Infographic: Doing Business in Canada

Despite strong competition from neighboring USA, Canada remains a land of hospitality and multiculturalism where anyone can find his place. The country is bilingual and notoriously warm-hearted population. How do these factors affect the conduct of business in Canada? Our Canadian partners, Yulex, told us all about the country and why you should develop your business there.

Country Overview

3rd biggest country in the world in terms of land area, Canada has a population of more than 35 millions people spanning 6 different time zones. The GPD per Capita reaches $48,100, rising at a steady rate of 3%. Furthermore, inflation and unemployment are very low at 1.6% and 6.5% respectively. They mainly import Vehicles (17.2% of total imports), Machinery including computers (14.6%), Electrical machinery, equipment (9.9%), Mineral fuels including oil (6.9%) and Plastics, plastic articles: $16 billion (3.7%). 89.8% of Canadians use Internet, but only 67% own smartphones, and social network users reaches 73% of the total population.

With sharp drops after the 2008 financial crisis and smaller, but still noticeable drops around 2014, net inflows of foreign investments and imports of goods and services aren’t looking too positive.

Doing Business

The World Bank ranks Canada’s Easy of Doing Business in 18th place over 190 countries. As you can see in the infographic, Canada wins points in most categories. For example it will only take a day and a half and 0,4% of a person’s income to start a business in Canada (ranked 2nd worldwide). Furthermore, minority investors are highly protected thanks to the high extent of corporate transparency and the high degree of access to legal recourse against shareholders. But difficulties arise specifically when dealing with construction permits and enforcing contracts. Canada made dealing with construction permits more expensive by increasing fees for site plan approval and building permits and enforcing contracts is hard in Canada, it will take on average 910 days compared to 164 for the best ranked country.

Business Etiquette

You will find below the things you need to know if you are planning on doing business in Canada. As mentioned, Canada is one of the biggest country in the world, so depending on the region you intend to expand to, you should know that there are differences between each province, and on the business culture too! Thanks to our local partner, Yulex, you can find below the main Do’s and Don’ts of doing business in the Canada.

Do’s

  • Make eye contact during meetings, it shows your understanding, sincerity and self-confidence
  • Business communication should be straightforward and concise
  • In business meeting, handshake is the appropriate greeting
  • Dress in a conservative and well-dressed appearance

Dont’s

  • Talk a language that no one understands in a meeting, it’s considered particularly rude
  • Don’t be late at meetings. Punctuality is important in Canadian culture
  • Do not start eating before everyone is served when you are invited out for a professional dinner
  • Don’t be offended if pleasantries are exchanged quickly during Business talks

We have looked at many aspects of the Canadian economy and socio-cultural aspects. But why should you expand your business there ? Yulex gave us the reasons to expand there !

Ecosystem performance 2017:

  • Canada holds the distinction of being the easiest location in the G20 to start a business
  • More than 10 000 active startups
  • More than 150 incubators and accelerators

Why Canada?

  • Canada stands among the top countries in the G7and G20 countries
  • A welcoming business environment
  • Diverse, confident, creative, entrepreneurial people
  • A strong growth record
  • Unparalleled market access
  • A highly educated workforce
  • Low business tax costs
  • Competitive R&D environment (if you want to learn more about that, don’t hesitate to read the article we wrote with them here)
  • Financial stability
  • A great place to invest, work, and live”

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Do not hesitate to send us your request to connect with them if you consider developing your activities in the Land of the True North!

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Scrunchie Is Back: Interview with the Founder, Marie Aragon

With the ambition to revolutionize the French hair accessory industry, Scrunchie Is Back is a brand of hair accessory created by Marie Aragon. The products are completely Made in France and not at all the old 90s product that our parents were wearing. While operating online she also opened the Scrunchie Room, a cute apartment studio in the heart of Paris where clients can meet and try on the different products. We got to visit her there and hear all about her entrepreneurial journey, from her career as an accountant to becoming a self-made Entrepreneur. (Transcript below)

“Hello my name is Marie Aragon, and I’m the Founder of a hair accessories brand called Scrunchie Is Back. At the end of High School, I wanted to become a Chartered Accountant because I thought it was the best way of being closer to the entrepreneurial world. I realized pretty fast that accounting studies and this job wasn’t made for me. I refocused my studies towards business and entrepreneurship.

