Start-ups and SMEs investment features: spotlight on Italian reality

Francesca Sanguineti


Access to finance has been acknowledged on research, practitioners and policy sides as being one of the most important factors for start-up activity and SME development and growth. Notwithstanding this importance, a holistic view of the Italian market in terms of types of investors, investment stages and dominant investment patterns is missing as is a comparison with the larger European context.

We aim to shed more light on this topic in order to identify and explain potential differences in investment practices for start ups and SMEs. Such findings will be of great value for all players involved. Entrepreneurs may be able to better address their investment requests, investors may find a benchmark with Europe useful in order to develop or redress their current activities and, finally, policy makers will be able to identify and design programs which are able to fill the gap between private investors and investment needs of start-ups and SMEs which are the backbone of economic activity in Italy. 

Our analysis shows that, as compared to the European practice, investment in Italy remains mainly confined to the early stages while funding of growth and expansion is negligible but we also identify differences in investment levels and sectorial distribution.


start-up; SME; investor; investment stages; Italy; Europe

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Registered by the Cancelleria del Tribunale di Pavia N. 685/2007 R.S.P. – electronic ISSN 2038-5498


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