In Milan, the individual artisan firms of foreigners that deal with construction and cleaning exceeded those managed by Italians, reaching the share of 52% and 63% respectively. This means that in these sectors more than one in two craftsmen are foreigners. Overtaking is certified by the data collected by the Studies Office of the Artisans Union of the Province of Milan. “This is a historical fact. These are symbolic numbers that mark history – underlines Marco Accornero, secretary of Unione Artigiani Milano and Monza Brianza – The overtaking of foreign companies in the world of Milanese construction and cleaning companies certifies a phenomenon that starts from far away and that today does not stop with your hands “.
Especially since the trend does not only affect the construction and cleaning sectors: in the food sector the presence of foreign artisans is at 47%, in textiles at 43% and as regards the wood-furniture field at 27%. In the last ten years, overall the realities led by non-Italian entrepreneurs have grown by 70%. Most of them are located in Milan city (46%) and in the metropolitan area (39%), while in Brianza they are only 15%. “Unione Artigiani has long been involved in a path of flanking aspiring entrepreneurs of foreign origin, with a series of projects that involve us together with Sole Terre Onlus” continues Accornero.
Again according to the Union of Artisans survey, the owners of foreign companies are 41% African, 31% European, 15% Asian, 12% South American. North and Central America, with 1%, and the Australian continent, with few units, are less represented. The data show that Egyptians are very active in the fields of construction, cleaning and food, while the Chinese community prefers textiles, clothing and personal services.
Furthermore, in foreign companies the majority of women owners are in the textile and personal services sector and foreign entrepreneurs, men and women, are on average younger than Italians. “Foreigners who do business in our country are perhaps even more courageous, because they challenge a bureaucracy that is complicated to say the least even for Italians, who must return to love craftsmanship more – continues the secretary of Unione Artigiani Milano and Monza Brianza – As a trade association, we encourage and support all artisans who roll up their sleeves and above all respect the rules with fair competition “.
Support also aimed at those called to reinvent themselves due to the post-Covid crisis: “We have courses and opportunities for professional training and retraining for all, opportunities to be seized on the fly for workers who will be expelled from industry, commerce and services “.
A total of 26,752 artisan businesses are active in Milan (27% of which are concentrated in the north-east of the city), 42,095 in the metropolitan area and 22,184 in Monza and Brianza.
78% of these – both in Milan and in Brianza – are individual firms, led by men in 83% of cases and by foreigners for 31% (almost one in three).
Consolidated data show a 1% decrease in the number of companies registered and active in the Chamber of Commerce that have overcome the serious difficulties of 2020.
“We will see over the course of the year if aid and recovery will have come in time for our companies, which have gritted their teeth for now. We will continue with our services to keep hope alive, not only to survive but also to grow – concludes Marco Accornero – Our micro-enterprises need quick and easy loans, clear tenders, straightforward bureaucratic procedures, good networks, a bit of stability and the right training, starting from digital. Then it’s the artisan quality that conquers the market “.