For the first time, the most widespread name registered among small business owners in Milan is of foreign origin, according to a survey released by Milan’s Chamber of Commerce. With 1,595 small companies registered under “Mohamed”, the name has surpassed “Giuseppe”, the most common name in Italy until a few years ago, and "Marco", which respectively come in second and third. The fourth place in the list is occupied by “Maria”, the only female name among the first 15 of the list counting both males and females. Among female owners, the first foreign name, ranking eighth in the female list, is Chinese: "Hu". In Milan, 12% of businesses is owned by foreigners, compared to 9,9% in Lombardy and 8.4% in the rest of Italy. Companies owned by a foreigner in Milan have increased by 7,4% in the last year and stay in business longer, nine months on average, than Italian companies; the figure doubles to 18 months if the owners are from Morocco, Egypt and Ecuador, according to the survey. These companies mainly operate in the service industry: 37% of them are in the restaurant business, followed by manufacturing, commerce and constructions. The most interesting data, considering Italy’s current economic recession, is that four percent of people working in Milan are now employed by foreign-owned businesses. The survey is based on data from the “Registro Imprese” which counts companies founded in 2012 and still in business in February 2013. The report comes a few days after Milan civil registry data was released showing that "Hu" is now the second most common last name among residents, very close to "Rossi", the first, while even "Chen" and "Zhou" come before "Brambilla", one of the most traditional Milanese last name.
The most common name among Milan’s business owners is Mohamed