Italian Women’s Enterprise Fund: how it works and first data

The Women’s Enterprise Fund is the Italian Ministry of Economic Development (MISE) incentive that supports establishing, developing, and consolidating women-led enterprises through non-repayable contributions and subsidised financing.

The measure has a total budget of € 200 million, of which € 160 million in PNRR resources and € 40 million are allocated by the 2021 Budget Law.

The incentives will be dedicated to investment programmes in the industry, crafts, processing of agricultural products, services, trade and tourism.

Moreover, thanks to the opening of online desks, the Fund will put in place actions to accompany, train and enhance the entrepreneurial culture of women.

The Fund supports women’s enterprises of any size, already established or newly created, located in all Italian regions. Women can also apply for funding with a commitment to set up a new business after being admitted to the Fund.

The measure targets four types of women’s enterprises:

  • cooperatives or partnerships with at least 60% women members;
  • limited companies with at least two-thirds women as shareholders and members of the Board of Directors;
  • sole proprietorships with a female owner;
  • self-employed women with registered VAT.

New businesses, or companies established for less than 12 months

If an Italian freelancer wants to set up a new company, or the company has been established in Italy for less than 12 months, investment projects of up to € 250,000 can be submitted.

The Fund provides a non-repayable contribution that varies according to the size of the project:

  • for projects up to € 100,000, the grant covers up to 80% of expenditure (or up to 90% for unemployed women) up to a maximum of € 50,000;
  • for projects up to € 250 thousand, the incentive covers 50% of expenditure, up to a maximum of € 125 thousand.

Total resources of € 47 million are available for new businesses, of which € 38.8 million from PNRR resources and € 8.2 million from funds allocated by the 2021 Budget Law.

On May 19th 2022, the opening day of the Invitalia platform, the Fund received a total of 4,985 applications from new businesses or companies established for less than a year.

The most active regions were Lombardy and Lazio, both with 729 applications, followed by Campania with 446 projects and Veneto with 433 applications. Following the numerous applications, the platform was closed for new companies.

Companies active for more than 12 months

A company that has been active for more than 12 months can submit investment projects of up to € 400,000 to develop new activities or expand existing ones. In this case, the Fund provides a mix of non-repayable contribution and interest-free financing, covering up to 80% of eligible expenditure, for a maximum of € 320,000, to be repaid over eight years.

Total resources of € 146.8 million are available, of which € 121.2 million are from PNRR resources, and € 25.6 million are from funds allocated by the 2021 Budget Law.Starting today, May 24th, the Invitalia platform will be activated for the application phase for women’s enterprises that have been active for more than 12 months.


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For more info (in Italian) visit: https://www.mise.gov.it/index.php/it/incentivi/impresa/fondo-a-sostegno-impresa-femminile