First stop of WER2020: Milan, Italy
With the new year mere days away, the Women in Entrepreneurship is preparing for its first roadshow stop of WER2020 , which will be taking place in the economic capital of Italy, Milan, on the 23rd – 24th January .
Known globally for its exquisite cuisine, fashion industry, and fast cars, Italy is also home to a wide variety of groundbreaking innovative and life changing ventures. Such as; I-React, a Horizon 2020 project, based in Turin, which develops solutions to build a more secure and disaster-resilient society through the data integration and modelling, and Nouscom, a joint Swiss-Italian biotech startup that develops immunotherapies for cancer, both of which are listed amongst the top-ten startups in their respective fields – according to EU-Startups.com, the leading online publication with a focus on startups in Europe.
Despite this, venture capitalist investment only contributes 0.005% of Italy’s GDP – according to OECD figures, as modest investment in early-stage ventures, even with the country’s growth in peer-to-peer lending and crowdfunding.
Also, although the introduction of the Start-up Act, in 2012, has contributed to some improvement to access to finance and reenergising innovative entrepreneurial activity, most qualifying firms credit their success to access to government guarantees against bank loans, with size and the availability of sustainable management support creating further obstacles.
With limited access to funding, and a small pool for seed investment, Italy makes for an ideal location to kick start WER2020, in order to help create the foundation for change. Providing the start of a solution to both obstacles, through catered networking opportunities and insights in the local market. As well as post event support through the Women in Entrepreneurship network and Amazon Web Service business help and credits.
Additionally, WER2020 Milan provides a platform to raise and work towards tackle the issues surrounding the socio-economic differences between the North and South regions, which cause disparity in employment, adding an additional obstacle to entrepreneurial living particular to young people and women due to the divide of resources.
“As EYIF President, I am very excited to bring the Women in Entrepreneurship project to Milan. With the economic capital home to most of Italy’s venture capitalist investment, it is an ideal location to plant the seeds of change, and allows us to take another step in the right direction; to improve diversity in the local and pan-European entrepreneurial ecosystem.” – Nicholas Zyberglajt, EYIF President.