Fabrice Cavarretta: “The French ecosystem is quite favorable for entrepreneurs”

Fabrice Cavarretta was really tired of it. Tired of hearing that France was difficult for entrepreneurs. Last February, the professor at ESSEC (a Paris Region business school) published a book with a revealing title: “Oui, la France un paradis pour les entrepreneurs (Yes, France is a paradise for entrepreneurs).” He spoke with us on this subject.

Succeed: From our Parisian perspective, it seems that France now boasts a more favorable image in terms of entrepreneurship…

Fabrice Cavarretta: You must admit that, in the public eye, its image has improved in recent years. That said, most people still find it astonishing to hear that France is favorable for entrepreneurs. The word “paradise” in my book title is obviously there to provoke, because no paradise truly exists on earth. But, objectively speaking, the French ecosystem is very favorable for entrepreneurs. That’s why I wrote this book, to tell my students, “stop believing that nothing is possible in France; get to work and do something!”

Without revealing everything in your book, what is the basis for this assertion?

Above all, I must say that I am most interested in growth-based entrepreneurship. By that, I mean companies that want to grow rapidly, create numerous jobs and target international expansion. For these companies, there are three decisive factors: human capital, assets (including the “France” brand), and finally, government involvement. Even if everything is not perfect, the situation in France is excellent, in terms of these three parameters.

Is that sufficient to characterize France as an entrepreneurial paradise?

In addition to these three factors, France’s other asset consists of what I call “playing fields.” In order to compare entrepreneurial ecosystems, you must discern where the most interesting clusters are located. In fact, France is one of the countries with the most clusters. And they are in key sectors like high-tech, luxury goods, design, agri-food and energy. All these clusters represent fabulous playing fields for our entrepreneurs. These are areas where entrepreneurs can take the challenge to truly excel.

Does the Paris Region have specific assets to attract entrepreneurs?

The Paris Region is a wonderful metropolis that offers a broad mix of high-quality talent. Economic literature calls it the “creative class”: a vast array of young creative minds, artists, engineers and senior executives of large groups. Someone who wants to start a business knows that he can easily find all these skills in the Paris Region.

This diversity exists in other European metropolises…

But, it is not the case in every country. In Germany, you must choose the city where you set up shop based on your sector. In England, London offers a similar mix but is more expensive. And, of course, there is California. But if you are Google or Facebook and you want to design artificial intelligence solutions, Paris is really much more affordable… And the developers here are just as good and creative as they are in California! Honestly, there are few other places in the world where I would advise a 20 year old to launch his startup.


To read more: Book ‘s website


« Oui, la France est un paradis pour entrepreneurs »
Editions Plons – 288 pages – €14.90