Female entrepreneurship in Italy: let the data speak for themselves

An 8th March dedicated to female entrepreneurship: how is the situation in Italy?  

The 8th March is International Women's Day, a date to celebrate the social, economic, and political achievements of women. Yet, there is little to celebrate. The data speaks for itself: in Italy, the Gender Gap is still evident: women continue to earn much less than men, with 4.4% less in the public sector and 17.9% less in the private sector. Some research shows that this gap is especially acute in the digital industry: 45% of Italian HR managers stated that there are more male candidates with the necessary skills than women.

Some numbers on female entrepreneurship in Italy

According to the most recent studies, companies led by women produce about 21% of Italian GDP. However, there are still very few companies led by women, and Italy ranks 29th in terms of number of women on the boards of directors of listed companies. As for unlisted companies, only 14% of them have a woman at the top. Women's enterprises represent about 22.6% of total enterprises. In Italy exist more than 845,000 companies led by women and over one million enterprises in which women are directors.

Which sectors have a greater presence of women?

A surprising fact concerns the increase in female-run businesses in Southern Italy. In fact, in 2019, female presence increased especially in Sicily, with +1.6% compared to +0.8% of men, followed by Sardinia, Lazio, and Calabria. The sectors with the higher presence of women are the trade sector (in which 23.7% of women work) and the hotel and restaurant sector, followed by manufacturing activitiespersonal care (with a 53% rate of female entrepreneurship), and health care services.

Post-covid effects

The above-mentioned sectors were also the most affected by Covid

The economic damage these sectors have suffered has been exacerbated by the persistent credit crunch on female entrepreneurship, which renders access to credit more difficult for women than for male-led businesses.. Therefore, the new Italian Budget Law set a fund of 20 million euros to encourage the female entrepreneurship managed by the Committee for Women Entrepreneurs, while the Recovery Plan intoduces new measures to reduce the Gender Gap, especially in the areas of the digital and green transition.

Examples of female entrepreneurship: the clothing sector during Covid

One of the sectors most affected by Covid was the clothing sector, where the presence of women is among the largest. Prada, one of the major luxury clothing brands founded in 1913 in Milan and led since 1978 by one of Italy's most prominent entrepreneurs, Miuccia Prada, makes no exception. Covid has profoundly affected the company,  causing a downgrade in Prada's 2020 MORE Credit Rating to BB, a sign of an industry struggling to recover from the pandemic. In 2021, however, the effects of which, however, can only be verified by the 2021 annual accounts.

An example of resilience: Grappa Nonino

Not everyone was affected by the pandemic. An example of resilience and resistance to market fluctuations comes from Grappa Nonino, an all-female spirits brand. In 2020, the company achieved a MORE Credit Rating A, in line with the previous year, and saw an improvement in its solvency ratios along with an increase in shareholders' equity, which was higher than expected.  This result was helped by the success of the youngest member of the family, Francesca, who has established herself on social media over the last two years as the "grappa influencer", bringing the younger public closer to this product.

PlanStudio in support of women

A final example of resilience is undoubtedly PlanStudio, a company involved in the furniture sector which has developed software and technology specializing in customized furniture. The company obtained a MORE Credit Rating A, demonstrating an improvement in liquidity ratios over the years and a consolidation of all areas on excellent values. As stated in the Extended12M report textual analysis, the company is very solid especially from the solvency's point of view. The leverage (1.13) and the financial leverage (0.25) values, which indicate low indebtedness from both a commercial and financial point of view, confirm the solidity of the enterprise. The company has been very active on the issue of female entrepreneurship and has decided to support women through a bonus on its services, to encourage women to make their way in the entrepreneurial world.  

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