Incentives for startups in southern Italy

In the last article, we talked about subsidised finance opportunities for innovative start-ups, opening a focus on Invitalia’s Smart&Start – link 

In the same article, we provided a definition of subsidised finance, which we invite you to read for the continuation of today’s article.

Resto al Sud

The biggest incentive for supporting the start-up and growth of new businesses in the Mezzogiorno is Resto al Sud, a one-stop instrument managed by Invitalia.

The facilities are aimed at all under 56s resident in southern Italy, in the municipalities of the earthquake crater area in central Italy and in the minor, lagoon and lake islands in central and northern Italy. Those who transfer their residence within 60 days of the positive outcome of the preliminary investigation are also eligible for the benefits.

Moreover, to be eligible, one must not be the owner of other business activities, must not have benefited from other facilities for self-entrepreneurship in the last three years, must not have a permanent job, and must undertake not to have one for the entire duration of the financing.

What can be financed? And what are the facilities?

Eligible for financing are industrial production activities, handicrafts, processing of agricultural products, fishing and aquaculture, provision of services to businesses and individuals, tourism, commerce, and freelance activities. Agricultural activities are excluded.

Coverage is up to 100 per cent of expenses, with a maximum financing of EUR 50,000 per applicant, and a maximum of EUR 200,000 for companies with at least four partners. 

For sole proprietorships, the maximum financing is EUR 60,000.

Companies with partners who do not meet the residency requirement may also qualify for the financing, provided that more than half of the company structure meets it.

Importantly, it is not required that the registered office of the company be in the Mezzogiorno or in one of the above-mentioned areas.

The subsidies are composed of 50% soft loan and 50% non-repayable fund.

What are the eligible expenses?

Eligible expenses are those for the renovation or maintenance of real estate up to a maximum of 30% of total expenditure, the purchase of machinery, plant and new equipment, computer programmes and services for technology, information and telecommunications, and management expenses up to a maximum of 20% of total expenditure.

I want to apply, how do I proceed?

The application is one of the most complex, and it is strongly recommended that it be handled with the support of a consultant.

On the other hand, as it is a one-stop procedure, there are no set deadlines to meet, and a possible rejection of the application does not exclude the possibility of resubmitting it after a project review.