Boosting Italian female entrepreneurship in the digital age

Empowering women and exploiting the full potential of female entrepreneurship benefits society as a whole. In many male-dominated business sectors however, women remain undervalued.
Non-profit employers’ association Apid Imprenditorialità Donna has sought to address this challenge by running networking campaigns and awareness-raising activities, and through strengthening professional skills. A great deal of focus has been placed on equipping female entrepreneurs with the tools to exploit the potential of digitalisation.

Strengthening digital skills
The association has engaged in numerous activities in this field. In collaboration with the Chamber of Commerce of Turin, a pilot project was developed (Donne Digitali – Digital Women) to offer digitalisation mentoring services to female entrepreneurs.
The association also launched a hackathon last year for digital business ideas with a social impact. Some 30 young women participated, and 3 winning teams went on to participate in a training programme for digital start-ups. The training was designed with Rinascimenti Sociali and Social Fare, two organisations that support digital businesses.

Making a social impact
Apid Imprenditorialità Donna has also encouraged female entrepreneurs to make a positive impact in their communities. The association has supported the “Fare Impresa sociale conviene” project, which aims to create a favourable environment for fostering socially aware businesses. An e-guide has been drafted, and a network created to support social entrepreneurship in Italy.
Apid has also sought to support the next generation of female entrepreneurs through participation in the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs. This cross-border exchange programme gives new or aspiring entrepreneurs the chance to learn from experienced entrepreneurs running small businesses in other participating countries.
More generally, Apid has run social projects to raise awareness of female victims of violence, and advocated for women to be better represented within decision-making bodies. In everything it does, Apid aims to spread awareness of the benefit of providing equal opportunities, not just for women but for society and business as a whole.