Female entrepreneurship: the Unioncamere report

Donna imprenditrice

At the end of June 2022, there were 1.345 million female companies in business in Italy, representing 22.2% of the total Italian companies. The data emerges from the recently published Fifht Report on female entrepreneurship, made by Unioncamere in collaboration with the Tagliacarne Studies Centre and Si.Camera.

The world of female entrepreneurship has its own characteristics, compared to men’s businesses: these companies have a heavier focus on the services sector (66.9% against 55.7%), they’re smaller (96.8% are micro enterprises up to 9 employees, against 94.7% of men) and are mostly localised in Southern Italy (36.8% of women-led enterprises operate in these regions, compared with 33.7% of non-women). The analyses carried out also show that women’s enterprises have a lower survival capacity: three years after their establishment, 79.3% of the activities led by women are still open, compared with 83.9% of those led by men; after five years, the share of women’s businesses that survive is 68.1%, against 74.3% of the others.

More young women, however, choose the path of enterprise: women’s youth businesses are 10.5% of the total companies run by women, while youth entrepreneurship weighs 7.6% on all male businesses. Setting up a business is also an important way of social and economic integration, and this is even more true for women. Female entrepreneurs of foreign origin are in fact more numerous percentage-wise: among the female enterprises, those led by foreigners are 11.8%, compared to 10.4% of those led by men.

In the second quarter of 2022, compared to the same period of 2021, the number of women’s businesses remained virtually stable, growing by 1,727 (+0.1%).

The comparison with last year shows an increase in women’s businesses especially in industry (+0.3%) and services (+0.4%), among corporations (+2.9%), in Southern Italy (+0.6%), among foreign companies (+2.6%).

With the post-pandemic recovery, according to the report, a further 14% of women’s businesses invested in digital technologies (compared to 11% of male companies) and 12% invested in green (against 9%). To these is added, to an equivalent extent to non-female companies, 31% of companies that has increased or maintained constant investment in digital technologies in recent years, and 22% that has done the same in environmental sustainability (against 23% of other companies). This has proved to be difficult: half of women’s businesses have stopped investing or have even ruled out wanting to start investing in the near future.

In Sardinia, the female companies registered in June 2022 are 39,722, equal to 23% of the total. Nuoro, among the four historic Sardinian provinces, is the one where, in proportion, women are more inclined to do business: here in fact the female companies are 24.2% (7,535); Sassari follows with 23% (12,859), Cagliari with 22.8% (16,187) and Oristano with 21.7% (3,141).



Women entrepreneurs