It’s during these studies that I created my first e-commerce at the age of 20. During my Masters in Entrepreneurship, I was working part-time for a young clothing company who went bankrupt while I worked there. I ended up at the end of my studies with a single professional experience of a company’s failure. It wasn’t easy to start over after that. But I got the chance to cross path of “Réseau Entreprendre Paris”, and I learned so much being in contact with entrepreneurs that were ambitious and had so much potential for development.

What is Scrunchie Is Back?

Scrunchie Is Back’ ambition is to modernize the hair accessory industry. Today, the market is composed of two segments, we can either find products that are on the low end, Made in China, or high end products that are expensive, and made for hairdressing, not fashion. I want to step in between these two segments by creating a brand that has a many products, with accessible prices, made in France, and a distribution mode that is different.

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I recently created The Scrunchie Room, which I use as an office but also as a Sales Showroom. The objective was to be close to the customers to allow them to try and buy the accessories easily.

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Did you Meet any challenges?

The most important difficulty is to find the right equilibrium between my professional life and personal life. There can be a frustrating part because we want things to go fast so we put in a lot of energy. But we also need to take the time to appreciate the little things like seeing my friends and family.

We are drawn to an objective, a success and a goal but between that goal and the present there is a whole path. The most beautiful thing in entrepreneurship is to enjoy that path, to take the time to celebrate successes. Also being happy to go through hurdles, because it allows us to grow and discover new things.

Do you have any Advice for Entrepreneurs?

Surround yourself, either with organisms, NGOs or entrepreneurs who have experienced things before you did, for example Réseau Entreprendre or Beeleev. You can be coached or get advice from them.

I also find a lot of inspiration in Entrepreneur’s Books, once again in the same logic, to see that we can’t build a company in two days, and that even the founder of Zappos or Nike went through the worst nightmares and difficulties, it gives courage. I really liked the book written by the founder of Zappos, Delivering Happiness. I found it really well written, and his story is really inspiring. He managed to bounce back from situation to situation. The reason he held on and succeeded is that he never let go and he had wit. It’s a perfect recipe.

Join the Community and connect with other Beeleevers: www.beeleev.com

Infographic: Doing Business in the USA

Do we really need to present the USA? From independence to becoming the global superpower we know today, the country has been a major cultural and political influencer, setting the “American Dream” as goal in the minds of millions around the world. The USA’s influence also exerts itself through its innovations and exports. Birthplace of most international giant companies, the country’s growth and capacity to amaze is never fading.

Country Overview

3rd biggest country in the world, the States has a population of more than 326 millions.  The GPD per Capita reaches $59,500, rising only at a rate of 2.2%. But inflation and unemployment are low at 2.1% and 4.4% respectively. America’s growth is driven by IT Systems and Services, Health and Social Services, Construction, Building Equipment and Civil Engineering. Surprisingly, only 76.2% of Americans are internet users but 77% own smartphones, and social network users barely reaches 69% of the total population.

We can’t say that the Net Inflows of Foreign Direct Investment have been stable over the years. But apart from a drop after the 2008 financial crisis, the imports of Goods and Services have been exponentially rising.

Doing Business

The World Bank ranks USA’s Easy of Doing Business in the top 10, at the 6th place over 190 countries. As you can see in the infographic, the States wins points everywhere but specifically thanks to the country ranking 3rd for resolving insolvency. An advantage of doing business in the US, is that records on land ownership are part of public record,  which is only the case in 27 out of 190 economies. But difficulties arise when we start looking at the differences between states, for example, the cost of enforcing a contract can double from one state to another. Unfortunately, minority investors are less protected because of low shareholder’s rights, ownership and control, and lower corporate transparency.

Business Etiquette

When Doing business in the States there are specific points to keep in mind. Thanks to our local partner, G2 Experience, you can find below some Do’s and Don’ts of doing business in the USA.

