized by continuous training of mentors. This suggests that entrepreneurship support organizations should implement specific training sessions for experienced mentors.
Part of the book: Entrepreneurship