611,264: This is the number of new business registrations registered in France in 2021, according to the National Council of Commercial Court Clerks (CNGTC). A considerable number, an increase of more than 30% compared to the previous year. “The health crisis has not dampened the will to do business, on the contrary, this uncertain climate has strengthened the taste of the French for entrepreneurship”, we can read in the latest report of the CNGTC. study: entrepreneurs are getting younger. In 2021, 23% of them were under the age of 30, compared to 19% in 2018. And for the first time, the average age of company creators is lower to 40 years, or 39.7 years in 2021. One element, however, remains unchanged: men. are by far the majority, representing seven in ten entrepreneurs.
This increase in entrepreneurship is partly explained by the restrictions introduced in the context of the health crisis, which have prompted a number of working people to take the time to think about their professional future and to complete their project for the creation of to mature a company. Whether it’s to change their lives, become independent, retrain or pursue a “passionate profession”, more and more French people have taken the plunge to become self-employed. According to the President of the National Council of Commercial Court Clerks, Thomas Denfer, the main motivation for entrepreneurs to create their own structure is the country’s resilience to the effects of the crisis. “It’s now or never to seize an opportunity. While there was a whooping stop, the company found ways to bounce back and adapt. Aspiring entrepreneurs have seen that there is still a world to be envisioned and that this may be the chance to embark on a new adventure,” he says.
The health crisis has also had a significant impact on the sectors in vogue in the world of French entrepreneurship. Consumer lifestyles have changed with consumers increasingly turning to online shopping. Result: registrations in the commercial sector increased by 21.6% between 2020 and 2021, representing 17.2% of the total business creation. The e-commerce sector in particular grew by 35% in 2021, after already experiencing a staggering 70% increase in 2020. “The digital economy has been highly stimulated and represents a particularly vibrant sector. The figures show that this was not a simple peak in 2020, but that it represents a real trend that is part of the times,” analyzes Thomas Denfer.
And who says that e-commerce is booming, is saying that there is an increasing need for the transport and storage of products sold remotely. For example, the transport and storage sector saw the largest increase last year, with company registrations increasing by 88.4% between 2020 and 2021. However, it is necessary to take these numbers with a pair of tweezers because while they are vibrant, the sectors associated with e-commerce also have significant turnover. “We’re seeing a high percentage of business write-offs, which shows that they aren’t necessarily long-term,” explains Thomas Denfer. Indeed, many entrepreneurs start their own business, work there for several months or years, but eventually decide to close their structure.
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The “education, health and social work” field also saw significant growth, with business registrations rising 43.2%. This sector encompasses support, coaching and above all continuing education, the number of vocational training registrations has increased by almost 80% in 2021. An explosion that is also explained by the consequences of the health crisis. “For two years now, we have noticed a desire to do business, but also to reorient ourselves. To start your own company or to retrain, it is often necessary to train,” explains Thomas Denfer. Vocational retraining has indeed been a major theme in the world of work for two years now, after the subject of new state aid with the various government recovery plans.
Real estate, in turn, is the sector with the most business registrations in 2021. But it has not seen a significant evolution and the increase remains below the national average. “It’s a niche sector, at least reassuring in a crisis or economic recovery,” says Thomas Denfer. Besides the fact that the real estate market has been doing well since the start of the Covid-19 epidemic, the frequent use of SCIs (civil real estate companies), often created in the family context of the acquisition of a well, explains in particular the leading position in the sector because they must be registered in the registry of the commercial courts.
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