The EIB and Intesa Sanpaolo have signed the first joint loan in Italy dedicated to creating new jobs for young people in small and medium enterprises, mid-caps and innovative start-ups.
Making available a total of 240 million euro, the transaction responds to the request in June 2013 from the European Council in Brussels to activate “without delay” all possible means to combat the growing phenomenon of unemployment, especially among young people. The transaction includes a credit line of 120 million euro for the creation of new jobs for young people aged 15 to 29 in SMEs and mid-caps and in support of the creation and development of innovative start-ups. In this area, 100 million euro was granted in 2015. Another 120 million euro credit line was allocated to finance investments by small and medium enterprises in the social sector (healthcare, education and urban renewal). 20 loans totalling 50 million euro were granted in 2015 (see the chapter “Third sector and local area” [i]).
TRAINING AND PROMOTION OF NEW ENTREPRISES
With regard to the promotion of new high quality enterprises, the AdottUp project, created in 2013, continued to operate also in 2015.
This is the Piccola Industria Confindustria programme for the adoption of start-ups, of which Intesa Sanpaolo is a strategic partner. AdottUp turns the best entrepreneurial ideas into sustainable businesses thanks to the training provided by established companies which become their “tutors” and guide them through their development.
Intesa Sanpaolo gathers business idea applications, submits them to a joint Committee (Intesa Sanpaolo and Confindustria) which evaluates them, selects them and provides high level training and work areas, and creates the “Vetrina delle migliori idee” (showcase of the best ideas) @ a dedicated area on Confindustria’s website which provides members with an overview of the best projects, thus enabling them to review the selected ideas and apply to become their “tutors”.
With the 2014-2015 Intesa Sanpaolo-Confindustria agreement, AdottUp was relaunched with a view to expansion envisaging action not only on supplying innovation but also on the demand side, facilitating matching between innovative SMEs (not just start-ups) and the SMEs that need such innovation to increase their competitive levels.
Among the lending tools in support of new enterprises, Intesa Sanpaolo also makes the “NeoImpresa Loan” available, specifically for medium/long-term financing to start-ups. Loans for 6.9 million euro were disbursed in 2015. For 2016, the AdottUp project will be coupled with the "Tech Market Place" project so as to act as a reservoir to supply and integrate the innovation dedicated platform.
Also in 2015 the business school of the Intesa Sanpaolo Group continued to provide business skills aimed at those who are launching a start-up or are ready to launch it on the market. “Officine Formative” delivers educational courses through the online acceleration and mentoring platform to support more mature start-ups. In 2015 it involved an audience of over 4,000 visitors in various events to promote the new enterprises. The various initiatives include the collaboration with the National Association of Biologists to form the winner start-ups of the Bio Plugin award. At the end of the year 5 new on-line courses that will implement the offer of distance education were developed.
With the "SKILLS4BUSINESS" project (see Chapter "Intellectual and Infrastructural Capital" @), training programs were also launched, focused on internationalisation issues (Think International) and on the acquisition of the necessary skills to innovate products and processes, grow on new markets and in new sectors and develop e-commerce projects (Think Digital).
The issue of youth employment and support for the development of start-ups is important also for the International Subsidiary Banks of Intesa Sanpaolo. Banca Intesa Russia has introduced a new free on-line service “The world of your opportunities” to launch business ventures (https://reg-bancaintesa.ru/). The site contains several documents that help to register companies. Users can also benefit from special conditions for the Bank services. About 40 customers a month are registered as individual entrepreneurs or limited liability companies using this service.
CIB Bank has also developed a Start-up Guide that is delivered at the opening of a new account. The document provides guidance for the development of business plans, funding, state subsidies, business operation as regards tax, accounting and insurance issues, legal aspects and ordinary business transactions. Another useful tool is the Revol software, a programme that simplifies invoicing, which is provided free of charge to the new small business customers of CIB Bank.
In Albania, the Bank financially supports the launching of projects of a value ranging between 15,000 and 50,000 euro, thanks to the opportunities created by the programme developed by the Italian and Albanian governments. In this context, the Bank invites potential customers to participate in the training sessions organized by the Italian Cooperation for Development in order to improve knowledge on the possibilities of access to funds in the framework of the Programme for the "development of the Albanian private sector through a credit line for SMEs and the relevant technical assistance”.