Mohammed 'top name for Milan entrepreneurs'

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Mohammed is the most common name among Milan's small business owners. Photo: Scalleja/Flickr
14:09 CEST+02:00
In a telling sign of Italy’s changing entrepreneurial landscape, Mohammed is now the most common name among Milan's small business owners, trumping Giuseppe, according to a list from the city's Chamber of Commerce.

For the first time, a foreign name has taken the top slot in the list, which also includes the arrival of Ahmed.

Nearly 1,600 businesses in Milan are run by men called Mohammed, compared to 1,383 by those called Joseph and 1,131 Marco.

Perhaps an even stronger indication of foreigners' entrepreneurial spirit against the backdrop of Italy’s crippling recession is that 275 new businesses were set up in the past year by businessmen called Mohammed,  compared to 55 that were closed by those called Giuseppe.

The name Ahmed appeared in the list for the first time, with 615 small business owners bearing the name; 91 of those businesses were set up in the past year. Meanwhile, 43 businesses owned by people called Roberto were closed, alongside 35 by people called Antonio and 20 by those named Anna.

On average, foreign companies in Milan also survive nine months longer than Italian ones.

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The most successful foreign businesses are run by Moroccans, Egyptians and Ecuadorians, and mainly operate in the service sector, particularly catering, manufacturing and construction, according to the survey.

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