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Taking Italy’s young entrepreneurs further

‘Ti porta lontano’ (Takes you further) is helping Italy’s young entrepreneurs realise their potential.

Italy’s economy has been tested in recent years. There is high unemployment (31% of 18-29 year olds), low consumer confidence and young Italians are leaving the country in search of better opportunities.

However, a group of dynamic entrepreneurs – part of the so-called ‘moving forward generation’ – have taken a different view of the situation.

Despite the economic outlook, these aspirational young Italians, usually 25-39 years old, are community-focused, care a great deal about sustainability in business, and are part of the wider sharing economy (e.g. growth of peer-to-peer companies such as Airbnb and Uber).

Nastro Azzurro, Italy’s leading local premium beer, recognised this optimism and created the ‘Ti porta lontano’ (Takes you further) entrepreneurship programme to connect the most innovative Italians with business mentors to help them realise their full potential.

During a countrywide digital competition, almost 200 business proposals were submitted, across a range of sustainable themes, including recycling, technology use and gender equality.

From all the submissions, four winners were selected. Nastro Azzurro partnered them with experienced, well-known business mentors, who gave advice and business support, as well as holding one-on-one meetings that aired on Sky TV.

The four winners were:

The overall winner, Federica Sala, was also sent to the internationally renowned start-up business school Mind the Bridge in San Francisco, to help breathe life into her idea. She is documenting her journey in an online ‘talent diary’, which is hoped will inspire more young Italians to follow their dream.

Next year’s ‘Ti porta lontano’ programme is already being arranged, with this year’s winners becoming mentors for future entrepreneurs, and new sustainable development areas being included, such as bartending, cinema and photography.

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