GIOVENTU » Opportunities for the young in Southern Italy

Opportunities for the young in Southern Italy

Svimez (the association for the development of the South of Italy) recorded a decrease of 300 thousand entrepreneurs and self employed people in the last 5 years. The surprising fact is that there were some encouraging signs coming from enterprising initiatives in the south of the country, even though the growth forecast for 2014 does not show a positive trend of growth. According to Svimez, 64% of the citizens of the South, which in 2011 have left the South for a region of Centre-North had a degree or a medium-high diploma. These people don’t return to the south and don’t produce wealth for the south.   

The magazine “L’espersso” has recently reported the stories of young people between 25 and 35 who resisted to the crisis, and instead of going abroad invented jobs for themselves and others. In this case the cheaper cost of living in the South, consequence of a poorer economy, has become a competitive factor.

Some have invested in bio-agriculture, others have pointed on craftsmanship, and the novelty is also that these young people want to set themselves free from the mafia and have stopped paying protection money.

Daniele Cassini (Apulia) after an engineering degree in Italy and a stage in California has invented “Ciceroos”, the tourism search engine using an algorithm able to create the perfect itinerary, as requested by the costumer. In 2012 he won with his firm the contest of the Apulia region “Bollenti spiriti” for the best start up, and in this way they received the first money to start the firm. Then they started the fund raising and now the company has 8 employees. They aim to a turnover of a million and it’s a gamble against the Italian bureaucracy, heavy taxation and the high cost of labour.

Daniela Ducato (Sardinia) created “Edilana” from a dismissed construction factory. During the worst crisis in Sardinia with shepherds put in difficulty by foreign competitors, Daniela found a new use for the wool: an isolating material for building construction. It consists of big rolls of wool to be laid on roofs or between walls. Also milk waste is transformed into the secret ingredient of ecological painting and mortar. The “Duemila” is a jewel of the green economy with a turnover of 15 million Euros per year. In the factory discarded materials of milk and wool are transformed into very modern products.

Domenico Cristoforo (Gioia Tauro, Reggio Calabria) introduced ecological building materials in the ‘Ndrangheta area. He uses olive pomace to produce construction plates. His “Ecoplan” is a model studied by ecologists. The decision of working in the ‘Ndrangheta area caused already many problems. Some companies knowing that they are there didn’t want to conclude business with them. They’ll soon launch their 100% recyclable ecological desks for schools.

Let’s hope they’ll be a great success!

Giulia Lombardo

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