Young entrepreneurs lead fight back against recession
Italians under 35 take a chance on establishing businesses28 October, 17:38
New data show that the rise in entrepreneurs aged 35 and under is keeping pace with an overall national increase in new businesses - although many more companies are failing, according to Unioncamere, which represents chambers of commerce across Italy.
As it released a snapshot of entrepreneurs in Italy, the organization also called on government to do more to help businesses grow.
The data suggest that many Italians do not want to leave their homeland to find work abroad, but want to invest in their country's future.
"There is a generation of young people who do not resign themselves to leave Italy (in order) to build a future," said Unioncamere head Ferruccio Dardanello.
"(They) roll up their sleeves and look with courage to tomorrow". According to Unioncamere, almost 100,000 new companies were established by Italians aged 35 and younger in the first nine months of this year.
Between January and September 2013, almost 300,000 companies were set up in Italy and 33.9% of those - 100,321 firms - were established by one or more young adults, according to the numbers released during the Assembly of Unioncamere in Genoa.
But to survive, entrepreneurs need governments to create the conditions for business to expand and thrive, said Dardanello. "Above all, to support them, we must give them a more modern country...more digitized, more efficient and therefore more credible and capable of attracting intelligence and investment".
Much of the new growth in business driven by younger Italians has been recorded in the southern part of the country, home to about 38.5% of these new firms.
Almost 40,000 businesses opened there in the first nine months of this year, with about 20.5% of those related to marketing, the research showed. About 9.4% were in construction and 5.6% in food services, the data said.
Despite the plague of organized crime in the region, many of the new businesses are found in Calabria, including the cities of Vibo Valentia, Crotone, and Reggio Calabria.
The next most vibrant area in terms of business creation by younger adults is in central Italy, according to Unioncamere. The part of Italy where the fewest businesses are now being started by young adults is in the far northern areas around Trieste, followed by Bolzano and Pordenone.
At the same time, Unioncamere warned that although the number of businesses that opened in the third quarter in Italy outnumbered total closures, it was the narrowest margin in a decade.
Between July and September, 76,942 new businesses opened in Italy, more than offsetting the 64,008 closures recorded, meaning a net gain of 12,934 new operations across the country, said Unioncamere.
However, that margin is the worst reported in 10 years as Italy struggles through its worst recession in more than two decades, the group added.
Slightly more new businesses opened in the third quarter of this year compared with 2012, when 75,019 openings were recorded, the statistics showed.
But closures between July and September 2013 hit the second-highest level in ten years, the numbers showed.
The worst period for closures was in 2007 when 68,524 shut down.
Artisans have been the worst hit in 2013, with 1,845 fewer craftspeople in businesses.