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Press Release

London, Wednesday 28th March 2018

Post Brexit survey from French Tech entrepreneurs based in London

2nd edition

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


 

WHAT ENTREPRENEURS THINK

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):

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“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.

Two publics initiatives were launched to help entrepreneurs and international Tech talent to come to France, the French Tech Ticket (http://www.frenchtechticket.com/) and the French Tech Visa (http://visa.lafrenchtech.com/).

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”. 

About French Tech London

Launched in April 2016, French Tech London ‘s mission is to bring together the community of French people working in Tech in Greater London, to coordinate different local initiatives, to accompany French companies wishing to set up in London and help shine the light on French technology industry. The hub was launched by 6 founding members, private and public: FrogValley, French Digital, FrenchConnect London, French Chamber of Commerce in Great Britain, Business France and the economic services of the French Embassy.

More information here http://london.lafrenchtech.com/ 

Fouding membres of the hub

 

                        Contact: Loïc Dumas - frogvalleyuk@gmail.com 

                        Contact: Hakim Mendjeli -  hakim@frenchdigital.com

                Contact: Albin Serviant - aserviant@gmail.com

                        Contact: Patrick Manon - Patrick.MANON@businessfrance.fr 

                Contact: Florence Gomez - fgomez@ccfgb.co.uk 

                        Contact: Victoria Johnston - victoria.johnston@dgtresor.gouv.fr 

Press contacts:

Albin Serviant, entrepreneur, investor, co-founder of FrenchConnect London and coordinator at French Tech London  albin.serviant@gmail.com

Harriet Pickering, Communication Lead at French Tech London & Communications Manager at Business France Harriet.pickering@businessfrance.fr 

First results from the BREXIT survey, on a sample of 150 people from French Tech London (population estimated at 4,000 people).

Period: January 2018

First effects of BREXIT:

  1. 60% have already felt consequences since the June 2016 referendum;
  2. This percentage increases with:
  1. Age of people questioned (+55 years old - 73%);
  2. Their function within a company and managerial responsibilities (CEO, VP, Directors - 65%)
  3. The date they arrived in the UK (>10 years - 69%)

Level of worry with regards to the turn of events BREXIT:

  1. During the first survey, 85% were worried of which 49.3% were very worried, whereas today 54% are worried of which 22% are very worried.
  2. The level of worry is
  1. The highest for people between 36 and 55 years old
  2. Increases with the amount of time they have been in the UK (5 to +10 years)

The subjects of concern

  1. Freedom of movement: 60%; this percentage increases for people having lived in the UK for periods of 2 to 10 years.
  2. Commercial exchanges and trade: 55%; this percentage increases…
  1. With the age of people questioned
  2. With people in managerial positions
  3. With the length of stay in the UK

  1. Other topics of concern often mentioned:

Effects on professional life: None at 60%.

  1. This tendency changes for over 55-year olds (55% feel an impact)
  2. The effects are slightly higher for those with managerial positions (45% feel an impact whereas only 29% of employees feel an impact)
  3. The impact felt also increases with the length of stay in the UK (50% of people living here for over 10 years feel an effect on their professional life)

Key themes:

Effects on personal life: None at 54%.

  1. People aged 26 to 45 feel a stronger impact on their personal life (50%)
  2. People having lived in the UK for 5 to 10 years feel an impact on their personal life (58%)

Key themes:

If you had to leave London, which country would be your destination of choice?

  1. France: 55%
  2. USA: 25%
  3. Switzerland: 18%
  4. Germany: 17%
  5. Spain: 14%
  6. Other:
  1. Holland: 4%
  2. Canada: 3,5%
  3. Belgium: 2,5%

With regards to France, the percentage evolves with:

  1. Gender, 69% of people wishing to return to France are men
  2. Age, people aged 26-45 are the largest group wishing to return to France
  3. Function, 58% of managerial functions wish to return to France

Still no panic effect but a higher level of people has made arrangements.

Only 33% of respondents have made arrangements.

  1. Over 55-year olds have made arrangements (55%) whereas 18 – 25 years old have taken none.
  2. People having lived for over 5 years have made more arrangements.
  3. Managerial functions are more likely to make arrangements than employees.

For those who have made arrangements:

  1. 14% mention leaving
  2. 6% wish to ask for permanent residency
  3. 5% wish to create a legal structure in Europe