“The problem with France, is that they have no word for entrepreneur,” as George W. Bush famously didn’t say.
Impossible n’est pas français (Impossible isn’t French) is perhaps a more accurate saying that defines the country’s outlook towards life. A nation with a passion for high culture and adventure, it draws in more tourists than any other country, looking to bask in fine art, fashion, cuisine, cinema and of course the City of Light itself.
Entrepreneurs, from the country that invented the word, are increasingly welcome.
The benefits of starting a business can be best made use of with professional advice
France’s cultural reach is mirrored by its trading clout. Thanks to their easy access to Europe, Asia and the Middle East, the World Bank ranks France #1 in the world for cross-border trading, with import/export times as short as the first Bonaparte.
Paris has also rapidly become a hot scene for startups to operate. In 2020, Paris overtook Berlin to become the second most popular place for European startup investment. So far, French startups have raised an incredible 6.6bn EUROs in venture capital – 3x as much as in 2015. These fertile conditions have meant France is now a hotspot for tech startups, with unicorn companies like Aircall, Ledger and Shift Technology leading the surge in investment and innovation.
Like a latter-day hunchback of Notre Dame, France’s bureaucracy often rears its ugly head. Although the time it takes to start a business is far from a snail’s pace, entrepreneurs will need to keep on top of an array of confusing and often contradictory paperwork. With the correct legal and financial advice, you can swiftly overcome this hurdle.
Ideal for digital nomads looking to live and work remotely
There may be few places so well suited for remote working. A huge 90% of the country has access to 4g, allowing digital nomads the luxury of working online in parts of the countryside where the cost of living is cheaper. For a faster pace, classy Bordeaux, urban Marseille and chic Paris are cities that all have many internet cafes and co-working spaces with excellent coffee and the obligatory fresh croissant.
France’s flexible work-life balance suits any digital nomad or any entrepreneur seeking to mix things up. Living in France while working remotely grants access to a unique culture in a way tourists can never experience.
Because of these advantages, perhaps, there are no special incentives encouraging remote work.
With proper advice, entrepreneurs and digital nomads can maximise the potential benefits of starting a business or working in France. Paperwork should not be allowed to stand in your way. And when a country is so well suited to the lifestyle, one can’t help but think that la vie est trop courte pour boire du mauvais vin (life is too short to drink bad wine).
If Bush had actually disparaged France’s entrepreneurial spirit, he would have been wrong literally as well as metaphorically.