Montpellier Business School
17 January 2023

Entrepreneurship in France: Dr. Frank Lasch and Dr. Walid Nakara explain the key elements of the GEM national report

Entrepreneurship in France: Dr. Frank Lasch and Dr. Walid Nakara explain the key elements of the GEM national report

On 13 October, the Labex Entreprendre team, composed of researchers from MBS and Montpellier Management, published the French national report of the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM), an annual study based on entrepreneurial data from 115 countries. The purpose of the study is to build a global picture of entrepreneurial activity in France in 2021 in the context of the health crisis.


Coordinated by Dr. Frank Lasch and Dr. Karim Messeghem, this study is based on 3791 interviews with people in the working population and 50 interviews with experts in the French entrepreneurial ecosystem to provide a detailed analysis of entrepreneurial activity and behaviours in France. At the start of the GEM in 1999, France had one of the lowest rates of entrepreneurial activity, but the French rate is now equal to the average rate of the G7 countries.

“The entrepreneurial community is growing. This is due to the public policies, the financial support, and the promotion of entrepreneurship in the media and and in higher education” explains Dr. Frank Lasch.

” The report has helped to dismantle misconceptions such as the administrative and fiscal complexity, which is not perceived as being stronger in France than in other countries. Another big gap in terms of perception is the visibility given to entrepreneurship in the media, which mostly promotes innovation such as in the French Tech but ignores the media coverage of everyday companies and micro-firms,” said the MBS researcher and professor.


The new national report was able to highlight the fact that 68.5% of French people consider entrepreneurship as a good career choice, a result that is significantly higher than the G7 average (58.5%).

“Even if there is still a large gap between considering starting a new business and really creating a new business, this result is very encouraging for the new generations who now consider business creation as one of the possible career choices after graduation. It is now up to the higher education institutions to develop the necessary tools to make this entrepreneurial desire a reality. At MBS, this support is provided by the Entrepreneurship Center and its incubator, by the certificate in Social and Solidarity Entrepreneurship, or by the development of research and training projects open to all and coordinated by the Social Entrepreneurship and Inclusion Chair,” explains Dr. Walid Nakara, Professor and Researcher holding the Chair.


Another interesting result is the gender split in the entrepreneurial community. “The rate of female entrepreneurs (7.1%) continues to rise in France and is close to the rate of male entrepreneurs (8.4%) with a smaller difference in France compared to the G7 countries. Although gender parity has not yet been achieved, the study identified two of the factors responsible for this inequality: the fear of failure and the perception of their own skills. Indeed, 53.1% of the women declared that they were afraid of failure (compared to 46.3% of men) and only 42.3% of them felt that they had the necessary skills to start their business (compared to 54.9% of men). As a result, although women show a greater ability to find opportunities, they are less likely to capitalise on them,” says Dr Frank Lasch.

“These results demonstrate the need to implement coaching systems to support women in the realisation of their projects. This must be a priority for public actors and authorities because entrepreneurship is a vector of resilience and emancipation for women affected by poverty. This is why, within the Social Entrepreneurship and Inclusion Chair at MBS, we deploy mechanisms based on personal development, such as the Impact programme, to support project leaders in the creation of their business with a social and environmental impact,” adds Dr. Walid Nakara.

To find out more and discover all the other results of the study, find the full report directly on the Labex Entreprendre website here.

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