by Georges Panayotis
200 years later, Europe could once again become a great world power. With its millenary history, it could return to the big leagues through the digital field. Emmanuel Macron has made it very clear: he wants to push French start-ups and promote the influence of digital companies. France and its European neighbors may be late in the game, but we have our card to play.
In France, the game is changing, and we are shifting up a gear. Europeans, especially France, are starting with 20 years of lag time compared to the United States in the development of digital entrepreneurship! Fair enough! But we have our strengths… High level training with a pool of highly qualified engineers, developers and entrepreneurs who are on top of today's economy and market. A labour market that is picking up again in 2018, a year that has been decreed many times by the employment of executives. Creativity and flexibility make it possible to push even further and invent even more. Some even manage to fight the very French demon of fear of failure and create companies such as Vente-Privée or the Stanley Robotics start-up founded in 2015; many others could be mentioned in these lines as well.
The second axis of France's President is a will to put the reins of the country's treasures back into the hands of managers and entrepreneurs. After the announcement that 14% of the shares of Air France would join the AccorHotels group, the privatization of ADP and Engie was announced. As for the hospitality sector, the arrival of Laurent Fabius brought first tremor and set in motion a positive dynamic that is clearly being taken up and amplified by the new government. We are on the right track and it won't be long before European GAFAs are born. Until now promising and high potential companies were bought by Americans – Booking.com for example – but now European investors believe in their companies and feed them.
Little by little we are catching up and in certain sectors, such as medicine, we are even getting ahead. The government's exit from companies' capital does not necessarily mean a disengagement but rather a different vision for the management of French flagship companies. The State constitutes what could be likened to joint ventures by relying on the know-how and network of its successful entrepreneurs who know how to lead an economic crusade while lending a helping hand. Although European entrepreneurs have lost several battles, the war is not yet over. By playing our cards wisely, we can beat the powerful American and Chinese multinationals and rise to the rank of unicorns influencing the global market. Europeans have already proven their desire to undertake and succeed with flagships like Airbus or Alstom, they have known how to work together and come together as Air France-KLM and now perhaps Accor; they have invented new ways to travel like Easy Jet or Ryan Air and they will continue to create, develop and make prosper new products and concepts that will become unavoidable on the international scene.