Starting a business in Europe vs. starting a business in the US


Several months ago I spoke with Kym Court at the Tea & Tattered Pages bookstore about the problems of trying to start up a business in France. She suggested that the start up costs are huge compared to UK for example. The bureaucratic red tape can tally up to as much as 10,000 Euros to get your business up and running. This was also the lament of a hotel desk clerk I met in Cahors, earlier this year. He lamented the fact that it was very difficult for young French people who’d like to start up businesses to borrow money from the banks.
“In Europe, you need to have CASH!” that’s what the Bosnian restaurant owner informed me as we lunched yesterday in his 18 month old restaurant in downtown East Rochester. The restaurant is called Andiamo featuring Italian food cooked by a Bosnian chef and his wife.
“In America, you can borrow money from the bank to start a business.” But here you have to work long hours – and there’s no time. When I talk to my father back in Bosnia, he says, ‘You’re crazy to be working these kind of hours. Come back to Bosnia!’
Clearly between Europe and the USA, there is a major difference in the concept of time, particularly when it comes to the amount of time you decide to spend on business. I’d be curious to know the opinion of French working professionals about what percentage of their time is devoted to business and what percentage is devoted to family, friends, and personal enrichment.
As for me, I’m here in front of the computer screen for most of the morning, almost every morning. Afternoons are devoted to getting some fresh air – and evenings are back to the screen either the computer screen or the silver screen.

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