Today, 20 female-led startups in the UniCredit Start Lab network will start a series of 2 meetings and 1 investor day on topics such as leadership and stakeholder management, European initiatives to support female entrepreneurship and the use of social media.

2:00 min

It is estimated that only 13% of total startups in Italy are female led. However, the gender gap in the tech world is narrowing, also thanks to an increase of funds (+80% year on year in 2021) supporting women-led technology companies.


On the other hand, female-led Italian startups have an average exit period of 6.8 years, which is almost one year less than male-led startups, and "as UniCredit we aim to expand and enhance the female contribution within the Italian innovation ecosystem", said Massimiliano Mastalia, Head of Corporate at UniCredit Italia.


With this in mind, we’ve launched Value Track for Women in Tech today, an initiative by UniCredit Start Lab featuring 20 female-led start-ups. Through this initiative, UniCredit works closely with 18 top-level partners to support the panel of Italian women entrepreneurs in consolidating their successes (AcomeA SGR, Astia Angels, Banor SIM, Borsa Italiana, Carriere. it, Egon Zehnder, Eight Roads, European Innovation Council, Fidelity International, Frost & Sullivan, Impact Sgr, MOMentum Alternative Investments, Plug and Play, Shetech, Sifted, Sycomore Asset Management, The 20 Fund, The Better Fund).


Elena Martines, Policy Administrator - European Innovation Council said on the matter "Supporting women-led innovation is not about being kind to women. It's about harnessing Europe's best skills, competences and passion to win the global race towards strategic technologies."


In this sense, the current situation in Italy has room for improvement. However, Cemre Ozmenci, Growth, Strategy and Implementation Consultant at Frost & Sullivan, emphasizes how a growth trend is underway for the She-Economy. Ozmenci recalls, "Our studies reveal that, as of 2021, women occupy only one-third of senior management positions in companies globally, even though more women graduates are pursuing a third-level education qualification, with a share that in emerging countries in Africa, ASEAN and Latin America reaches 40%.”


A concept reiterated by Federico Scolari, of Sifted, according to whom "2021 saw a record number of exits led by female founders. In particular, the positive trend indicated for the first time an important increase in both the number and value of such exits, renewing a certain optimism for the future".


On the other hand, as Tommaso Arenare of Egon Zehnder reminds us, "The goal of leaders and entrepreneurs is to live, work and thrive in an increasingly uncertain and ambiguous context without giving in to anxiety and fear. That's why we learn to adapt to the world and the people around us", and why it's increasingly necessary for company leaders to adopt a logic that rewards diversity, inclusion and equity over opportunity.