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Italian SMEs as driving force for economic recovery

A new study has highlighted the great power and potential of Small and Medium Enterprises

Italian SMEs as driving force for economic recovery

Claudia Astarita

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A much expected economic recovery seems to be happening in Europe eight years after the beginning of the crisis. In this context, CNA and Symbola - the former is an active advocate of small and medium enterprises and the latter a promoter of a "soft economy", based on quality and talent - produced a dossier on Italian small and medium companies, allegedly known as SMEs, showing their primary role in the economy of the whole country.

According to this research, Italy is the second European country (after Germany), whose firms have introduced innovations with the aim of boosting the quality of their activities. Among them, 80% have less then 50 employees showing that small dimensions do not hinder creativity.

Moreover, the dossier indicated that Italian SMEs are very attentive to sustainability. In fact, in 2008 341.500 companies (22% out of the total) invested in green economy, improving their export and innovative performances. On this topic, Italy also stands as a "European Champion" in recycle, having recovered 24.1 million tonnes of wastes.

Once again, the driving forces of all these processes are small and medium companies, whose dimensions, skills and activities seem to be the key element for Italian economic growth. They represent 90% of total manufacturer export companies in Italy, demonstrating an effective ability to overcome national boundaries and position themselves on international markets, promoting their high quality Made in Italy.

Furthermore, Italy stands as a global icon for 255 so-called "excellences" touching all the different industrial sectors. For instance, in the food sector, Italy owns the primacy on 77 products, ranging from pasta to tomatoes all characterized by the lowest percentage of chemicals (0,2%).

Finally, CNA and Symbola's research highlighted the fact that Italy is the favourite touristic destination in Europe, followed by Spain and France. As a result, it is undeniable that the Bel Paese became a leader in the world thanks to its precious "little businesses".

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