The global economy is largely driven by corporations in the digital sector today, the largest of these (Apple, Facebook, Amazon, Baidu and Tencent) being either American or Chinese. These corporations mainly began ‘small’ and have been able to grow into market leaders, very often thanks to state support, since, even if the economy is highly globalized, economic sovereignty retains a major role and the digital sector is no exception to this rule.
However, Europe—and France in particular—seem to have difficulty grasping the role of the public authorities in support for young companies in the sector: the so-called ‘start-ups’. André-Yves Portnoff contends that this lack of support is a major strategic error and reminds us here of the importance of innovative small and medium-sized enterprises in a country’s economy, arguing for active public assistance to help them grow and upscale. There have been recent encouraging signs that this is beginning to be understood. The need is for that understanding to be firmed up and for further steps to be taken in this direction, as André-Yves Portnoff urges in this article.