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Partner with corporates to access EU trade bloc, ambassador advises startups

Looking to scale-up in France or the EU, but worried about market access? Then you might want to consider partnering with a French corporate.

That’s the top tip French Ambassador to South Africa Christophe Farnaud told Ventureburn yesterday on the sidelines of the AfricArena tech conference yesterday.

“If you get a partnership with Air France, Saint-Gobain or Leroy Merlin, any of the big French names then automatically you can get access to the market, it will make it easier,” said Farnaud (pictured above).

Partnering with French corporates could help startups easily access French and EU markets

He said in a bit to secure such partnerships, startups might have to consider changing their business model.

“The business model sometimes has to adjust. This is why the investors want to talk to them (entrepreneurs). Investors have their own vision of things,” he pointed out.

He said while some considered the EU as a “closed” market, the region was one of the “most open markets in the world”.

Farnaud said the French government had set up a “special programme” — the French Tech Visa— to fast-track visas for tech entrepreneurs interested in going to France.

The visa programme, launched in January, allows startup founders, employees and investors to live and work and in France.

Featured image: French Ambassador to South Africa Christophe Farnaud (Supplied)

Author Bio

Daniel Mpala
Daniel's focus is on the African tech startup ecosytem. Besides that, he is passionate about online security, privacy and international affairs. He studied International Relations and Media Studies at the University of the Witwatersrand. More