This article offers a cross-cultural analysis of the entrepreneurial environment in France and the USA. A principal observation is made: the United States has experienced a greater level of entrepreneurship in the recent and not so recent past than France. The author attempts to discover the aspects which are common to both models and those aspects specific to one or the other. Three main categories are suggested: economic, socio-cultural, and political. Contrary to accepted French political opinion, the author finds that the entrepreneurial gap is not linked to the problems inherent in the legal systems relating to business creation. The real causes are situated in the relative weakness of French economic growth, financial difficulties faced by small businesses, and differing perceptions of the entrepreneurial environment.