Italy: Key Issues and Policies

image of Italy: Key Issues and Policies

This review underlines some important points of strength with respect to Italian SMEs and entrepreneurship, notably for medium-sized firms that very often excel in their market niches, have a strong propensity to business collaboration, as well as favourable access to finance. The review also looks at the challenges that lie ahead for Italy, hard hit by the global economic crisis, notably among micro and small firms. Recovery will mean, among other things, removing barriers to business growth, streamlining the complexity of the Italian tax system, and opening the business environment to competition, foreign direct investment and equity financing, as well as improving training and workforce skills.



National programmes for SMEs and entrepreneurship in italy

This chapter assesses national SME and entrepreneurship programmes for financing, innovation, internationalisation, entrepreneurial culture and skills, workforce development, business management, public procurement, social target groups, social enterprises, and corporate social responsibility. There are important programme interventions in all of these areas, including a well-developed credit guarantee system, support for SME exports, Industry Training Funds promoting SME training, business management and consultancy support and female entrepreneurship schemes. However, there are also several areas where programme support could be strengthened. Priorities include scaling up of equity finance programmes, increasing attention to FDI attraction and embedding as potential levers for SME upgrading, rolling out entrepreneurship education into schools and universities, supporting SME access to public procurement and developing finance and mentoring programmes for immigrant and social entrepreneurs. Attention should also be paid to increasing the proportions of enterprises able to access training and business management support, including smaller firms.



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