“Fondo Impresa Donna” (Women’s Enterprise Fund) is an initiative of the Ministry of Economic Development to support female businesses with an endowment of 200 million euros. The Industrial Park and the Municipality of Figline and Incisa Valdarno have organized a training event in order to access credit.
Woman and entrepreneur, a binomial not always easy to reconcile. Thus, the Lionello Bonfanti Industrial Park is active in supporting the development of female entrepreneurship. It is a commitment and focus that has not started only now, but it certainly has been given a boost by the fact that a woman, the Spanish Rebeca Gómez Tafalla, is now the managing director of the company that manages the Industrial Park. On April 27, a design workshop was held at the Industrial Park as part of the initiatives linked to the “Fondo Impresa Donna”. The objective of the meeting was to highlight and seize a great opportunity, which will open its doors on May 19, the day when the digital platform for the submission of applications for funding will become operational. This is to be able to draw on an endowment of 200 million euros, as an incentive of the Ministry of Economic Development to encourage the birth, development and consolidation of women’s businesses.
More than 50 women responded to the proposal of the planning workshop, about fifteen of whom were present in the hall of the Industrial Park, and the others were connected by videoconference. Involved entrepreneurs and potential entrepreneurs came from various parts of Italy, but the prevalent presence were from the Valdarno area. This was a good sign that the Industrial Park, rooted in the territory, would see the surrounding area responding. The Municipality of Figline and Incisa Valdarno wanted to organize this event together with the Industrial Park. “It’s an important initiative because it prepares us to access conspicuous resources,” underlined Francesca Farini, Councillor of the productive activities in the local civic administration. “Women are an innovative presence and have qualities to start productive activities, but they must be helped by the institutions to be independent,” she further said.
In Italy, according to the UnionCamere Report, companies run predominantly by women account for 22% of the total. They are smaller in size, younger and more present in Southern and Central Italy. Although they are less digitalized, they are more socially responsible, more environmentally oriented and more attentive to adopting goods and services for the well-being of their employees. The greatest obstacle remains the recourse to bank credits.
From this observation, here is the initiative of the Ministry – 40 million allocated by the budget law in 2021, plus 160 million from the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NRRP). This is the first time that such an amount is allocated to women-owned businesses. The grants will be given partly as grants and partly as loans to be repaid. The workshop was entrusted to experts from Ethic Solution, which for years has supported the company that manages the Industrial Park in numerous training projects. They offered the tools (and the necessary language) to help women entrepreneurs and those who have a project to present valid documentations to the Ministry in order to obtain the necessary resources.