Bonjour, I'm Valerie Aston, a French business advisor based in Normandy. I help English speakers create and manage their freelancing or small business in France, so they can concentrate on developing their activity.
For 10 years I worked as a business advisor to French entrepreneurs for a national network called BGE. I loved helping people work on their business and financial plans, then helping their small business grow. Many of them were first time freelancers and their journey was life-changing.
About that time, I organised a workshop in English to help a couple of friends. I was astonished to see that some people drove 3 hours, just to get clear information in plain English! This is when I started recycling my articles for an English newspaper for expats in France, into a blog.
I soon became inundated with questions coming from all over France and took time for my maternity leave to think about my business... So 2009 marked the birth of my third child and Start Business in France. Yep, Start Business In France is celebrating its 11th year!
What you can expect from me
- I am passionate about business and freelancing.
- I'll talk to you in plain English.
- I have a strong sense of customer service (which can be surprising in France...)
- Expertise knowledge about business regulations (legal, taxes, health).
- A positive and can-do attitude.
I have an Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree from French and English universities. Prior to my last position at BGE, I worked as a marketing manager in the UK and France for various International businesses, mainly in the software and banking sectors. I'm also an active member of Club Normandie Pionnières, a non profit association aiming to promote women entrepreneurship in Normandy.
Finally, I am a mum of 3 teenagers/pre-teenagers living in rural France in Normandy. So I do understand the lifestyle choices made by my customers to live in a peaceful countryside village, while working from home.