In 2019, the well-known French topical affairs magazine, Le Point, voted Strasbourg the most attractive city in France, on the basis of 3 criteria – economic dynamism, mobility and quality of life

A clear message to all confirmed and would-be entrepreneurs that Strasbourg is the ideal place for doing business!

The city’s ecosystem is fed by a stream of mechanisms for helping to set up new companies or acquire existing ones, underpinned by an entrepreneurship-focused economic fabric and supported by personalised assistance for drawing up a business plan from sources such as the Chamber of Commerce (CCI), the local Chamber of Trade (Chambre de métiers d’Alsace), the Semia incubator and the Institute of chartered accountants (Ordre des experts comptables). You will also receive help finding business premises and, for those interested, you will be introduced to representatives of our research centres.

The key sectors in the city’s economy are MedTech, innovative transport solutions and mobilities, creative businesses, the green economy and the social and solidarity economy. The Strasbourg Eco-2030 roadmap sets out the city’s vision for boosting the local economy and encouraging network-based governance and has the clear ambition of providing a joint impetus for initiatives and encouraging the creation and purchase of businesses. You’ll never have to be alone!

Networks providing support for entrepreneurial drive, offering advice and assistance for local initiatives.

One of the advantages of Strasbourg is the wide mix of businesses and their models, with major industrial groups working side-by-side with SMEs and ideas and thoughts being exchanged through networks specially created to feed into the ecosystem.

At regional, city and even district levels, personalised assistance is available, with the possibility of funding, through organisations such as the Chamber of Trade (Chambre de métiers d’Alsace), the Chamber of Commerce and CitésLab, an organisation providing support for business initiatives within the city’s priority districts. Be EST Entreprendre Strasbourg provides guidance for setting up or purchasing businesses within the Grand Est region, while specific networks, such as Initiatives durables, Women entrepreneurs, Mampreneures, Form’Maker and Réseau Entreprendre Alsace: Initiatives are tailored to entrepreneur needs and helping start-ups find their feet.

An ethical and virtuous economy

Strasbourg is a strong believer in supporting innovative initiatives and cross-fertilisation.

A good illustration is the SEVE (Solution for the green economy and businesses) call for tenders, launched in 2016, which brought together businesses and students to work on ideas, processes and initiatives offering concrete ecological and social added value. The social and solidarity economy is another case in point. Strasbourg’s SSE generates 10% of local jobs, through organisations such as the Envie nonprofit and the Citiz cooperative. Local nonprofits, cooperatives and social enterprises have been coming up with new, horizontally-focused governance practices, alongside more open and more transparent ways of doing business and working together. In 2021, the KaléidosCOOP cross-border centre for cooperation will be opening on the site of the old Coop buildings, to become a flag-bearer for the SSE and a driver for new jobs and new initiatives.

Effervescent ecosystems

The entrepreneurial dynamic is driven by networking, conferences, competitions and debates and also sector-specific trade fairs and exhibitions open to both professionals and the general public. Examples include Créer sa boîte en Alsace (Create your company in Alsace), the Startup weekend, Generation Startup, a series of events for young entrepreneurs, after-work drinks for entrepreneurs, the entrepreneur Odessies, the Bizz & Buzz digital festival, not to mention hackathons where participants from healthcare and industry feed off each other’s ideas.

Premises for start-ups

Strasbourg features a number of genuinely stimulating centres for start-ups and innovation. Some of these are sector specific, tailored to the needs of artisans and businesses, or meant for mainstream enterprises.

Examples of these initiatives include the Archipel international business district next to the European Parliament, the Deux Rives district, the Reichstett Écoparc – a major industrial redevelopment project –, the Hôtel d’entreprises des Forges and Klebsau 1 & 2 business centres, the Hautepierre business incubator, the Espace Européen de l’Entreprise business park, the Nextmed European medical technologies campus, the Autonomous Port of Strasbourg, La Fabrique, the PH8 incubator, the University of Strasbourg’s fab labs and all the co-working spaces within the city…

Everything’s ready for you, you just need to go through a few formalities!

l'entrepreneuriat à Strasbourg, créatrice mode

Brains and muscle power!

Strasbourg is ranked in the top 5 for filing European patents ! Innovation is a major feature of the city and a key part of exchanges between research centres and business. 15,000 academics and 11,000 postgraduate students live and work in the city, while the centres and structures for facilitating transfers of skills are continually increasing in number and include Strasbourg’s Innovation Park and competitiveness clusters such as BioValley France, Hydreos and Véhicule du futur.

Not forgetting handiwork…

Artisanal arts and crafts have long been a historical part of the Strasbourg entrepreneurial scene, and a number of crafts guilds still exist in the city. In 2019, there were 9 217 artisanal businesses in the Eurometropolis, with a wide range of crafts showcased by the Frémaa regional Federation for crafts in Alsace, which organises the yearly Résonance[s] fair, and which drew in a record number of visitors in 2019. Strasbourg is a member of the Ville et métiers d’art (City and Crafts) network, which recognises initiatives designed to preserve, highlight and promote local skills and knowledge. But tradition can also go hand-in-hand with modernity and the city boasts a range of centres (Shadok, La Coop, Fablabs, etc.) where arts and crafts rub shoulders with design and digital.

Une balade en bateau sur l'ill ensoleillé vivre à strasbourg

A major stakeholder: French Tech Alsace

The Strasbourg ecosystem is the driving force for French Tech Alsace, which acts as an umbrella for people and organisations working for or with start-ups both in and outside France. Made up of entrepreneurs, investors, engineers, developers, nonprofits, bloggers, media, major companies and governmental organisations, they work together to boost the growth and international promotion of start-ups.

Student entrepreneurs

If you’re a student and you have an idea for a start-up you want to set up during your studies, the Etena student entrepreneur initiative offers support for some 200 students and their entrepreneurial project or start-up every year. On average, 10% of the projects result in the creation of a new business.