By Alexandre De Cardenal

Paris is and will remain one of the best places to open your business or launch a project. Business in Paris is very dynamic and companies based there are always on the lookout for new opportunities.

In 2011 Paris ranked fourth as the largest metropolitan economy in the world and first in Europe. Very international, Paris has a population of more than 1.6 million inhabitants with populations coming from all over the world.

In this article we will discuss several facets of doing business in Paris. We will present the city’s business districts and the many opportunities available in the capital of France. You are one private jet flight away to see it with your own eyes. Take a look at our price calculator to find out the price of a private jet to Paris from your departure point.

La Défense, the economical and business center

Let us introduce you to the economic center of Paris called La Défense. La Défense, the main business district of Paris is easily accessible by cab from any of the airports in the Paris area. It is 30 min away by car from Le Bourget airport and 35 min away from Toussus le Noble airport. Not only is this district known for its businesses, it is also a place where you can do some shopping, got to a concert, undertake education, and much more.

La defense Business in Paris
Sky view of La Defense

The history of la Defense

In the 1960s, the city of Paris wanted to build skyscrapers in order to create offices, hence to compete with the major presence of the Eiffel Tower. But when the construction of the Montparnasse tower was completed in 1972, Parisians revolted against the presence of this Parisian skyscraper. The builders decided to look a little further, as in 2 kilometers to the west where they started to build a complex which is called now La Défense. Although this area has always been an important place in the region since the time of François the 1st, this complex was mainly been developed between the 1960’s and the 2000’s.

parvis de la defense
Esplanade de la Défense

A cab or public transport can take you directly to the middle of the esplanade of La Défense. Here you will be propelled into the economic center of the capital. This business district holds offices of big multinational companies such as Société Générale, EY, EDF, Total Energies, or even SNCF. 

La Défense key figures :

  • 4th most attractive business district in the world
  • It houses 500 companies of which 41% are foreign
  • 3.7 million m2 of office space
  • 125 buildings and 40,000 m2 of co-working space
  • 97% of employees are satisfied working in La Défense

But you will also find structures and buildings that are not offices such as shopping malls or concert halls. Here is a list of the major elements to know in addition to offices in La Défense:

  • Westfield les 4 temps, the largest shopping center in Europe
  • Paris la Défense Arena, the largest indoor concert hall in Europe and one of the sites selected for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games
  • Some of the best business and engineering schools in France (ESSEC, IESEG, ESILV)
  • 60 sculptures and architectures of different artists spread around the complex
Artwork la defense Business in Paris
Artwork in La Defense

New generation and new opportunities

Being one of the largest and most important commercial hubs in Europe, companies are created regularly. It is the cradle of many start-ups in different fields and industries. In 2018 there were no less than 8000 start-ups registered in Paris. This number continues to grow from year to year while the start-ups are transformed into medium or large companies. A clear sign that business in Paris continues to develop.

There is always something happening in Paris Region. International investors, entrepreneurs, innovators, students, artists, and many more all flock to the Region, generating new business deals, partnerships, and opportunities each day.

The region’s high number of investors and incubators make it an ideal environment for upcoming start-ups, new technologies, and innovative ideas.

business in paris

The Paris Region is renowned for its competitive clusters like Tech, includes Artificial Intelligence, Biotechnology, Nanotechnology, Telecommunications, AR/VR, 3D animation, Renewable Energies, and even Urban Air Mobility.  

The opportunity to develop your personal network through events and organized meetings will not be missed! You can go for example to the VivaTechnology event or the e-marketing Paris trade show.

The best example of innovation and entrepreneurship in Paris is certainly the Station F. Created by French President Emmanuel Macron in 2017 (13th arrondissement), the largest cluster of startups in the world and in Paris, the perfect place to meet people and take your ideas to the next level! You will find absolutely all the tools and spaces to launch your projects. At the same time incubator, offices, many tools at your disposal, you will have absolutely all the tools in hand.

station f interior business in paris
Station F interior

Station F offers support programs for your projects such as the “Fighter program” which is available for entrepreneurs from disadvantaged backgrounds who do not have the same resources as others. They will be accompanied for free during their first year. Or the FemTech program specialized in the development of projects related to women’s health.

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