Young Entrepreneurs Gender Equality: A Fair Goal

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Gender equality in the startup scene is not yet where it should be. The Italian government has showed effort to improve this fact by offering various opportunities for entrepreneurial women. Here are some of them.

Among the Italian startups led by under-35 years old entrepreneurs (less than 609.000) roughly one out of three  are led by a woman. In figures this means that only 171.000 companies, which make up the total 28.11% of young companies present in Italy are led by a female. Notwithstanding that 1.310.000 female enterprises in Italy represent the 21.62% on the total of the Italian enterprises, this could be considered a record.

According to data from an observatory on female entrepreneurship of the Union of the Chambers of Commerce, by September 30th 2015 under-35 women entrepreneurs outnumbered the total of women entrepreneurs. 44.000 of these operate in the most typical sectors connected to female initiatives: they deal with personal services and activities connected to health and assistance – fields where the weight of female presence on the total of companies is considerably consistent. Under-35 years old female entrepreneurs guide almost half of the youth initiatives in the sector of education and represent over 1/3 of youth enterprises operating in tourism and restoration in Italy.

Women vs. Men

Many young female entrepreneurs compete in sectors that are usually dominated by men. In the insurance and financial sector, for example, where 5.000 under-35 female entrepreneurs account for 33% of the young Italian companies, 2.600 companies are in the art, sport and entertainment fields (32%), the over 3.000 active in real estate activities (30%),  4.600 professional, scientific and technical activities (29%).

Innovative Startups: 13% Are Led By Women

According to data by the Infocamere 2015 3rd trimester report, by the end of September 2015 the number of innovative startups enrolled at the registry of enterprises was 4.704, marking a considerable increase of 456 units compared to the end of June (+10,8%). Among these, 611 companies had a predominantly feminine shareholders quota, representing 13% of the total. In 2.099 companies at least one woman figured in the company structure (44,6% of the total number of startups).

Veneto Regional Programme

The Regional Programme for Youth and Female Entrepreneurship is an integrated initiative aimed to promote the development of female and youth entrepreneurship in the Veneto region. It is financed by the Directorate for Economy and Development, Research and Innovation of Veneto Region, with the operative technical support of the Foundation “Centro Produttività Veneto” headquartered in Vicenza and with the collaboration of active institutional bodies, such as the Union of the Chambers of Commerce of Veneto, the Chambers of Commerce, their specialized agencies, trade unions, and the subjects of female and youth entrepreneurship network of the Veneto region. This program is extended to the whole territory of Veneto and it involves several local actors for the creation of an operative network to sustain the improvement of female and youth enterprises in all their cycles: from scratchy entrepreneurial ideas to their consolidation, providing free professional instruments for business training and awareness.

New Opportunities For Women With An Entrepreneurial Idea

Women who want to get funding for the creation of new enterprises are encouraged to visit this website and fill in the form with their personal data. The staff, after having received each request, will contact potential candidates to provide step-by-step support throughout the whole information and loan supply phases. The website is managed by the National Body for Micro Credit, Via Vittoria Colonna 1, 00193 Rome, you can contact them here directly.

Open Days On Female Entrepreneurship

A two-days free event targets women who want to realize their idea of enterprise and entrepreneurs who are already active & want to improve the management and promotion of their activities. This event will allow you to take part in selected seminars, personal meetings with consultants and networking with the mentors of the Female Entrepreneurship Committee, women entrepreneurs active in main economic sectors. For more information, click on this link.


Notwithstanding the severe economic slowdown that affected the Italian economy in the last year, coupled with a rigid labour system and blocked welfare, business gender equality can be regarded as a positive element in the current economic panorama of the Italian peninsula. In this context, the Veneto region is on the lead in regards to the number of initiatives for women who would like to play a more active role in the world of startups. Women possess individual and entrepreneurial skills that can differ from those of men but they clearly demonstrated how to resist with extraordinary energy and determination even in harsh times. Unfortunately, due to a predominant male chauvinist mentality which still exists in many countries and cultures, there are obstacles limiting women from fully expressing their creativity and professionalism in the world of work. However, female entrepreneurship, also in time of crisis, seems to be a step ahead but we all still have a lot to learn.



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