Interesting: Entrepreneurs, Investors Fleeing France

The NY Times seems surprised that entrepreneurs and the money class are bolting from France

Guillaume Santacruz, an aspiring French entrepreneur, brushed the rain from his black sweater and skinny jeans and headed down to a cavernous basement inside Campus London, a seven-story hive run by Google in the city’s East End.

It was late on a September morning, and the space was crowded with people hunched over laptops at wooden cafe tables or sprawled on low blue couches, working on plans to create the next Facebook or LinkedIn. The hiss of a milk steamer broke through the low buzz of conversation as a man in a red flannel shirt brewed cappuccino at a food bar.

A year earlier, Mr. Santacruz, who has two degrees in finance, was living in Paris near the Place de la Madeleine, working in a boutique finance firm. He had taken that job after his attempt to start a business in Marseille foundered under a pile of government regulations and a seemingly endless parade of taxes. The episode left him wary of starting any new projects in France. Yet he still hungered to be his own boss.

So he bolted. Like quite a few others. He went to England. Many go to other countries. One of the other issues is that the atmosphere in France is unforgiving of failing in business. But, mostly taxes and regulations.

France has been losing talented citizens to other countries for decades, but the current exodus of entrepreneurs and young people is happening at a moment when France can ill afford it. The nation has had low-to-stagnant economic growth for the last five years and a generally climbing unemployment rate — now about 11 percent — and analysts warn that it risks sliding into economic sclerosis.

Sounds familiar, regarding the economics. The US has people bolting for non-Liberal states. Growth overall for the US is low to anemic.

Some wealthy businesspeople have also been packing their bags. While entrepreneurs fret about the difficulties of getting a business off the ground, those who have succeeded in doing so say that society stigmatizes financial success. The election of President François Hollande, a member of the Socialist Party who once declared, “I don’t like the rich,” did little to contradict that impression.

That also sounds familiar.

After denying that there was a problem, Mr. Hollande is suddenly shifting gears. Since the beginning of the year, he has taken to the podium under the gilded eaves of the Élysée Palace several times with significant proposals to make France more alluring for entrepreneurs and business, while seeking to preserve the nation’s model of social protection.

This is the guy who wanted to impose a 75% on the wealthy. And a goodly chunk of French citizens despise the rich. Sound familiar?

“It is a French cultural characteristic that goes back to almost the revolution and Robespierre, where there’s a deep-rooted feeling that you don’t show that you make money,” Ms. Segalen, the recruiter, said. “There is this sense that ‘liberté, égalité, fraternité’ means that what’s yours should be mine. It’s more like, if someone has something I can’t have, I’d rather deprive this person from having it than trying to work hard to get it myself. That’s a very French state of mind. But it’s a race to the bottom.”

That sounds familiar, too. Fortunately, we haven’t quite reached this level. Yet. The entire story is a stand-in for Progressive economic policies.

Crossed at Right Wing News.

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4 Responses to “Interesting: Entrepreneurs, Investors Fleeing France”

  1. Jeffery says:

    Mr. Santacruz seems to be getting some traction in London:

    “By February, though, Mr. Santacruz’s foray to England was finally paying off. He had a new programmer and a partner who was handling marketing and sales. Zipcube was selected by Sirius, a British start-up accelerator program, for a grant of £36,000, and he had recently started to reel in some clients. Though he still needed to build the business, he felt he was on the right track.”

    Good for him. By the way, The Sirius Programme is a UK government-run organization that funds entrepreneurs with tax money that doesn’t have to be repaid. Not a loan, not an investor looking for a return – it’s a gift.

    In general, do you think it is a good idea for governments to invest taxpayer monies in risky entrepreneurial schemes, which will almost certainly fail (90% of start-ups do fail)?

    Is it possible Mr. Santacruz left France to take advantage of taxpayer investments from other countries? He received a $60,000 cash grant in London. Maybe Paris just needs to give away more taxpayer money to entrepreneurs.

    While we’re discussing anecdotes, a former business partner moved his investment company from the US to Paris last year (he loves France).

  2. gitarcarver says:

    Jeffery,

    So from what I can gather, you seem to be supporting the idea of a person or business being run out of one country due to government passed rules and regulations to another country where governments can spend money on the business.

    It is amazing to me that you are in favor of a double whammy on businesses and taxpayers.

    Oh, and by the way, Al Gore and you are still hypocrites in the AGW debate and your unwillingness of you, Gore and people of your ilk to change your lifestyle shows that your talk about AGW is bluster and that you don’t actually believe what you type.

    Actions speak louder than words Jeffery.

  3. Jeffery says:

    gitar,

    Do you think it is a good idea for governments to invest taxpayer monies in risky entrepreneurial schemes, which will almost certainly fail (90% of start-ups do fail)?

    That’s what England did to lure Mr. Santacruz and what the Pirate is celebrating.

    Of course, your only tactics are personal attacks rather than discussing the topic.

  4. gitarcarver says:

    Jeffery,

    Do you think it is a good idea for governments to invest taxpayer monies in risky entrepreneurial schemes, which will almost certainly fail (90% of start-ups do fail)?

    Apparently you cannot read or understand what was said. This is really a pattern with you.

    You were the one that was celebrating the guy getting the funds.

    Not me.

    You have always liked the idea of more and more regulations.

    So when the two of your ideas are put together – more regulations and government funding – you have the “double whammy” of which I spoke.

    Oh, and by the way, Al Gore and you are still hypocrites in the AGW debate and your unwillingness of you, Gore and people of your ilk to change your lifestyle shows that your talk about AGW is bluster and that you don’t actually believe what you type.

    Actions speak louder than words Jeffery.

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