Archive: An Egyptian worker at a work site in central Milan, July 2000 | Photo: ANSA/DAL ZENNARO
Archive: An Egyptian worker at a work site in central Milan, July 2000 | Photo: ANSA/DAL ZENNARO

A study by the Italian chambers of commerce associations Unioncamere and Infocamere has found that one out of every ten enterprises is led by immigrants.

In Italy, one out of every ten businesses is led by an immigrant: Out of the over 630,000 companies that fit into this category, three quarters are individual-owned.

An increasing number are led by businessmen from Nigeria, Pakistan, and Albania, while a decrease has been seen in natives of China and Morocco -- the communities of which alongside those from Romania nevertheless remain the most numerous in Italy.

These figures are from a study conducted by the Italian chambers of commerce associations Unioncamere and Infocamere. They looked at immigrant-led businesses signed up at the Chambers of Commerce registry as of December 2020, which showed 2.9% growth compared with the previous 12 months.

Immigrant-led business sectors

Retail trade is the business activity that one quarter of all immigrant-led businesses try their hand at.

However, it is in the telecommunications sector and that of clothes manufacturing that immigrant entrepreneurship is at its peak in terms of overall percentage in the sectors (32.8% and 32.5%).

In terms of legal status, individual-owned businesses, at 480,000, account for 15.4% of the total number of individual-owned businesses operating in Italy.

Joint-stock companies come in next, with just over 100,000, followed by partnerships at 39,000.

Where they are found

Tuscany (14.4%), Liguria (14%), Lazio, and Lombardy (12.8%) are the regions with the highest percentage of immigrant-led businesses in the territory.

In absolute terms, Lombardy with 121,606 and Lazio with 84,324 are the top two regions for the number of immigrant-led businesses.

When looking only at the businesses led by individuals -- the only form in which it is possible to clearly associate the nationality of the owner to that of the company -- the figures between December 2019 and December 2020 show clear changes in entrepreneurial communities of various countries of origin.

In relative terms, the Nigerian community has moved the most with an 8.6% rise followed by natives of Pakistan with a 4.6% and those of Albania with a 4.3% one.

The percentage of business owners originally from China instead dropped by 1.4% and that of Moroccan nationals by 0.6%.

 

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