France courts foreign entrepreneurs with €5m

France is offering international entrepreneurs a share of €5 million worth of subsidies in a bid to persuade them to launch their start-ups in Paris rather than other capital cities. Applicants must speak English and will also get help finding a flat.

France courts foreign entrepreneurs with €5m
French Tech Ticket - hoping to bring foreign entrepreneurs to France. Photo:

The scheme named “French Tech Ticket” will offer financial and administrative aid to help coax entrepreneurs to start their businesses in France.

It is the French government's latest efforts to try to attract the brightest individuals to the country to help boost business as well as maintain France's reputation as a country of innovation.

“The goal is to attract the best talents to France so they can create businesses, jobs and also reinforce the attractiveness of the country,” said Axelle Lemaire, the government’s secretary of state for all things digital.

French Tech Ticket will see €5 million of subsidies and assistance made available to the foreign creators of start-ups in the first year.

That should see around 50 individuals benefit from financial grants.

Each founding member will initially receive €12,500 if they have a maximum of three people in their team. To qualify for the money, the grant can only be invested in the company and it must be the creator’s sole business activity.

One other rule is that candidates must speak English and cannot have more than one founding member who is French.

The grant will be reviewed and renewed after a monitoring stage, but essentially each start-up could benefit to a maximum of €75,000 over the first year.

For the initial testing phase the scheme will only cover the Paris area, but if it proves a success then it could be rolled out in cities across the country.

Apart from the money the entrepreneurs will also be given help in finding a home for their business, which could be housed in one of three start-up incubators around the capital.

The Town Hall will also help entrepreneurs find accommodation – which is notoriously difficult in Paris – as well as guidance through the French administration – which can be equally troublesome when it comes to setting up a business.

Information can be found at the site The application process runs from June until September.

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