• The startups ecosystem in Milano constitutes 70% of the startup business in the Region (Lombardy).
  • Milano hosts more than 5,000 Multinationals employing over 520,000 people.
  • With more than 10,000 companies focused on financial and insurance services, Milano is one of the largest financial markets in the world and home of over 200 bank groups.


Milano is the business capital of Italy, with over 800,000 businesses headquartered in the regional territory and a regional GDP >390bn Euros. Thanks to national and local reforms to tax, regulation, education, employment and incentives, as well as due to its geographical central access to Europe, Milano offers falling costs of doing business relative to the European counterparts. Sectoral excellences vary from life sciences, agribusiness, finance, manufacturing 4.0 to fashion&design.

Innovation in Milano 

Milano is the center of the Italian pharmaceuticals industry and Italy is one of the world’s largest exporters of pharmaceuticals per capita. Pharma exports accounted for 6.3% of the total in 2019. In the last quarter of 2019, Lombardy alone exported 2.3 bn euros of pharma products. Milano and its region are at the top rankings for European health and life sciences investment, and the 4th largest recipient region in Europe. 


Since the hosting of the World Expo Milano 2015, themed “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life” Milano was appointed world capital of food: the City is a major hub for Italy’s agri-food and functional foods industry recording the highest turnover in the food and beverage sector per person employed (516,000 euros/person in 2018). Lombardy is also the Italian Region with the highest number (33%) of startups in the sector of Foodtech, with 53% of the total funding obtained by this sector. Milano has developed a mature Fintech ecosystem, within an already established, strong network of financial institutions which make Milano one of the global financial capitals: 45% of the Italian Fintech companies are in fact located in Milan, that hosts more than 50,000 financial services employees.


Finally, the Milano stands out as one of the European cities with the greatest fashion culture, being one of the 4 World Fashion Capital. In the city, there are over 13,000 companies operating in the sector with 100,000 people employed and a turnover exceeding 20 bn euros in 2019.


The Italian Government implemented an extremely favourable tax regime reform, with the aim of boosting investments and innovation. The reform encompasses, among the others, a reduction of Corporate taxes to 22.5% and a tax exemption for young and innovative startups.


Milano launched a series of digital initiatives to place the City “in the pocket” of its citizens.

This includes citywide infrastructure and strategic digital projects that lay the foundation for the City to work quickly and collaboratively.

Guided by the “mobile-first, one-click” principle, the city has structured these digital initiatives under four missions, which will bring to life Milan’s vision for a digitally-enhanced and sustainable future.

Talents in Milano 

Milano is a City where talented young professionals enter every day the job market, also thanks to its excellent university system, composed by high-level teaching, advanced research & technology, science and innovation, and over 200k students of which 10% is coming from abroad.

Quality of Life  

Milano is a very easy and functional place where to settle and its local surroundings make living in Milano a very stimulating experience. You might then not be surprised to find out that the City boasts the highest level of quality of life in the world. Milano is just 45 minutes from the gorgeous Italian lakes (Lago Maggiore, Lago di Como, Lago di Garda), 125km North of the coast of Liguria and its wonderful maritime towns, and 175km from the ski resorts of Lombardy or Valle d’Aosta (the region bordering with France and Switzerland) and cities of historic importance such as Genoa, Florence, Venice and Rome can be reached in a few hours with the high speed railway. The City’s three international airports have over 1,300 weekly flights to the 27 EU capitals and Malpensa airport is the gateway to 185 destinations in 76 countries. Transports are also extremely comprehensive of all the city and public services - such as healthcare - are outstanding.

Further Information?

Find more about the city and its ecosystem through the data provided by Osservatorio Milano.