POST Online Media Lite Edition


Community SMEs in Italy providing space for freedom and security

Staff writer |
At the end of 2013 Italy boasted over 3.7 million SMEs, well above the EU average. Of these almost 95%, over 3.5 million, were in fact micro-enterprises employing fewer than 10 employees.

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These figures confirm the essential role of SMEs in the Italian economy in which the EIB continues to be a key player. In 2013 the Bank dedicated loans of EUR 3.4bn to empower this important economic sector and the figure is set to rise in 2014.

Borghi Imballaggi Srl has been active for some 40 years in the sector of corrugated cardboard packaging. As with many other businesses in the Emilia-Romagna region it was shaken by the 2012 earthquake. But Borghi was determined to contribute to the recovery by prioritising innovation and growth to rebuild the community.

EIB partner bank in the region, the Banca Popolare dell'Emilia Romagna, provided Borghi with a EUR 550 000 loan for a state-of-the-art third production line. The impact on the company has been significant. Three new workers have been hired, and Borghi Imballaggi has been able to purchase a new building to replace properties damaged by the earthquake.

And Borghi is not alone in promoting social cohesion in the Emilia-Romagna region in the push for economic recovery following the 2012 natural disaster. Il Raccolto soc. coop. Agricola, an agricultural enterprise, produces products such as grain, barley, corn, sorghum, soya and sunflowers.

Seeing the need to increase the fertility of the soil and sustain a cost-effective yield to improve the profitability of the business, the enterprise also received a EUR 400 000 loan via EIB partner bank Banca Popolare dell'Emilia Romagna.

The investment has been used to implement an innovative fertigation system, ensuring high production while limiting the use of chemical fertilisers to reduce the effects of climate change and enabling additional employment opportunities.

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