Do’s

  • Open with a little small talk
  • Keep communications short and bite-sized
  • Begin with your conclusion and explain afterwards
  • Show enthusiasm and passion
  • Follow-up/respond within 48 hours

Dont’s

  • Don’t worry about your English
  • Don’t disappear! Keep in touch even if no news to share
  • Don’t show too much humility (it’s OK to be openly proud)
  • Don’t interrupt
  • Don’t compliment people on their appearance

 

The fragmented aspect of the United States can be intimidating when looking to develop there. Sophie Lechner, founder and CEO of G2 Experience, a company that accelerates the global expansion of companies by helping them successfully enter new markets, gave us very interesting insights on targeting a niche and expanding from there:

“The U.S. population is large but don’t approach it as one single big market. There are big differences across states, regions and cities, and between demographics.

Identify a narrow segment (think “Minimum Viable Audience”) based on a specific pain point or interest. Go beyond basic segmentation to find a group with a unique need, often over-looked and under-served.

Understand that small audience in great depth: their desires, frustrations, ideals. Your in depth customer knowledge will allow you to delight them, and gain reputation and trust as a platform forgrowth.

Address what drives them with a tailored, laser-focused and easy to visualize message. To your niche audience, that message will be compelling, making you the expert with the differentiated offering.”

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Success Story: Theodo, Video Interview with Fabrice Bernhard

Fabrice Bernhard, CTO and co-founder of Theodo, created the company in 2007 with his friend Benoit. Growing steadily, it became a real success with 21 million turnover in 2017 and important clients such as BlaBlaCar, Societé Générale and BNP Paribas. After expanding to the UK, Fabrice had to also assume the role of UK CEO and now splits his time between London and Paris. We got the opportunity to catch him in their beautiful French offices and get him to tell us the story of his successful journey.

The entrepreneurial story of Fabrice and Benoit Charles-Lavauzelle began when they created Allomatch, a platform to find bars and restaurants broadcasting sports events. Even if the startup was very successful (200 000 unique visits per month in 2008), Fabrice tells us that they didn’t think it had the potential to be as big as they wished. Thus, Theodo was born in 2009, when they identified a real demand for web and mobile application. Fabrice is value-oriented, he does that by implementing a Lean Strategy in every aspect of Theodo’s business model, focusing on quality and continuous improvement on each project and lead Theodo’s turnover growing from 1 million to 21 million today.

You get to learn a lot of interesting fun facts about Theodo when getting a personal tour of the company from Fabrice. For instance, the story of their name: at the center of the triangle constituted by the three offices Allomatch occupied in Paris, is the Luxembourg garden and… a statue of Théodore de Banville, famous French poet and writer!

We also felt the vibe and culture of the company. Many walls there are made of white board material, as an incentive for creativity and they made sure to garnish the space with comfy chairs and workspaces all around, to cater to the needs of the 5 startups hosted there (BAM, SICARA, SIPIOS, Theodo France and Theodo UK).

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Each gets a conference room named after them, with others called Allomatch, Luxembourg (a reference to the origin of their name), and one connected live to the London’s office. We got to record this interview, sitting comfortably at the raw wood kitchen table on a typical rainy Parisian day of March. (Transcript below).

Hello my name is Fabrice Bernhard. I’m 35 and I’m the cofounder of Theodo. Now acting as UK CEO, based in London.

Who is Fabrice Bernhard?

One thing you need to know about me, is that I’m a passionate programmer. I discovered programming when I was 10 and I was very lucky to live in the same village as the founder of the World Wide Web: Tim Berners-Lee. I actually got to discover the internet as early as 1995 and as soon as I discovered the internet, I knew that’s I wanted to do. So I went on to study Computer Science at Polytechnique with the idea of creating a Tech Startup.

What Brought you to Create Theodo?

The first startup that we launched at the end of our studies with Benoit was Allomatch. Allomatch is the website to find venues to watch sports in bars and restaurants. It was an amazing project and we started in 2007. But after 1 year and a half we realized that it wasn’t as big or it couldn’t become as big as we expected. So we started thinking about the next step.

