Monthly Archives: September 2012

Entrepreneurship in France – bye bye

I love France. It’s the country where I’m born, and I’m extremely proud of many of the values it carries. At the same time, in the past months, I’m very sad to see what I think paves the way for a huge catastrophy if not the biggest collapse of modern times. I don’t think France will still be able to afford its way of life within the next 10 years. 

In France, in the past 20 years 80% of the jobs created were created by “PME”, small and medium businesses. Not the big national companies. Small and dynamic companies, created by entrepreneurs who thought they could change the world. 

So in a world where employment is the key to everything (btw, when someone has a job, they can have a family, a house, a decent life, and as a result, spend less time thinking how they can make a bomb to blast a school), why wouldn’t you try as hard as possible to get every single person to create their own business, and create jobs? France is doing the exact opposite. Making it as hard as possible for everyone to create a business, grow it, and make money to reinvest in other businesses. 

The latest of all, a new taxes for capital gain at the incredible rate of 60% (instead of the current 32.5%). Yes. 60%. So basically, as an entrepreneur, you put all you have in your business, your savings and everything, and if you’re one of the 10 who don’t lose everything, you then have to give 60% of what you’re going to make to the government. This is even before the ISF, which basically takes over 1% every year of your capital and also different from a new tax of 75% over $1M. 

France is sending a clear signal: don’t try to start a business and be successful. We won’t let you do that. But stay at home and jobless and we’ll help you. 

Worse, it also sends a very clear message to investors: “don’t invest in France, we don’t want your money to pay for jobs”. Why would someone take huge risks to invest in a startup if it is to give away more than half of the potential gains. This new tax doubles the risk taken by investors. We didn’t really need that. We need more investors. Why not make it super easy and profitable for them to invest?

At this rate, we’ll see less and less PME and less and less jobs. We’ll also see less and less wealthy investors invest in companies based in France. This will translate directly in less jobs, more jobless people, less taxes revenues, and that’s when things get nasty. 

This is not about being from the right or left wing. This is about being for jobs.