François Hurel, president of the Union des autoentrepreneurs, looks back on the French fever for entrepreneurship. For him, France is “the country in the world in which it is easiest to set up a business”.
How do you explain this enthusiasm of the French for business creation?
We are changing the world. The view of the French on work is changing. From now on, independence is essential for young people entering the labor market. In a survey we conducted in the spring of 2018, 70% of young people under 24 and 54% of those under 29 see being independent as natural. It is undoubtedly necessary to see in it, on behalf of the youngest, at the same time a form of spite with regard to the wage-earning system and a real desire for independence.
Business start-ups break a new record this year in France
Mass unemployment, exemplary success, new technologies and the transformation of consumption are the ingredients that boost entrepreneurship. For the new generations, independence is no longer a risk but an opportunity. Moreover, France is no exception. All the developed countries know, on a more or less large scale, this movement of attraction for independence.
What about older people?
At the same time, the perspective of human resources departments is also changing. Today, independence is part of a career. Having entrepreneurial experience has become a criterion for success. This proves to the recruiter that the person is capable of confronting the real world, the market, that he is autonomous. This is what headhunters and HRDs want.
On the Internet today, you can create your micro-entrepreneur status in 10 minutes. You only need to answer 11 questions. We are the easiest country in the world to set up self-employment and business.
But do not part of the creation of a business originate from the difficulty of some in finding a job?
Yes. I’m not denying the fact that a number of people can start their business out of spite, including drivers for Uber or delivery people for Deliveroo, for example. But there are also people who start their business out of real desire. In the global population of business creators, there is a considerable number of micro-entrepreneurs who have discovered an entrepreneurial vocation and are launching themselves in large numbers and often in groups.
Has the raising of turnover thresholds for micro-entrepreneurs played a role in the boom in business creation this year?
No, I don’t think it had an impact. On the other hand, what could have an effect since September is the government’s decision to transform the Aid to business creators and buyers (Acre). Contribution exemptions will be less attractive from January 1 for micro-entrepreneurs. The system in place throughout 2019, which promised significant reductions in charges, allowed us to go from 300,000 micro-business creations to nearly 400,000 this year. Coming back to it so easily is a big mistake. It would be better to base Acre on the taxable income of micro-entrepreneurs, which would make it possible to target the most vulnerable.