One thing we had, was an amazing engineering team. We were surrounded by other startups that didn’t have that kind of capability. So that’s when we decided to launch Theodo and help startups build web and mobile applications.

Did you Meet any Challenges?

We were quickly recognized for our tech expertise which helped us grow, not only with startups but also with SMEs and Corporates. One thing we realized fairly quickly was that IT services is very hard and it’s a very long process. The normal way of doing it is usually to spend a lot of time doing specification and then trying to build these specifications and then realizing that’s not exactly what you wanted. So we were very frustrated with this and we also realized that our client were not amazingly satisfied even though we were putting a lot of energy in the project. That’s when we discovered Lean and completely changed our way of working. We started completely removing the specification phase, went directly into the building phase but with the client inside the team, releasing every week. That was not only so much more effective from our point of view but it also made the client super happy. That’s really when the growth of Theodo started at the time we were doing 1 million turnover and now, five years later we are doing 21 million turnover.

My second challenge is when we decided to grow abroad and grow the company internationally. Until then we had actually achieved all this growth together, Benoit and I. And when we decided to open an office in London, we decided to do it in a bit more separate way so I became the leader of the UK office and Benoit stayed in Paris. I had been, until then, the CTO, so primarily focused with tech, tech related things, including recruitment. Being the CEO of the UK was a big challenge for me. I had to learn and discover all the things I had to learn about like management and sales. It took me some time but it was a very rewarding journey.

London is very international but it is still also very British. So in terms of management it can be quite a surprise specially if you come from a Latin country like France. The kind of management style that we are used to in France can make Brits go completely red. Be careful about that and learn to say things with a bit more subtly then you might have been used to.

Any Entrepreneurial Advice?

I can give three tips. The first one, I would say, is trying to find networks that you can join. It can be the network of people of the same nationality, same country or it can be networks about common passions. For example for me, because I’m French I jointed French Connect London, it is an amazing network. I also joined the British Chamber of Commerce which was also a very good network and then I joined a few other networks that were more tech related.

My second advice once you start having a network and therefore can find clients and partners, it’s certainly to live on site. Even though London is a very international city it is also a very British city, which means that you need to understand the British culture and that it’s impossible if you don’t live on site and interact with British people on a daily basis.

My third tip, once you understand how the British culture works, then you are ready to hire local. The UK is also very international but having British people on your team will make a huge difference in signing clients and growing the company there.

Join the Community and connect with Fabrice and other Successful Entrepreneurs on Beeleev: www.beeleev.com

International SEO: Listen to the Expert

Photo 1.pngGrowing your business internationally is a natural step in the life of your company and surely one that keeps you awake at nights. To achieve that goal, using the Internet is often your golden ticket to grow global, but do not rush into it before having defined an international Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy. Charlotte Prieur, Digital Marketing Consultant and a Beeleever, develops further on this essential problematic that only seasoned marketers take into account…

On Internet, trends come and go very quickly, but one is definitely here to stay. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) has been receiving a lot of attention these past few years. It can be defined as the optimization of your website’s organic or natural ranking in the results of Search engines such as Google, the most famous and used one. To give you an idea of its importance, Organic traffic represents in average between 30% and 50% of a website’s visits.

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You may ask: why is ranking on top of search results so important? Well, 58% of internet users are going to click on the first 3 websites that Google shows them. This simple stat should put ranking on top of your priorities.

Now, you wouldn’t launch on a new market without studying it first, right? Well it is the same with SEO, you need a marketing strategy on that front too. A lot of factors need to be thoroughly studied before jumping into it. Let’s talk about the most significant ones.

Figuring out the Structure that Works for You

Are you going to work on different websites or just use one? It depends! If you are targeting a specific country, you might want to create a specific website. If you are not sure, an English version might be the way to go. You do however have different options:

  • Distinct domains, also called ccTLD (Country Code Top Level Domain): It means that you have to buy a different domain in each country and that you need to start from scratch each time. The perk is that Google automatically recognizes the targeted language and country, which gives you a great base in terms of ranking. People also tend to have more trust in a website that’s localized in their country. However, the downfall is that this method is time and money consuming. If you are only targeting one or two countries, you might want to learn more about this option.

