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EACC conference in Lyon Dec. 17th: Investing in the USA

December 10th, 2013 No comments

The European-American Chamber of Commerce (EACC) has an upcoming conference in Lyon, France on Investing in the USA. The details (and registration information – under “inscriptions”) are below. I worked with some of these professionals before, and I can tell you it’s a great opportunity to learn more about transatlantic business relations, as well as network with like-minded professionals in Lyon.

Presenters will include the US Consul to Lyon, Clayton Stanger.

The Lyon newspaper Le Progrès also published an article on the conference today.

ECONOMIC RECOVERY:
The right time to INVEST IN THE USA
Enjeux | Dispositifs | Clefs de réussite | Supports pratiques

Réussir vos projets aux Etats-Unis: opportunités et moyens à disposition des PME.

Mardi 17 Décembre 2013 | 12h – 14h
OnlyLyon – Skyroom – Tour Oxygène
10-12 bvd Vivier Merle 69003 LYON
27ème étage
Conférence en français et en anglais

Les États-Unis représentent toujours la première économie du monde et le premier consommateur de la planète. À l’heure où les contours d’un traité de libre échange entre les États-Unis et l’Union Européenne se dessinent, il est impératif de comprendre les enjeux qui y sont liés et de tirer avantage au plus tôt de ces futures opportunités d’affaires. C’est également l’un des marchés les plus difficiles à pénétrer car l’implantation commerciale ou industrielle est souvent recommandée pour gagner en proximité et répondre à une très grande exigence en matière de services.

Quelles opportunités et quels moyens sont à disposition des PME désireuses de conquérir le marché américain ? C’est ce que vont vous présenter nos Experts, spécialistes de l’implantation et de l’accueil d’investisseurs étrangers aux États-Unis.

    Intervenants

Clayton STANGER :
Monsieur le Consul des États-Unis | Lyon

Julie-Capucine HOURS :
Responsable Amérique du Nord | CCI de Lyon

Tom THORELLI :
Avocat au barreau de Chicago | Paris

François HECHINGER :
Parner – West Region Venture & Private Equity Tax Practice Leader | BDO U.S.A.

Nicolas BERNARD-MASSON :
FDI manager de l’Etat de Pennsylvanie en Europe francophone | Lyon

Témoignage d’une entreprise (à confirmer)

    Modérateurs

Johann SPONAR :
Représentant Officiel de l’Etat de Pennsylvanie en Europe francophone et Directeur Général de SALVEO

Bradley STOCK :
Président de l’European American Chamber of Commerce Rhône-Alpes

    Programme

11h40 – Accueil + Cocktail de bienvenue
12h15 – Séminaire
13h30 – Questions | Cocktail networking | Rendez-vous B to B

Inscriptions
L’inscription est gratuite mais obligatoire : natacha.lalande@eaccfrance.eu

French venture capital at record levels

According to the the March 22 edition of French financial daily La Tribune, venture capital in France in 2010 reached its highest levels since 2000. For those of you who cannot read the article (due to subscription restrictions), I have summed it up in English below.

An interesting linguistic note that reveals a lot about cultural differences is the expression in French for “venture capital”: capital-risque, or “risk capital”. So whereas the risk-taking “Anglo-Saxon” cultures positively think of investing in businesses as “ventures”, the actual French term emphasizes the traditional risk-averse culture of France (that is gradually evolving, as the article illustrates).

Another example of this difference is that more Americans and British invest in stocks for their pensions whereas it is less of a natural option for French workers. But this too is changing.

I have some venture capital links on my business in France page.

Do you have any views of venture capital and investments in France?

“Le capital-risque en France retrouve des niveaux record”

Venture capital funds invested about €1.05 billion in 2010 (compared to €910 million in 2009). This is the highest amount since 2000, when VC reached €1.14 billion.

Investment over the past six semesters (notice the dip 2nd half of 2009)

2008: €470 mil (1st semester), €556 mil (2nd semester)
2009: €503 mil (1st semester), €407 mil (2nd semester)
2010: €515 mil (1st semester), €532 mil (2nd semester)

Most capital came from local investment funds, or FIP (Fonds d’investissement de proximité) and innovation mutual funds, or FCPI (Fonds commun de placement dans l’innovation). In fact, the second half of 2010, FIP’s and FCPI’s represented 62.5% of investments.

N.B. you can learn more about these and other French investment terminology here. See below for explanation of FCPI from that link.

Another trend is that most venture capital firms invest in the last stage, or second rounds, instead of early stage investments. Early stage made up only 7% of VC investments in the last ten months of 2010.

One last note is that the health, life sciences and pharmaceutical industries make up almost 25% of venture capital investments.

FCPI: French type of mutual funds, created in 1997, intended to support the development of innovating firms.

The capital collected by a FCPI is invested at least up to 60 % in the capital of non listed companies, or of limited liability companies, to which the Agence nationale de la valorisation de la recherche (ANVAR) gives the label “innovating”.

Subject to keep the FCPI shares during at least five years, the subscriber profits from tax advantages at the time of the subscription (tax cut) and at the time of the resale (possible exemption of the cashed products and the appreciations in certain cases)

Women in business; top French SME’s with women in control

In honor of the 100th International Women’s Day (Journée da la Femme) The French financial newspaper La Tribune had a special report with several articles yesterday on women in business. They paired up with the group Women Equity for Growth for the special. Links to the articles are below (in French). La Tribune also organized a Women’s Awards night in November.

The Economist also put out a series of charts on women in society: in politics, on boards, at business schools, in work. These compare the position of women in several countries. Very interesting and pertinent study. As the article states, despite significant progress and opportunities for women in the past century, “…the difference in male and female employment rates in many countries is still large and persistent. While progress has been made, there is a long way to go before gender equality is reached.”

Expatica also features an article on “Four trends helping women in business move ahead.”

Meanwhile, a European Parliament group released a report on gender inequality and called for the European Commission to cut the gender pay gap by 1 percent per year.

La Tribune articles:

Article on Top 50 SME’s with women at top
PDF list of the Top 50
Les Editions Belin publisher adapting to 21st century technology
Interview with Union Plastic President Florence Poivey

There were also several special TV programs dedicated to the day:
“Dans le coeur des femmes” (special show with debate and discussion by feminists, journalists, business leaders, philosophers…), not yet available online
“Une semaine sans les femmes” men trying to manage the family without their wives
Chabada show to celebrate women (with songs, etc)

60 ideas to streamline SME operations in France

February 17th, 2011 No comments

The CGPME (Confédération Générale des Petites et Moyennes Entreprises) is a business interest group in France representing entrepreneurs and directors of start-ups and SME (small and medium enterprises). They have proposed 60 ideas to simplify business operations for SME’s in France. They cover administrative, hiring, accounting, financing, etc. You can download the PDF (in French) on their site, under the PDF logo “en savoir plus”. The opening remarks below state that for the French economy, simplifying administrative procedures for SME’s is an important factor and that by rendering regulatory and business law texts more easily accessible and user-friendly, this would help French SME’s to become more productive and competitive not only at home but also abroad.

Jeudi 17 février 2011
Simplifications administratives
60 propositions de la CGPME
Propos liminaires

Les dispositifs de simplification administrative représentent des enjeux majeurs pour notre économie.

En permettant une meilleure lisibilité et compréhension des réglementations, en améliorant la transparence de l’administration, ils simplifient le contexte dans lequel les entreprises exercent leur activité : une réglementation administrative mal conçue et obsolète peut décourager la création d’entreprise, entraver l’innovation et dresser des obstacles rendant les entreprises moins compétitives au plan international.

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