European Commission - Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs

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New zero-interest companies

Policy objectives Plus
Presentation of the measure:

"New zero-interest companies" has the aim of supporting, throughout Italy, the creation of micro and small businesses made up mainly of young people between the ages of 18 and 35 or by women of all ages.
It provides zero interest rate financing for business projects with a cost of up to € 1.5 million and can cover up to 75% of the total eligible costs. For the remaining 25%, co-financing by the company is required, either through own resources or through bank financing.
Are eligible the initiatives for:

  • the production of goods in the sectors of industry, crafts and processing of agricultural products;
  • the provision of services to businesses and individuals;
  • trade in goods and services;
  • tourism.

Moreover, projects related to sectors of particular relevance for the development of youth entrepreneurship, in the tourist-cultural chain and related to social innovation can also be admitted.

Budget, source and type of funding
National public funds 150,000,000
Regional public funds
EU Structural Funds
Private funds
Form of funding provided
Subsidised loans (including interest allowances)
Policy learning
To what extent the measure can be considered as a success and worthy of policy learning?:
The measure has achieved its intended targets in terms of results (e.g. number of enterprises investing in innovative projects, people trained)
Evidence of outcomes based on evaluation and other evidence:

It is fundamental that in the regional territory there are base infrastructures that let the SMEs to innovate. Moreover, is important that the actors in the entrepreneurial ecosystem cooperate and collaborate. One factor that could affect the achievement of this measure is the lack of resources in order to finance the boost and growth of SMEs. It is important that in order to foster the entrepreneurship there must be also financial resources.

What are the most important “Do’s and Don’ts” that regional stakeholders should be aware of when launching a similar measure?:

Regional Stakeholders should have an overall picture of the economic performance in order to understand what are the main weaknesses. After this, they should understand what are the actual resources (infrastructure, actors, etc.) in the regional territory and what is missing for reaching the goal of the measure. Having an Ex-Ante analysis is important to launch this kind of measure. One thing to avoid is not involving the main actors of the entrepreneurial ecosystem. Besides analysing economic indicators, there must be also interviews with the main stakeholders of the regional territory.

Would you recommend this measure as an example of regional good practice to policy-makers from other regions ?: