The Chamber of Commerce along with Fondazione REI (technology transfer institution) and IFOA (training institution) has created an access point to help the would-be entrepreneurs to open their business activity. These subjects provide the following contributions free of charge through a staff with experience in assisting business creation:

  • guidance on the methodologies of analysis and description of the business idea;
  • a complete overview of the financial and training opportunities offered at provincial and regional level for the development of the business idea;
  • information on the obligations and authorizations to be carried out and the validation of the business idea with potential clients and partners.

The service is provided free of charge for users. The activity is part of the institutional activities of the lending bodies and is therefore supported by their respective founders, shareholders and stakeholders.
The overall objective is to help the would-be entrepreneurs to analyse in-depth their business idea and to evaluate the feasibility of the idea on the market in order to manage and mitigate inherent risks of starting a new business. The intent is to ensure that would-be entrepreneurs can best express the potential of their projects.
Since March 2019, the access point has organized 14 sessions (once a month) and 59 consultancy meetings were held with aspiring entrepreneurs. In particular, the topics discussed were:

  • Presentation of Business Model Canvas;
  • Advice for drawing up the Business Plan of the future company;
  • Methods to validate the business idea with potential customers and stakeholders;
  • Information on tenders and outright grants;
  • Information on training courses available;
  • Information on necessary procedures.

Image: The Key Actors of the Business Access Point

The access point represents a unique and flexible consultancy service since it puts together different public and private subjects with heterogeneous but complementary skills in a harmonious and productive way. A public/private guidance and support service can increase and maximize the chances of success by directing the first steps of aspiring entrepreneurs and by systematizing what is available on the territory.
The challenges and obstacles encountered during the implementation of the business access points are:

  • To give a first orientation support to everyone by making available the skills of various professionals in the area;
  • To motivate would-be entrepreneur to deepen the analysis of the business idea before moving on to the implementation phase;
  • To highlight when ideas are not good in terms of innovation, feasibility and connection with the market;
  • To incentivize the aspiring entrepreneurs to review their idea in the light of the feedback from the market, customers and competitors, of the resources available or  acquired from lenders and supporters;
  • Efficient collaboration between public and private subjects so that they can enhance their respective skills and provide a valuable service to the citizen / aspiring entrepreneur.

Despite the specific territorial characteristics related to Reggio Emilia's socio-economic context, the New Businesses Point has the potential to be replicated in many regions in Europe, as it represents a valid example of territorial resilience by supporting citizens and would-be entrepreneurs in a first orientation on the methods for evaluating the effectiveness and feasibility of a business idea and on the support opportunities offered by the territory. In particular, the aspect that could be potentially replicated in other European countries is related to the public/private partnership of subjects who have different competences but can actively collaborate on business creation with respective specialization on procedures and authorizations, business modelling and business planning, and training.
As Claudia Bartoli, Business Service Manager of Reggio Emilia Chamber of Commerce, underlined, “the individual organizations would not have been able to provide the same service and exhaustive answers without this joint action”.

For further information on the access point, please get in touch with [email protected], Business Service Manager – Reggio Emilia Chamber of Commerce - Website