In addition to EU contributions, young entrepreneurs established in Italy may benefit from national funding to start-up, and/or further develop businesses.

It is possible to briefly describe only what is provided for by the Ordinary laws generally applicable, because regulations for local funding programs may vary from region to region.

Public Support – National

The Startup Act,passed by the Italian government in 2012, was the first step towards a startup policy and aimed to make the business environment more startup friendly.

With the Smart&Start program,  the National Italian Government proposed new measures, including :

  • 200M euros national program for loan financing startups;
  • National VC fund, matching investments with private VCs (Invitalia Ventures);
  • National Fund of Funds, acting as cornerstone investor in new VC funds operating in Italy (FII – Fondo Italiano d’Investimento);
  • Tax benefit for investors in startups  (30% of the amount);
  • Startup Visa for entrepreneurs willing to re-locate in Italy;
  • free-of-charge online company incorporation;
  • fast-fail track.

Public Support – Local

Both the Regione Lazio and the Municipality of Rome are sustaining the flourishment of the startup ecosystem in the territory.


The Regione Lazio has introduced the following tools :

  • cancellation of local additional corporate tax on startups;
  • grant program, doubling private investor’s pre-seeds (30k to 100k euros at the idea stage);
  • VC fund matching 2.5x on private investments (up to 2.5 millions euro each);
  • a small fund of funds.

The City of Rome is mapping its available spaces to be turned in smart working spaces and it is working with private operators to create a public-private investment agency.

Innovative Start-up Companies

The new legislation applies to small enterprises enrolled in a specific section of the Business Register reserved for “innovative start – up companies” as well as for individuals willing to incorporate an innovative start – up company in Italy, including extra UE holders of a start-up VISA.

In particular, in order to benefit from the aforesaid provisions, a company shall meet, inter alia, the following requirements:

i. it does/did not allocate profits

ii. it has to be a newly incorporated capital company or it must have been established for no longer than sixty months

iii. its core business shall consist in the development, production and commercialization of

iv. innovative goods or services of significant technological value

v. it shall reside in our country or be subject to Italian taxation and

vi. its turnover shall be lower than € 5,000,000.

Financial aid for innovative start – up companies

The benefit consist of zero interest loans covering:

  • up to 80% of the investment programs amounting to the maximum amount provided for by Italian legislation. In such case, every partner/shareholder must be younger than 35 or, alternatively, women or, alternatively, at least a partnership quota shall be owned by a person who has a PhD or equivalent for no longer than 6 years and has conducted research or has taught abroad for at least 3 years; and in all the other cases;
  • up to 70% of the maximum amount of eligible investment costs provided for by Italian legislation.

Finally, it is worth pointing out that the innovative start-up undertakings may raise money through equity crow funding online portals.

Businesses by Young and/or Female Entrepreneurs

The Italian government implements measures mainly aimed at supporting the creation of businesses by young and/or female entrepreneurs. With specific reference to aids granted to young entrepreneurs, a special legislation package, providing for specific measures aimed at promoting the creation and the development of innovative start-up undertakings in Italy, has been recently implemented.