Saturday, 25 October 2014
The Dark Side of Auto-Entrepreneur Status PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jean Taquet   

pencil_pusherAs of the end of 2009, half of the people who had registered for Auto-Entrepreneur status – created on the first day of 2009 – had no other job activity and were registered as being unemployed. French and American people will interpret this very differently, because they will focus on two different issues.

 

1 – Americans view entrepreneurism in a very positive light, perhaps because they also view failure as an opportunity to rebound. When they hear about the number of people who have registered for auto-entrepreneur status, they think: “Good for them; they are taking initiative and I wish them the best. Even if they fail, they will have learned a lot and this will help them be a better employee or business owner in the future.” Entrepreneurs make up a large part of the American workforce, and every new job that is created is viewed as a boost to the economy (and consequentially the country), even if it is self-created.

A great quote by Debbi Fields (the Mrs. Fields of cookie fame) sums up this attitude very well: “The important thing is not being afraid to take a chance. Remember, the greatest failure is to not try. Once you find something you love to do, be the best at doing it.”

2 – The French, on the other hand, tend to think along these lines: “I pity the poor guys who have been driven to such extremes! They have almost no chance of success, and will be in even worse condition once they fail. The government should protect them from being forced to destroy their lives.”

I want to stay away from the polemic that sparks from this difference in evaluation. What interests me here is that no matter how much the French government wants to help small businesses grow and prosper, such a policy will have a very limited effect on the country’s economy and people unless the French attitude towards entrepreneurship changes!

As long as the majority of the French see being self-employed or going into business for yourself as a curse or a last resort, and believe the only people who are really eager to do it are crooks, liars and cheaters, any program promoting self-employment will have no hope of success. Today’s legislation still follows this logic, which comes from laws issued during the reign of Louis the XIV by Colbert and incorporated in the “Code de Commerce.” As long as this mentality prevails, any new legislation will always come up against negative attitudes towards running an independent business. Change must address the root of the problem so that France embraces the entrepreneurial spirit and gives proper respect to people who dare to go into business for themselves, whether by choice or by necessity.

 

 

 

Jean Taquet holds a masters degree in law from the Sorbonne University and the French BTS accounting degree. He served as a jurist officer in the French Army in1985. He has been managing the refugee ministry of the American church since 1993, and has written the Question and Answer column in the Paris Free Voice. Read his complete bio .
Comments (3)add comment
Mark Romano: ...
tres tres interressant.
1

March 15, 2010
Melissa W. Audrey: ...
"As long as the majority of the French see being self-employed or going into business for yourself as a curse or a last resort, and believe the only people who are really eager to do it are crooks, liars and cheaters, any program promoting self-employment will have no hope of success."

Well said. I totally agree.
2

March 15, 2010
Nelly Reffet: ...
Tres bien dit, je ne peux qu'approuver vos pensees... Reste a esperer que ce statut donnera a de vrais entrepreneurs francais, courageux et persistants, qui prealablement auraient ou ont "fui" a l'etranger pour s'epanouir, l'envie et l'opportunite de se lancer.
3

May 04, 2010

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