The number of Tuscan-based businesses run by foreign residents continues
to rise. From 1999 to 2008, the number of enterprises with foreign-born owners
quadrupled, rising from 7,600 to more than 32,000, with an average of 111
companies owned by non-Italians in each of Tuscany’s municipalities.
The numbers come from a survey conducted by the
University of Florence and the Region of Tuscany, in collaboration with Arpat,
the Chamber of Commerce of Florence, Florence Caritas, Confesercenti Florence,
Tuscany Confindustria, Prefettura Utg in Florence and the Florence Police
The report notes that in 1999 more than one-third of
Tuscany’s foreign-owned companies were managed by citizens of the world’s
developed nations; 10 years later, the majority of the region’s newest
entrepreneurs are Chinese (7,029 businesses), followed by Albanians (5,114),
Romanians (4,259) and Moroccans (3,489).
In the same period, the number of companies owned by
Africans, especially those from Senegal, grew sevenfold, from 387 to 2745.
Approximately 85 percent of the businesses owned by
foreign-born entrepreneurs operate in construction, trade and manufacturing.
Trade is strong among Senegalese entrepreneurs, while for Albanians and
Romanians, construction has been the strongest sector.
Dual specialization prevails in companies with Chinese
owners (manufacturing and trade) and Moroccan owners (trade and construction).
A variety of specialization is a feature of companies owned by entrepreneurs
from Pakistan, Argentina, Brazil, Egypt and Macedonia.