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.


SME and entrepreneurship performance in Italy

This chapter examines the structure and performance of the new and small firm sector in Italy. It compares Italy with other OECD countries with respect to the distribution of firms by size class, business density and self-employment rates, high-impact entrepreneurship rates, productivity export and innovation levels, and the entrepreneurial attitudes of the population. The chapter shows that Italy is a small business-oriented and entrepreneurial economy with some signs of fragility, with respect to low business start-up rates, low numbers of high-growth firms, relatively few medium-sized enterprises, and a large informal economy.




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