Post Brexit survey from French Tech entrepreneurs based in London
Whilst Article 50 was triggered in March 2017 and Brexit negotiations are underway between Theresa May’s government and the European Union, there is still little progress on the status of European nationals living and working in the United Kingdom, leaving millions in doubt.
To date there are approximately 300,000 French people based in London and 400,000 in the country, and an estimated 4,000 of these work within the Tech industry in Greater London.
French Tech London, which brings together French Tech actors including entrepreneurs, investors, directors, private associations and public powers, conducted a first survey amongst its database in January 2017, to better understand the consequences of Brexit and the impact it was having on them and their business. We went back to them this January to find out how the trends are evolving as negotiations continue. Over 150 responses were gathered.
The results of this survey allow us to highlight some of the trends linked to Brexit:
France would be the destination of choice for 55% of people, followed by the USA (25%), Germany (17%) and Spain,
• 33% of respondents have made arrangements for post-Brexit (+10 points versus last year),
• 60% of respondents said they have felt a consequence since the referendum (up from 54% last year)
• The level of worry and concern has considerably dropped since 2017 as only 54% are worried of the impact of Brexit (against 78% in 2017),
• 60% are worried about freedom of movement and 55% about trade
Albin Serviant, entrepreneur & business angel, President of French Tech London
"Brexit has not happened yet, hence the need to read the results of the survey cautiously; Level of stress is going down as demonstrated by the survey, however Tech Entrepreneurs speak more and more about going back to France but we cannot see a massive pattern here; some others still arrive in the UK to start scaling their business abroad. So wait & see.”
Xavier Louis, Co-Founder of Peak Labs (source Mondissimo
“Brexit brings a lot of incertitude, even though London remains pro-business and international. In the past 18 months we’ve noticed concern that has impacted applications. We currently have 10 open positions but a very limited number of candidates. The figures are similar throughout the Tech industry in London, which makes it harder for start-ups as we are also competing against GAFAs. London does however remain very competitive in terms of tax regulations and a cosmopolitan city. Companies still have a strong interest in coming to London.”
Sylvain Pignet, Founder and CEO of Ditto Bank (source Mondissimo):
“Brexit puts an economic break that is not clear but that is felt in everyday life, mainly through the depreciation of house prices. Lots of financial companies and Fintechs are beginning to look at options in the EU to continue to access that market.”
In this context, France positions itself as a refuge for foreign entrepreneurs.
In 2016, over 2,700 start-ups and 90 countries applied to the French Tech Ticket with the objective of setting up in France to setup their start up. The interest from foreign entrepreneurs to setup in France is in response to the dynamic movement called “French Tech”.
Albin Serviant, entrepreneur, investor, co-founder of FrenchConnect London and coordinator at French Tech London email@example.com