MILAN, May 7 (Class Editori) – "SMEs are the backbone of the Country's real economy. Their turnover averages between 5 and 20 million euro, their employees around 50 people, and they can play a pivotal role in granting Italy's international success. They generate 80% of production value and 50% of exports".
Stefano Barrese, leading the Banca dei Territori from the Intesa Sanpaolo group, gave these figures as a mean of introduction to his bank's new initiative, aimed at helping SMEs in further growing on the international markets.
The initiative, focused on the Made in Italy and on manufacturing, involves the selection of so-called "Imprese Vincenti" (Successful Businesses) through a series of road shows – starting off on May 15th and, passing through cities like Bologna, Turin, Padua, Bergamo, Florence, Naples and Rome, ending in Milan next September.
"SMEs are the heart of the initiative, and so is finding those successful ones," said Barrese. "Latest years' competitive climate helped in identify a business success' key factors, that is strategies revolving around internationalization, innovation, welfare and environmental sustainability. These aspects generated employment, promoted specific skill sets and talents, and allowed to achieve significant results in terms of growth and financial strength".
"In some cases, successful businesses are leaders in their respective production chains, and play the part of the driving force for an assortment of small yet highly qualified suppliers. These companies well invested in market diversification and in their human resources, and are considering the possibility of growing dimensionally".
A former edition of "Imprese Vicenti" by Intesa Sanpaolo discovered several top sector players active in different Italian regions, for example: in Tuscany Vamas (leather), Futura (Tissue paper), Abiogen (biotechnologies), Arbi Dario (food); in Sicily Diesse (plastics), Pfe Facility (services) Campisi Italia (agriculture), San Lorenzo (fashion); and in Veneto Dba Group (engineering), Somec (special glass), Julia Soft (software).
So, the initiative wants to give visibility and provide new opportunities to Italian excellence, creating a network and sharing success business stories, as well as providing tools for further growth. "Through 'Imprese Vicenti' we want to support the best SMEs, as they contribute to our country's development and to Made in Italy diffusion," added Barrese.
During the eight events taking place in different locations across Italy – broadcasted by Class CNBC – several businessmen will share their experience, acting as pulling force for similar companies.
"It is important to recognise the quality expressed in our country today, due to the investment in intangible factors and in the disclosure that allows improvements in terms of rating and, consequently, favors greater credit at better conditions", explained Barrese.
Three industrial excellence sectors will be the protagonists of the Imprese Vincenti: services, food & beverage, fashion & design. One hundred and twenty companies selected out of 1,800, 15 in every city, based on quantitative and qualitative parameters: investment in innovation (brands and patents or advanced training); investments in research and development; issues related to the development of policies such as strategies and plans company; percentage of turnover linked to exports and presence of welfare, that reveals how fundamental the human capital factor is today. In each city, three companies will then be awarded, until the winner is announced at the final event.
To support Intesa Sanpaolo in this initiative there will be three partners, namely Bain & Company, Elite and Gambero Rosso, which will provide companies with support tools aimed at strengthening the key factors for the success of the companies involved and which will promote openness towards the outside, a crucial element for growth: advisory dedicated to understanding the strategic positioning on its reference market and identifying possible guidelines for development, comparison with the Elite community, possibility of comparison with international best practices and participation to training courses, workshops or dedicated sessions on strategic issues.
"All the bank's competences will be made available to follow the growth path: Intesa Sanpaolo Forvalue, Intesa Sanpaolo Training with Skills4Capital, access to international markets and Intesa Sanpaolo Innovation Center", concluded Barrese.
"From a manufacturing point of view, Italy remains an extremely important country in the international context. Its ability to be competitive lies in the extreme diversification with regards to export products and this shows how resilient the country is".
In fact, the export factor – important to grow, as demonstrated by the GDP of the last quarter – expresses how important the diversification is that allows the entire system not to depend on a sector, with the typically Italian ability to know how to cut out on measures the production processes, guaranteeing a sartorial quality, even at a big level.
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