Throughout history, Italy has been known for its innovation and achievements and today boasts a burgeoning startup scene. Interestingly Italy’s startup scene is dispersed throughout the country’s regions, with no one specific centre of innovation that overshadows the rest. The country’s largest startup hubs – Rome, Milan and Turin – account for just 30% of Italy’s startups, which is unlike many comparable nations. This makes for an eclectic and innovative dynamic, with a high proportion of small innovative businesses across Italy and plenty of opportunities for entrepreneurs throughout the country’s different regions.
Italy has one of the strongest economies in the world for small businesses and cooperatives. The country has a reputation for its fairly complex system for entrepreneurs to navigate when starting a new business, however. In recent years the Italian government has pioneered several initiatives encouraging entrepreneurship and startups including financial incentives for certain small businesses and introduced the Italian Startup Visa (designed to appeal to innovative entrepreneurs from all over the world who are interested in developing their business in the country).
Until recently, women have been few and far between in Italy’s startup scene, with culturally more traditional expectations of women’s role in the workplace and family life. However, an inspiring network of local and international women in business in Italy are reinterpreting what it means to be a working mother, with growing numbers of innovative mum-owned businesses across the country.
Much is being done to disrupt traditional business models in favour of pioneering new styles of working, particularly for women in business across the country. Part-time and flexible work can be especially difficult to come by in Italy for back-to-work mothers, with a lack of real incentives for employers to offer more flexible roles. Many schools finish at lunchtime on several days each week, with little access to after school care and long school holidays, providing a logistical challenge for families.
In a country with so many lifestyle benefits and such a family orientated way of life, this lack of more practical, flexible employment has prompted many busy mums in Italy to follow their passions, starting a variety of thriving businesses on a local, national and international scale. Successful women and female entrepreneurs in Italy have become a driving force in the Italian economy, with many fantastic resources, networks and meet-up groups across the country to support and encourage women in business in Italy.
Startup Italia! is a useful, comprehensive online magazine sharing up-to-date news on startups and innovation in Italy. Italian Start Up Scene is an online community for anyone currently or thinking about running a startup in Italy. Entrepreneurs, investors, bloggers, developers and anyone with an interest in startups and venture capital are all welcome at their friendly events.
Working Mothers Italy (WMI) is a non-profit association created to support and bring sustained change for working mothers and women in business in Italy. They support women with practical tools and networking opportunities and equally champion women within many different companies to ensure that female employees and entrepreneurs are able to fulfill their ambitions and access exciting professional and entrepreneurial opportunities on the national and international scene. Their online platform offer information on events for busy mums to meet, network and exchange advice.
While Co-Working spaces are a relatively new concept in Italy, they are growing in popularity. Coworker.com is a useful resource, listing many of these spaces in cities across the country.
At MumAbroad.com, we strive to support female entrepreneurs and women in business in Italy through our online community. Do please get in touch if you would like to enquire about any of the services or products listed below. Please do also let us know if you would like your business to be featured by contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org