Example: www. yourwebsite. it

  • Subdomains: This can be a solution as it only gives you one main domain to work on. It is still localized and remains less expensive than the first option. However, if you want to optimize it to its full potential, you need more technicalities when it comes to the use of linguistic and localization tags like Hreflang and Canonical.

Example: it. yourwebsite. com

  • Directories: This option allows you to easily create different versions of the same website. Although, it is the cheapest option, it is rarely advised in terms of SEO due to its poor efficiency.

Example: www. yourwebsite. com/it

Don’t get Lost in Translation

Once again, are you targeting one country or multiple ones? In the first scenario, choosing the local language is strongly advised as it will build up trust in your company, products and/or services. If you are not sure or targeting several countries, working on an English version is usually the way to go.

About the language itself, remember that everything has to be translated and optimized. I really do mean everything. For instance, do not leave out the contact part or things that seem minor to you. In general, search engines aren’t huge fans of having multiple languages on one website, mixing them is thus not recommended for your ranking.

That being said, translating is good… but adapting is better! When it comes to choosing your keywords, you cannot just translate the ones you are currently using in your home country. And if it isn’t for your local customers, do it for Google. If you want it to work its wonders, you have to adapt your content. There are lots of tools like Adwords or Keywords Planner to help you in the choice of your keywords, with localized suggestions.

A little tip: Always keep in mind long tail SEO techniques. They consist in highly specific search terms (more than 2 words), that’s what’s going to make a difference at the end of the day.  For example: your company sells cookies, you would be tempted to use « cookies » as a keyword. How about considering one of your products instead and going with « milk chocolate peanuts cookies ».

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Entrepreneur, Meet Targeted Country

In order to be successful, you can’t just adapt the language, you have to think about the market, the culture and the use local people have of the internet. All those factors differ from one country to another, even from one region to another. In the U.S., targeting New York is going to be completely different from targeting Wisconsin. And for the language, a French-Canadian website is not going to do so well in France and vice versa.

It is also important to consider search engines. Yes, I have been talking about Google, it is everywhere but it doesn’t mean it is the only search engine. If you are planning on developing in China, you’d better get familiar with Baidu which represents 80% of the market share. Study your market and take into account the specificities of the principal search engines. For instance, and on the contrary to Google, Baidu uses the meta-keywords in its SEO as well as mobile optimization.

No one will ever say this too much: CONTENT IS KEY. It is the one thing that is as true in any country, no matter which search engine is the most used. As websites have become more visual, blogs have started blooming in many of them. Adding new content on a regular basis is one of the essential step in working on your long-term SEO. And, of course, being on social media helps! Not only for your online presence but for your ranking, as you will be using netlinking strategies. And that is as technical as we will get today.

Last word of advice, always keep in mind that creating a SEO strategy takes time and perseverance. For small companies, it is an investment, but it is one you should really consider making. It does not happen overnight but done right, it will be worth your while, no doubt about it. Even with effects that will not be immediate, it is still considered as the most efficient and durable promotion action. And remember, if it gets overwhelming, you can always ask for some help.

For more information and advice don’t hesitate to contact Charlotte Prieur, Digital Marketing, Content, SEO & E-reputation Consultant at charlotte.prieur7@gmail.com or by giving her a call at + 33 (0)7 70 28 79 81.

Connect with Charlotte on Beeleev! Join the Community to connect with other innovative CEOs and grow your business: www.beeleev.com

 

Infographic: Doing Business in Japan

The land of the Rising Sun’s fame is ever-growing. Birthplace of major automobile constructors and major tech companies, the country is not giving up on his leading role in worldwide innovation.

