Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love living in France, and have been here for 16 years, and no plans to move! I am a Scottish Chartered Accountant, and worked here for 10 years, so now draw a small French pension. I speak fluent French, but I have several friends who don’t speak much at all - they work on the yachts or in British businesses along the Riviera.
My point is a financial one - no way would I risk ALL my capital on an untried venture in a foreign land, with no safety net! While you, like me, are obviously in an area with a lot of Expats, some of the areas being considered by this family are very rural and folks will not speak English, and may resent someone coming in and taking earnings from them. Hence my ‘try before you buy’ advice, particularly in these uncertain times.
Running your own small business, you must be well aware of the costs and administration required to remain legal here in France. If you don’t, and try and work on the black, even just to begin with, you rake a huge risk. As others have pointed out, it is almost impossible to get a salaried role, even part time, if you don’t speak French to a good standard.
The dream is possible, I am living it, but with limited resources and no income, could quickly turn sour for this family. I do wish them well, and hope they can make their dream come true!