Hi, my name is Mattia Corbetta, I work for the Italian Ministry of Economic Development and I am 28. I come from Italy, a country that has grown little economically since I was born. I’ve got friends who speak 5 languages, have 2 masters and can’t find job. What our traditional companies often offer are unpaid internships.
The rate of unemployment reached its highest level in more than 3 decades. Four out of 10 young people can’t find work. Many of us are losing hope and leaving our beautiful country for a living abroad. But recently in my small department at the Ministry of Economic Development I’ve seen something I wouldn’t have thought possible.
Something is actually changing. Even if it seemed a miracle, we’ve actually managed to pass a new law that is going to help innovative businesses in their earliest days. This is our startups law. A year and a half ago, we had to chose where to start. Governments have gone back and forth about what to do at the aim to solve the old structural problems that everybody talks about.
We decided to do something new. We looked around and decided that the lack of public support to startup companies was a national emergency that had to be faced as soon as possible. And that is what we did. Every day I get calls from people who don’t understand these unprecedented changes. This is normal, nobody wants to read through pages of legal documents. So I’m going to sum it up for you very simply. This is what you need to know.
1. You think you have thought of the next Google. You can now register your startup FOR FREE. ONLINE.
2. Do you know that everybody talks about how you can’t hire and fire people in Italy? Startups can give all their staff temporary and flexible contracts for the first four years.
3. You can now offer equity instead of payment, if you need a lawyer, an accountant or a developer.
4. And you can give people flexible wage depending on the performance of the company.
5. And there will be tax credits for hiring highly qualified workers.
So let’s talk about the money.
1. Everybody knows in Italy banks aren’t lending. For startups, we fixed this. A Government Fund will guarantee 80% of bank loans to startups.
2. From October we will offer up to 30% tax relief to those who invest in startups.
3. This is something I’m personally proud of, Italy is the first country in the world to have created a legal framework for equity crowdfunding. So you guys can raise money from the public in exchange for shares.
As a bonus:
1. We are giving Italian startups a 30% discount on all the services provided by the Italian Trade Promotion Agency to internationalize, like sorting out your tax affairs and finding customers or investors abroad.
2. Last but not least, in Italy we can be afraid of companies failures. But that’s what you need for a healthy startup scene. So, we’re helping to quickly dissolve any business that fails so that you can move on to the next one.
I’m sure there are people in this room who are among the 1.148 new startups born during the last year because of these measures.
That’s what we’ve done. We know that there are still problems. We’re working to fix them. So, the people we want to thank are those who are out there taking the risk. Who in this room has founded a startup?
These are the people I want to thank, so please let’s give them an applause.