Female entrepreneurs, the crisis and access to credit: the Italian case

Please cite the paper as:
Azzurra Rinaldi, (2018), Female entrepreneurs, the crisis and access to credit: the Italian case, World Economics Association (WEA) Conferences, No. 2 2018, The 2008 Economic Crisis Ten Years On, 15th October to 30th November, 2018

This paper has been included in the publication
“The 2008 Crisis Ten Years On: in Retrospect, Context and Prospect Paperback”


The term crisis had never been so used, both in the common language and in the media, until the crisis of 2009 has not exploded, affecting most of the world economies. The objective of this paper is to verify whether this crisis has determined different dynamics in women’s companies compared to male companies. Italy was among the countries most affected by the crisis and this resulted in a considerable contraction in the number of companies operating in the country (-43.5% of bankruptcies between 2009 and 2016). Female companies, however, have increased in the same period, representing 65% of the total increase in the companies. Nonetheless, as is also evident from the research we are conducting and which we present in this article (albeit in its embryonic stage) that access to credit, which has been made more difficult for all companies as a result of the credit crunch caused by the crisis, was particularly difficult for female-run businesses: based on their experience, over a third of the Italian entrepreneurs we interviewed believe that access to credit is more difficult for female-run businesses and about one in three has encountered obstacles in accessing forms of financing.

Recent comments


2 comment

  • Antonia Bianchi says:

    It is a very topical paper. What policy measures can, in your opinion, help promote women’s economic initiatives?

  • Azzurra Rinaldi says:

    Thank you for your comment. I think that a comprehensive strategy for women’s empowerment should be based on education (mostly, financial education: he mentorinmany women feel like they are not able to manage financial issues), as well as on initiatives aimed at creating networks of women, helping them not to feel like they’re isolated. The mentorship programmes could also be very useful.