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Montpellier Ranked as One of France's Most Entrepreneuri...

Montpellier Ranked as One of France's Most Entrepreneurial Cities

Possessing all of the advantages of a large city with the more peaceful rhythm of a human-scale metropolis, Montpellier attracts numerous students, workers, and entrepreneurs. With its classically Mediterranean climate, ambitious urban planning projects, and its magnificent surrounding countryside, Montpellier has numerous attractions that could maybe tip the balance in its favor for one looking

View up Rue de la Loge, the most important shopping street in Montpellier, France. The street is relatively crowded with people and is lined with businesses.

Possessing all of the advantages of a large city with the more peaceful rhythm of a human-scale metropolis, Montpellier attracts numerous students, workers, and entrepreneurs. With its classically Mediterranean climate, ambitious urban planning projects, and its magnificent surrounding countryside, Montpellier has numerous attractions that could maybe tip the balance in its favor for one looking for a location to set up shop. Supported by a significant municipal investment (close to a billion euros in 2012!), the city’s long-term initiatives will offer a dynamic setting for one’s entrepreneurial project. As proof, the ECER-Banque Populaire ranking featured Montpellier as 5th for the French city most preferred by entrepreneurs. There are close to 400,000 inhabitants, 40,000 company headquarters and close to 6,500 inventions in Montpellier.

Why Set Up Shop?

Through its service “Setting up in Montpellier,” the administrative district of Languedoc Roussillon hoists itself to 6th place due to its demographic virtues (it being the most dynamic city in France), as well as economic virtues. The city actively participates in the call to join the large, collective French Tech movement launched by the government to boost regional ecosystems, accelerate the growth of start-ups, and reinforce France’s attractiveness in the business world.

Ampithéâtre in Montpellier, an existing conference space. Seats are filled with people watching a presentation about the national library of Copenhagen

In this sense, the city has launched a project to turn this small island of technology into a tech hotspot. Planning is underway for a business park, several training centers, a conference space, demonstration space, and meeting room, all of which will be contained in a 70,000 square meter building. The city hopes to be able to welcome enterprises of all sizes (young, innovative enterprises, small businesses, large businesses), researchers, students, and creative businesses.

Montpellier ranks in the top in many areas. For the number of created enterprises per inhabitant, they are in 5th place nationally, with 1.7 new enterprises created for every 100 inhabitants. In terms of the number of executives, they are in 7th place nationally, with 9.7% of the population holding that title. They also do well in terms of the number of brand names created per inhabitant. They come in at 7th place nationally, with 6.4 creations for every 1,000 inhabitants.

Montpellier is happy to be home of innovative start-up Sticky Ads TV (leading public company of premium internet videos with 210 premium sites in its portfolio and 3-4 million video ads transmitted every day) and the well-established enterprise Dyneff (enterprise specializing in the wholesale commerce sector of fuel and related services).

Has your city tried to market itself as an entrepreneurial hotspot? What is your city doing to encourage entrepreneurs to locate within its borders?

Original article, originally published in French, here.

Credits: Images and data linked to sources.

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Katelyn Hewett recently graduated from St. Olaf College in Minnesota with a Bachelor of Arts in English and French. During her time at St. Olaf, she enjoyed playing the French Horn in the St. Olaf Band, working as a teaching assistant for first-year...

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