Country Overview

Japan has a population of more than 126 millions and a GPD per Capita of $42,700 which is growing at a rate of 1.5%, not a very great rate since it places Japan only a 174th in the world on GDP growth. But the inflation and unemployment are low at 0.4% and 2.9% respectively. Furthermore, the growing sectors in Japan are the automotive, shipbuilding’s, biotech’s, nanotech’s, renewable energies, semi-conductors, optical instruments, and robotics industry.

92% of the Japanese population are internet users but only 39% own smartphones positioning it at the 6th and 23rd place in the world respectively. Japanese use of social networks are similar than the smartphone users, at 51%.

Doing Business

The world bank ranks Japan Easy of Doing Business at 34 over 190 countries. As you can see in the infographic, Japan wins points thanks to its easy of resolving insolvency, getting electricity and trading across borders. But the difficulty comes from getting credit (made harder by the absence of credit registry coverage), enforcing contracts (which will take at least a year) and protecting minority investors.

Business Etiquette

Doing business in Japan can be very different than in any other countries. Thanks to our local partner there, you can find some insights below on the Do’s and Don’ts of doing business in Japan.

Do’s

  • Always be on time
  • Dress formal
  • Clarify everything, and be as specific as possible
  • Always fulfill your commitments
  • Listen more than talk. Always give the impression that you value and respect people’s input

Dont’s

  • Don’t consider Japan as fortress: they are constantly looking for high-performance, eco-friendly and safety increasing solutions
  • Don’t underestimate the level of investment (human resources, budget) that would be required to achieve the goals
  • Don’t take any immediate decision, even to save time. Always request additional time to consider an offer
  • Don’t deny your responsibility when problems arise
  • Don’t see responsiveness and proximity with your partner as an option

Japan’s path to development and innovation doesn’t seem to give signs of halt and continues to attract many foreign investments. Cetana, a partner of Beeleev, is a company that helps companies develop international from Japan. Jean-Michel Mollier, founder of Cetana, gave us a very interesting overview and insights on the matter:

“The negotiations on the Japan – EU Trade agreement that started in 2013 were finalized on December 2017, paving the way to a new potential for EU firms that already export over €58bn in goods and €28bn in services to Japan every year. Agri-food products, electrical machinery, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, transport equipment, textiles, and forestry products are among those sectors that will be given further promotions. Moreover, the forthcoming Olympic games have already demonstrated the benefits in the long run of such a big event, in a country well known to be “innovate-alcoholic”.

 

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Why Richmond, VA is a Hotspot for Doing Business in the U.S.

New York, Los Angeles, Washington DC, Silicon Valley… Many places come to mind when choosing a location to set up business in the U.S. But you’d be missing out on great opportunities would you restrict yourself to this list… One of these gems is Richmond, Virginia: a vibrant and growing community of nearly 1.3 million people, home to 8 Fortune 500 headquarters. Located just south of Washington DC, it ranks 2nd for total number of firms and has many other advantages beyond its ideal location…

The Greater Richmond Partnership

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During their recent tour of France, we had the pleasure of meeting the great team from The Greater Richmond Partnership Inc. (GRP). The GRP is the leading regional economic development organization for the City of Richmond. They serve as a single point of contact for the network of private sector and state and local government professionals. They assist companies through the process of developing in Richmond and its surroundings by preparing custom research based on the firm’s parameters and data requirements, including information on labor, transportation, taxes, government regulations, and available incentives.

Thanks to their support, the process of developing in the Richmond area is made simpler. Once a prospection visit to the area is confirmed, a staff member creates a structured itinerary that includes a community overview, travels to available sites and buildings, and scheduled meetings with suppliers and professional service providers. They also offer “Peer to Peer” meetings with local business leaders to obtain insights into conducting business in the area.

They also provide companies with their Global Assistance Program as Barry Matherly, the President and CEO of the Greater Richmond Partnership tells us: “Navigating an unfamiliar set of legal, monetary and other systems can be intimidating and it is easy to fall into any number of pitfalls without the proper knowledge. That’s why we established a Global Assistance Program to help provide a soft-landing for international firms.”

If you want more information don’t hesitate to contact Bethany Miller, Vice President of Business Development, by calling 804-643-3227 or emailing her at bmiller@grpva.com.

