The year 2009 has witnessed a record number of new business creations in France - 575,000 against 327,000 in 2008. The figure is due in large part to the introduction of the new simplified self-employed status of 'auto-entrepreneur', which accounts for 320,000 of the newly created businesses.
Interestingly the majority of new business created are within the services sector (235,491), followed by 193,373 in the commercial sector. Construction and industry account for 73,417 and 24,118 new business respectively.
The most spectacular inceases - 135% according to APCE - are within arts and entertainment, education and personal services.
Specific areas that are seen to be growing include advisors on energy efficiency, and alternative medicine and relaxation (massage, saunas etc), responding to the needs of France's ageing population. Fast food outlets are also increasing and many new businesses are relying on the internet (rather than opening an office or boutique) to sell goods and services, reflecting the growing trend in purchasing on-line.
Source: Le Figaro, 18 January 2009. APCE - Agence pour la Création d'Emploi.