Women Entrepreneurs in Paris

Following the micro-enterprise regime* introduced in 2009, the total number of active enterprises created in 2009 in Paris was 341,678, a number slightly higher compared to 338,014 in 2008. There were quite a few enterprises created in 2009 (26091) even though the figure remained less than for 2008 (29669)**.

Regarding women's role in enterprise creation and management, the overall trend is optimistic. In 2009, 3442 women created their own enterprise and as many as 47 141. women have been managing an enterprise in Paris exercising a commercial activity for at least one year, up from 19% in 2008 to 20% in 2009. The preferred area of ectivites remain commercial, services to enterprises and real estate. Heavy duty sectors such as industry, construction and transport are least favoured.

For women wishing to create their own enterprises in Paris or the region Ile-de-France, venture capitalists especially for women driven enterprises are available to help. In 2005, 'Paris Pionnières'***'was born thanks to the efforts to three women- Frédérique Clavel, Françoise Prot and Marie-Christine Bordeaux. Paris Pionnières is funded by a public-private partnership that includes the City of Paris, region Ile-de-France, Regional Directorate for Industry, Research and the Environment (DRIRE), la Caisse des Dépôts and several sponsors such as the Accor Group, Barclays PE, HSBC, Total, AG2R, Laser, La Mondiale etc.

50 enterprises have been supported by Paris Pionnières since its creation. To get a venture supported by the Paris Pionnières, the creation of the project needs to be driven by a woman in the sectors of services to enterprises or individuals, be innovative and have the potential to create several employments. Once the project is approved, the indepth study is carried out to determine the market, legal status, business model and presentation. Other services are tailor made such as renting the premises and personal services depending on the incubation agreement costing between €500 and €1,200.However, only one out of 10 proposals are accepted.


*Decree of March 2nd, 2009, no. 2009-245 define small or medium sized enterprises based on the turnover or an annual activity.

-A micro-enterprise has less than 10 personnels and a turnover not exceeding 2 Mn Euro.

-A small enterprise has less than 50 personnels and a turnover or annual activity not exceeding 10 Mn Euros.

-A medium enterprise has less than 250 personnels and a turnover not exceeding 50 Mn Euros or a total of annual activity of less than 43 Mn Euros.


**Figures from a study by Greffe du Tribunal de Commerce de Paris for 2009 available online.

***Paris Pionnières
26 rue du Chemin vert, 75 011 Paris
Tel : +33 (0) 1 44 88 57 70
Website of Paris Pionnières 

Useful Links

The guide of enterprises and micro-enterprise by APCE (Agence pour la création d'Enterprises)

APCE Website

Greffe du Tribunal de Commerce de Paris



European Women's Management Development International Network

EWMD is an international network for women in management, located in more than 40 European Cities with nearly 800 members, individual and corporate.

Website of EWMD