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  • Meeting in digital format
  • 9 February 2022
        Due not least to the disruption brought on by the pandemic, the early part of this decade has been marked by two macro-trends: the pervasiveness of technology and a rising number of new businesses.
        The second of these is being sustained by an unprecedented influx of risk capital that helps to attract the sort of talent capable of best combining key skill sets and exceptional motivation. Nevertheless, in the final analysis, the effective large-scale profitability of such potential hinges on the unpredictable temperament of the new generations.
        As a result, reflection should go to the educational system’s role in this age of globalization and accelerating digitalization, and the undeniable need for continuous training and skilling throughout the professional working life. To that end, the experiences acquired by start-ups and consultancies could provide precious input for the development of the technical, personal and interpersonal abilities that characterize a winning management mentality. However, Italy’s current educational system is limited in its ability to motivate students to choose the kind of career path in which strong personal motivation and realistic vision can produce a truly decisive impact on society.
        In light of recent data showing that most young people who choose to start a business hold an advanced education degree, it would be necessary to ponder the role that universities could have in training future successful entrepreneurs. Especially significant, from this standpoint, appear all those academic activities aimed at developing a healthy inclination for risk-taking, the ability organize work in function of specific goals and a willingness to engage in life-long learning.
        As regards the impact that the Italian political/legal system has on the development of new businesses, it should be pointed out that, as a result of the growing interconnection of global markets and networks, a business’s location is increasingly less decisive for its success.  The peculiarity of Italian regulation is often evident in a variability of start-up costs and time-consuming bureaucracy, both of which have a negative impact on entrepreneurial agility. Nevertheless, bureaucracy is not the biggest barrier; indeed, much more insidious is the prevailing culture of insecurity, reticence toward risk-taking and difficulty in reading market prospects. Thus, rather than legislative simplification, the priority would seem to be to boost the educational system’s capacity to build and nurture skills and managerial expertise.
        Finally, given new Italian enterprises’ clear international ambitions it is essential to pay the utmost attention to the evolving geopolitical picture. Security requirements and technological pervasiveness make for a combination of no small import. From that perspective, the capacity of this era’s entrepreneurs to adapt remains pivotal to the success of individual businesses and to the country’s economy in general.
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