France is confronting a paradox. The country has a high number of outstanding IT specialists thanks to the excellent mathematical training in its schools – but these specialists prefer to work in California than at home. One reason is that, in France as well as in other European countries, young technology companies have great difficulty acquiring capital resources. While potential investors are willing to accept the risk of a start-up failing, they are scared off by the difficulties of getting a high return on investment if the start-up actually succeeds.
Enternext, a subsidiary of the Euronext stock exchange, is now seeking to help, in collaboration with the French Economics Ministry.
At a recent conference for start-ups, the head of Enternext, Eric Forest, announced several steps designed to make it easier for young, technology-driven companies to be admitted to the stock exchange – which should indirectly encourage risk capital providers to become financially involved in these firms.
Economics Minister Emmanuel Macron called for a “small business law,” like in the U.S. “The digital economy will be the most important lever for our growth,” he said. “But today, the largest impediment to innovation is insufficient financing.”