copy the linklink copied!19. France

This country profile presents self-employment and entrepreneurship data for women, youth, seniors and immigrants. It also highlights current inclusive entrepreneurship policy issues and recent developments in France.


copy the linklink copied!Key trends

The self-employment rate was slightly below the European Union (EU) average in 2018 (11.0% vs. 13.5%). While the self-employment rate has declined slightly at the EU level over the past decade, it has increased slightly in France. This increase is greatest among youth (3.9% in 2009 to 5.5% in 2018). Early-stage entrepreneurs were slightly more likely to expect to create at least 19 jobs over the next five years between 2014 and 2018 (12.2% vs. 9.8%). Among the key target groups, senior entrepreneurs were the most likely to report an expectation of this level of job creation (11.0%), which was above the EU average (8.9%).

copy the linklink copied!Hot issue

Developing the country’s entrepreneurial spirit is a central policy priority. The new Action Plan for Business Growth and Transformation (Le plan d'action pour la croissance et la transformation des entreprises) aims to enable businesses to grow and create more jobs, and seeks to encourage entrepreneurs and businesses to give back more to society through stronger profit sharing and more active participation in society. It also contains concrete measures that simplify administrative requirements for entrepreneurs, including online business registration, reduced bankruptcy procedures and new mechanisms for business transfer. The Law was adopted in April 2019 following nearly two years of public consultation and parliamentary review.

copy the linklink copied!Recent policy developments

In 2018, the National Plan on Female Entrepreneurship (Le plan « Entreprendre au féminin ») was extended until 2020 as part of the First Inter-ministerial Plan for Professional Equality (1er Plan interministériel en faveur de l’égalité professionnelle). The Plan was introduced in August 2013 and aims to increase the share of female entrepreneurs.

This profile is based on a recent country assessment report, which can be found at:

copy the linklink copied!Key inclusive entrepreneurship data

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Figure 19.1. Entrepreneurship and self-employment data for France
Figure 19.1. Entrepreneurship and self-employment data for France

Notes: The self-employment rate is defined as the number of self-employed people (15-64 years old) divided by the number of people in employment. The TEA rate is the proportion of adults (18-64 years old) involved in setting up a business or managing a business that is less than 42 months old. Necessity entrepreneurship is defined as entrepreneurship activities that were launched because there were no other options in the labour market. Early-stage entrepreneurs are those who are in the process of setting up a business or managing a business that is less than 42 months old. The EU average in Panels D-F excludes Czech Republic and Malta for the period 2014-18 and Malta for the period 2009-13.

Sources: Panels A and B: Eurostat (2019), Labour Force Survey,; Panel C: Eurostat (2018), Self-employment, Labour Force Survey ad-hoc module,; Panels D-F: Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (2019), Special tabulations of the GEM survey 2014-18.


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