What are the benefits for women entrepreneurs and what is the female enterprise fund? Who is it for? How can it be accessed and what are the delivery measures? In this article we will try to clarify this important government contribution to women’s businesses.

What is the Women’s Enterprise Fund?

Among the most important measures provided for by the National Recovery and Resilience Plan for the year 2022 there is certainly the Women’s Enterprise Fund of Invitalia, a contribution that has the main objective of providing support for birth, growth and livelihood of women’s businesses, a term of which we will explain the meaning later.

The provision of this fund is designed in the light of the current situation in Italy with regard to the female figure in companies: to date in our country only 1 entrepreneur out of 6 is a woman, for a total of about 153,000 women entrepreneurs. Another very important data concerns post-Covid, after which a recent study showed that, among those who lost their jobs, the majority is female.

We therefore felt the need about measures to encourage women’s entrepreneurship in our country, not just a constitution, but also to support existing situations.

The aim is to enhance the genius, the initiative and the tenacity of women in the world of industry in its different expressions

Giancarlo Giorgetti – Minister for Economic Development

Who is it for? The concept of female enterprise and facilitation of women entrepreneurs

As mentioned above, the main objective of the fund is to promote the participation of women in the business world, supporting their creativity; for this reason, to access the fund is necessary to possess the qualification of female enterprise.

This category includes:

  • individual enterprises in which the holder is a woman;
  • partnerships or cooperatives in which at least 60% of the property is owned by women;
  • companies with shares of at least women;
  • self-employed women.

As regards the sector to which these activities belong, undertakings operating in the following sectors will be admitted to the fund:

  • industry;
  • crafts and processing of agricultural products;
  • services and tourism;
  • commerce.

How does the Fund work?

For participating to the Women’s Enterprise Fund is necessary to register for a call, at the moment not yet published, which is however expected to be released in 2022. The Fund basically operates on two lines of action:

  • Line 1: “Incentives for the creation and development of women’s enterprises”, intended for enterprises which have been in existence for less than 12 months and for those wishing to start a new business;
  • Line 2: “incentives for the development and consolidation of women’s enterprises”, are intended for companies that have existed for more than 12 months, are linked to the concept of growth and consolidation of existing activities.

Incentives are also provided for actions that spread “the culture and the training of women entrepreneurs” based on specific business plans and shared with the Ministry itself.

The Women’s Enterprise Fund operates on two lines of action:

  • Non-repayable contribution: specifically indicated for the start-up of women’s businesses, in particular self-employed activities and for women who are in a previous situation of unemployment;
  • Interest-free or subsidised funding for the other categories of winners of the call.

What charges can I enter?

Once it has been clarified what is meant by the female enterprise and the lines of intervention have been specified, the measure clarifies what are the specific items of expenditure that can be covered by the fund:

  • costs on intangible assets (expenditure on new software or operating systems);
  • costs on tangible fixed assets (new structures or installations);
  • costs on the recruitment of staff employed for a fixed or indefinite period;
  • working capital needs up to 20% of eligible costs.

In addition, up to € 5,000 will be awarded for technical assistance services on facilitations and specialized marketing and communication services.