Digital in small Italian businesses can generate 10 billion

Digital in small Italian businesses can generate 10 billion

Italian SMEs could generate 10.2 billion euros of contribution to GDP and 208 thousand new jobs if they were more digitized and attentive to their social strategies. In this scenario, they would generate an increase in terms of added value for the country equal to double that guaranteed annually by wine production.

This is supported by a study conducted by The House - Ambrosetti and presented on June 24th in Rome. during an event promoted by Meta, client of the same studio. During the presentation some surprising results were illustrated. In fact, as is well known, Italy is suffering from a systemic technological delay, partly due to poor connectivity and orographic problems and partly related to cultural issues. In view of this, however, SMEs in Italy ensure more than 40% of the national turnover, to which must be added that of micro-enterprises, which represent about 95% of the Italian entrepreneurial fabric.

But medium and small companies or sometimes micro (ie with less than ten employees) sometimes find it difficult to seize the opportunities offered by digitization. For example, the study showed that Italian SMEs are only in 18th place in Europe in terms of digitization, with even greater delays in areas such as digital skills (21st place in the European Union). Small and medium-sized enterprises in Italy are also those with the lowest number of ICT specialists in their workforce compared to the European average, and only 15% of them are able to provide digital training to their employees (compared to 18% of the EU average ).

In this sense, social networks can certainly be a development engine. Speaking to, the Italian country director of Meta Luca Colombo explained that the company founded by Zuckerberg has been setting up digital skills training projects specifically dedicated to SMEs for years. Answering the question on the subject of the algorithm that can crush smaller companies by favoring the appearance of the advertisements of large multinationals, Colombo said that "in reality our algorithm rewards those who use the platform best, regardless of the company that does it. And this is why we also offer training and certifications to small companies, which, however, being often smarter and faster, also have better means to make their mark ".

The House-Ambrosetti study reported that the development of adequate social campaigns can result in increased revenues, the number of customers actually reached, followers on social networks and investments. Thanks to social media, the analyzed companies recorded a 20% increase in their revenues without having to invest in the opening of stores and physical spaces, and were able to keep up to 60% of their revenues during the lockdown. Customers increased by 30% nationally and 10% on international markets, bringing benefits also in terms of digital training of employees and investments.

During his speech, Colombo also said that Meta - as also suggested by the recent change of company name - “he is focusing a lot on the metaverse, which will be the future of the internet” but that the details of what will be sonah are still uncertain. "I imagine that the internet will be increasingly linked to wearable devices such as glasses or belts rather than smartphones, and that SMEs will have to be able to take advantage of this train to benefit in terms of turnover but also of development of the country".

To address the digital gap that separates it from the rest of Europe, Italy is trying to use the funds made available by the Next Generation Eu. At the moment the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (Pnrr) distributes more than 6 billion euros in favor of digitization in various different areas.

According to the Undersecretary for Economic Development Anna Ascan, “social media can be a real enabler of change, as well as an entertainment tool”. This is especially true in Italy, where the fabric made by small, medium or micro companies can marry well with the digital and local communities that create these platforms. According to Ascani, “with the funds of the NRP we will have to work on the so-called white areas but also on the gray ones”. The reference is to the areas of Italy in which installing an internet network leads to market failure (white areas) or to commercially not very advantageous conditions (gray). The undersecretary concluded by saying that in Italy there are still malfunctions in the bridge between scientific research and commercial application. “For this to improve - said Ascani - companies need to be stimulated. For this reason, 350 million euros have been foreseen under the Pnrr to create development centers in the area that have the function of front office for companies but which are also an opportunity for the university to promote the results of its research. ".

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