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Startups can save Italy

Why innovative startups will be enough to drive Italy out of the crisis

Startups can save Italy

Ignazio Assenza

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? 354,000,000,000. It is the amount computed by a study of McKinsey of fall in private investments in the EU between 2007 and 2011, the largest ever seen in absolute value. On the other hand, ? 750 bn is the amount of excess cash holding of listed European Companies, more than twice than the fall in private investments.

In other words, companies sit on tons of cash, but uncertainty, risk-aversion and administrative barriers refrain them from putting their money at stake in new investments. If we add the pressure that weighs on public finances of EU Governments, here it is explained the reason of Europe's struggles to exit from the crisis.

So what to do? Governments cannot spend money, privates do not want to. The easiest answer looks like "Governments should convince privates to spend". Well, it is probably the best one as well. Removing barriers to investments, simplify administrative procedures and a better coordination can all be good answers to create a right environment for investments, to foster entrepreneurship.

The Italian Government must have thought about something like this when it planned "restart Italia", the part of the "Grow Italy" master plan devoted to innovative startups. Creating the right environment is the key word. It is about eliminating obstacles to innovation and entrepreneurship thus fostering investments in innovation, by taking inspiration from successful models like the US and the Israeli ones.

Lower requirements and tax advantages for asset management companies investing in startups encourage private investments in startups. Administrative costs, procedures and burdensome accounting requirements are cut for innovative startups. Bankruptcy is not anymore a threat for Italian innovators. Programs are launched to promote the entrepreneurship culture in schools and educating students in universities with "contamination labs".

Will it be enough for fostering investments in startups? Will innovative startups be enough to drive Italy out of the crisis? And not least, will this new setting survive to the next Government? There is a quite high number of threats looming over restart Italia, but the path initiated by the Government seems the right one, so that we think it is still licit to make a wish: Startups save Italy!

 

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