Towards a democratization of entrepreneurial activity in France!

On June 20, 2023, Labex Entreprendre's GEM France (Global Entrepreneurship Monitor) team published the national report on entrepreneurial activity in 2022. Despite a tense geopolitical situation, entrepreneurial activity is growing strongly. The effects of the health crisis are fading and giving way to a buoyant context. For all that, France's international position remains stable.

Labex Entreprendre (teams from the University of Montpellier and Montpellier Business School) has conducted two studies, one among the population aged 18 to 64, the other among experts, to analyze entrepreneurial activity and its ecosystem. The report formulates proposals for political decision-makers to improve support for the entrepreneurial dynamic and societal issues (parity, youth and sustainable development).

A fairly favorable entrepreneurial ecosystem

The experts estimate that the business environment remained stable between 2021 and 2022. France is above the G7 average, ranking 18th out of the 51 countries participating in the study. Among the richest countries, France stands out for government support of entrepreneurship, but its position is less favorable for the promotion of entrepreneurship in primary and secondary schools.

Democratizing entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurial intention (16.9% in 2021 to 18.8% in 2022) and total emerging entrepreneurial activity (TAE: 7.7% to 9.2%) are evolving favorably. At regional level, there are disparities. The four most dynamic regions in terms of TAE are PACA (12.63%), Bretagne (9.73%), Ile de France (9.33%) and Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes (9.33%).

Female entrepreneurship: a change in representation

Representations of entrepreneurship are evolving very favorably, and the gap with men is narrowing. Entrepreneurial intention has risen from 14.7% to 18.6%. On the other hand, the APR remains stable (7.1% to 7.2%), whereas it has risen sharply for men (8.4% to 11.1%). Nevertheless, France remains one of the countries with the smallest differences between men and women.

Youth entrepreneurship: making a difference in the world

The under-35s have a more positive view of entrepreneurship in terms of a desirable career or a desire to make a difference in the world. The percentage of young people who say they know entrepreneurs is higher, as is the level of entrepreneurial intention (26.7% vs. 14.7%). The APR is also much higher (11.4% vs. 8%). Among G7 countries, however, France ranks second to last in terms of youth entrepreneurship.

Sustainable entrepreneurship: a gap between intentions and actions

There is a very marked gap between intentions and achievements, which is found in all G7 countries, but is by far the widest in France. This gap is much greater among emerging entrepreneurs than established ones, and more prevalent on environmental issues than social ones.

Proposals :

  • strengthen the promotion of entrepreneurship in primary and secondary schools
  • accelerating female entrepreneurship
  • facilitating access to markets
  • reduce the gap between intentions and actions in terms of sustainable development

Practical information:

Date: June 20, 2023
Read the GEM France report