Richmond and its Surroundings

Demographics & Location

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Located on the East coast of the Unites States, it is only one hour and fifty minutes driving away from Washington D.C. The location of the city is definitely an asset as Matherly tells us: “One of the best reasons to choose Richmond as a business destination is our strategic location to the majority of the U.S. population within a days’ drive”. It includes a world-class transportation system including four interstates, two international airports and one of the nation’s largest sea ports. Its proximity allows businesses to access 45% of the U.S. population within one-day’s drive.

Richmond is not a small city. Ranked as the nation’s 45th largest metropolitan area in 2016, it has now a population of 1.3 million people. Its millennial population, the 25-to-34 segment, increased by 15% from 2010 to 2015, as reported by Time magazine in June 2017.

A Healthy, Diverse Economy

Richmond has a great combination of resource diversity and advantages, making it an ideal location for many industries (supply chain management, advanced manufacturing, data centers, Health and life science, corporate headquarters…). Since it isn’t dependent on a single industry, you’ll find that the city hosts a very diverse ecosystem of companies, including 8 Fortune 500 headquarters located there (ranking 13th over 100).

With a lower than average and stable corporate tax of 6% (which hasn’t changed since 1972), electricity rates 30% below the national average, unionization and unemployment insurance among the lowest in the U.S, Richmond has a stable and healthy economy from which companies can benefit on the long run.

An Educated & Growing Workforce

Richmond boasts a highly-educated and talented workforce, with 60% of working adults having college experience. This might be related to the fact that 7 Richmond area High Schools are ranked in the Top 35 High Schools in Virginia, leading to higher rates of students going to university afterwards. Additionally, the Richmond Metro Area counts 30 Universities, many of which offer programs to stimulate entrepreneurship amongst their students like the VCU’s Venture Creation University, or Virginia Union University Center for Small Business Development.

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Incentives Programs

The state of Virginia and the Richmond area are one of the best pro-business area in the United States thanks to the many incentives put in place for new and existing companies. Incentives include financial assistance, infrastructure development grants, tax credits and exemptions, customized training and technical support programs. You can learn more about Richmond’s Incentives Program here.

Quality of Life

According to the center for Community and Economic Research Cost of Living Index in 2017, Richmond’s cost of living was 5% below the national average. This is not the only reason why Richmond’s quality of life is valuable. With a climate encompassing the 4 seasons, and a 400 years old history, Richmond has a wealth of cultural and artistic amenities giving the area a cosmopolitan flair to benefit from.

Doing Business in Richmond

Why should you choose Richmond as a location for your future company to expand? Ippon Technologies, a Paris-based technology consulting firm which recently settled in Richmond, gave us insights on their decision making process: “Virginia is business friendly from a tax standpoint in helping businesses,” explained Romain Lhéritier, the Managing Director of Ippon USA in Richmond. “Our target market is the East Coast, and when you look at Richmond on the map, it’s pretty central. So, all these were the business reasons to do things here.” As Romain mentioned, Virginia is business friendly, with a low cost of doing business. Barry Matherly also tells us that “Virginia is one of the best states to do business and it’s due to our convenient tax and legal structures.”

In addition, investment in the region is growing as Matherly points out: “Billions of dollars are being invested in the region.” This rise in investment is due to a few incoming projects: “The Richmond Region is finding momentum from investments in the Richmond Marine Terminal, speculative building construction, as well as Facebook’s plan for a $1 billion data center. We’re very proud that Richmond has been selected as the top mid-sized U.S. city for foreign direct investment by FDI magazine.” Matherly continued.

“We’re very proud that Richmond has been selected as the top mid-sized U.S. city for foreign direct investment by FDI”

And if words aren’t enough, you can watch this video on the Greater Richmond’s attractivity, courtesy of the GRP!

After collaborating with the GRP on this article, we – for sure – will put this great part of American land on our map for our next Learning Expedition to the East Coast. For the rest, we hope to have inspired some of you to make the move to the U.S. through Richmond !