Title Woman searching for enterprise in Europe - A gender approach to the transmission of the business
Project Number LLP-LDV/TOI/07/IT/364
Project Type Transfer of Innovation
The reason why the Project:
1. Lack of heirs is one of the most important stop reasons of small and micro enterprises in Italy (about 60.000 small and medium enterprises are involved in this problem). Generally, the opportunity-problem to “tranfer the business” will involve, in next years, about 30% of european companies.
2. Persistence of gender discriminations and negative stereotypes into the business transfer to a woman (also in family business or not familily business) as many recent reserches demonstrate.
The Project of innovation transfer intents are to build an integrated support model for business transfer to women addressed to entrepreneurs associations, social partners, organisations, providing learning opportunities at European level.
In particular with the European commitment we intent to promote the development of innovative practices in the field of vocational education, training and assistence at tertiary level (financial instruments, training, councelling, dedicated auto check-up trough interactvive CD-ROM).
The Project “Women searching for Enterprise in Europe” intents to compare and to transfer, as far as possible, trough Leonardo Lifelong Learning Program, an integrated support model (financial instrument, training, councelling, dedicated check-up) for transmission or transfer of the enterprise to a woman (mainly into family business ).
CNA Impresa Donna in Lombardia studied first this “model” as best practise to be developped by the organization for its associates into a Project promoted by Lombardy Region, named “Donna cerca Impresa” (Woman searching for Enterprise). See DOWLOAD section.
Leonardo Lifelong Learning Program permits the “innovation transfert” from one project to another.
By “Woman searching Enterprise in Europe” we intend to extend the experience and to promote the debate into another Italian region, Touscany, and at the European level (Czechia, Slovenja, Poland, Rumania), as preliminary step to facilitate the construction of operative women entrepreneurs networks.
Many researches demonstrate and quantify the dimension of the problem in the italian economy: about 30% of small and micro enterprises close for the lack of successors.
Thats means that, only in Lombardy, that started the Project we intent to transfer in other italian and european countries, 5.000 small enterprises close every year for this reason: 20.000 jobs less into the sector.
Also in a critical phase such as the transfer of a business the “gender gap” is evident and, otherwise, not enough analized and supported by the literature, by the learning people, by the associations who represent the entrepreneurs and, above all, the women entrepreneurs.
What we say with the project is that’s necessary a “gender approach” to the transmission of the enterprise (also in family business or not) because:
- in a family business, if the heir is woman, she isn’t “supposed” to be a successor as a “male heir” is... also for entrepreneurial big dinasties... There is no “social” expectation in succession...The business dismission in less traumathic... The sale is undervalued... It is necessary to recognize the transfer in time and to introduce the heir into the business
- in many cases women work in family business in “administrative and burocratic functions” that are considered relatively not strategic... Women often have no awareness to be an entrepreneur... Women are used to be a “supporter” not a decision maker...
- in a production family or small business it is supposed important that the heir or the new coming entrepreneur know manual labour (technical managerial approach). Often women don’t want to succeed in a “tipically man” business or in business “tipically man managed”. They also identify the producer with the entrepreneur and autoexclude themselves from the business.
- the women entrepreneurs have a quite different approach to business start-up from the male collegues so it is quite difficult to succeed in “such a different enterprise and life project”.
Administrative and Support Service Activities
Other Service Activities
1. Sociological research containing different territorial lectures of the discussed items. The research will contain real case histories or best practises from the Arezzo experience in business transmission to women.
2. Handbook for transmission assistent,”gender friendly”, containing a specific modelization of the new teaching and consultancy method (financial model, counselling, tutoring, training)
3. Interactive CD-ROM , produced in 5 languages, for assisted check-up of the coming out enterprise/entrepreneur and the new women entry.
4. International focus groups and workshops with the partner in their countries to sensibilize to the arguments and dissemine the experience. Final european congress in Italy.
5. Final Congress, in Arezzo, at european level to disseminate the results and the innovative methodologies defined.