08 Aprile 2022

The power of networks to promote business growth


Immagine dell'articolo: <span>The power of networks to promote business growth</span>


Doing business in a de-globalizing environment will foster the ability to share competencies and skills along with new aggregation models: the Italian experience of company networks opens the way to innovation and competitiveness of MSMEs.


For a production system like the Italian one, the limelight of global markets has been fundamental in these years of prolonged crisis to hold its position in the ranking of the main world economies. And it will be even more so to help the country resume the pace of growth in the new economy designed by the coronavirus. The uncertainties generated by the pandemic add to those that, in recent years, have followed the protectionist flare-ups fueled by the resumption of tariff policies. To reduce risks and uncertainties, internationalized companies are today committed to rethinking their supply chains, which are becoming shorter and thicker, according to a model of large, more regionalized, less globalized economies.

Faced with an overwhelming number of micro and small businesses (MSMEs), Italy has witnessed in recent years an original attempt to overcome the size issue through the adoption of network aggregation models which proved successful in gaining momentum in terms of competitiveness and retaining the touch of individuality that constitutes the trademark of Made in Italy.


Network Contracts in Italy

Network contracts are an innovative institution provided under the Italian legislation which fosters a model of collaboration between companies allowing the subscribers  to carry out shared projects and objectives, thus increasing their innovative capacity and competitiveness on the market, while maintaining their independence, autonomy and specialty. A network contract is signed by several entrepreneurs with the aim of increasing, individually and collectively, their innovative capacity and their competitiveness in the market. To this end, entrepreneurs undertake to collaborate in predetermined forms and areas relating to the operation of their businesses based on a common program, consisting of exchanging information or services of an industrial, commercial, technical or technological nature, and engaging in one or more activities that fall within the scope of their business.

As of today, Italy hosts about 8,000 such contracts involving 42,000 businesses of all sizes and activities. One in two networks involves less than 4 businesses, another 20% account for 4 to 5 businesses and about 13% expand to 10 businesses or more. Interestingly, 49% of the networks have at least one medium-sized or large company within them. This is an important trait as large companies can have a leverage effect on the growth of MSMEs involved in strategic objectives set forth by common networks. All the same, large companies can benefit from being in the same network with those MSMEs which demonstrate a marked propensity to enter supply chain networks and collaboration agreements, or to manage the supply chain of large companies.


Italianbusinessregister.it: a Portal to Monitor the Performances of Italian Networking Companies

After ten years of experiencing these types of aggregations, data show remarkable performances by networking companies vis à vis singlehanded companies, proving the ability of network contracts to help members develop new skills, innovate and grow.

To help monitor this phenomenon and foster its achievements, the Italian Chambers of Commerce make the complete list of network contracts and their members freely available every month. To get to know each of these companies better – and find similar ones in your sector of interest – the easiest way is to access the online portal Italianbusinessregister.it, a resource made available by InfoCamere – the Italian Chambers of commerce IT company – to the international public seeking Italian companies as privileged partners. IBR is the English version – also available in French, German and Spanish – of the official Italian Business Register held at the Chambers of Commerce, the public entities responsible by law for collecting, storing and distributing information on about 6 million Italian businesses and over 10 million entrepreneurs who manage them.

With a few easy steps, even from your smartphone, it is possible to have updated company profiles already translated into English on about one million joint-stock companies, detailed analyses of their corporate governance, economic performances and defaults.

In a context in which Europe will probably weigh more than overseas markets, the international horizon is preparing to truly become the 'domestic' market even for smaller companies. Becoming a member of a network may turn out to be a strategic choice for many Italian MSMEs to increase their competitiveness and attract investors. Those who stood the test can tell their story has been successful.

IBR is the English version – output included – of the official Italian Business Register held at the Chambers of Commerce, the public entities responsible by law for collecting, storing and distributing information on all Italian businesses.

The search features allow for filtering one’s own target by type of company - including a specific view over the innovative startup segment in the Register - thus easily traceable both by sector of activity and territory. In a few steps, it is possible to obtain a “map” of potential partners to refer to for investment purposes or, more simply, to establish a business connection based on sound and trusted public information. Once the map is drawn, drilling down to specific information – legal, financial, geographical and more – is made easy by the availability of a number of different outputs.

As all documents retrieved through IBR are official, starting a search from here is a step on solid ground. The guarantee of reliability of the information provided is also backed by a "QR Code" printed on the first page of the report, the identification code thanks to which anyone can check, directly from their smartphone or tablet (as well as from a PC), that the document in their possession corresponds to the one on file in the Business Register at the time of extraction.


Outputs available at IBR

Company report

It contains the personal, legal, economic and fiscal information of a company, as reported in the Italian Business Register. Includes references to registration, name, details, contacts, address of the registered office, PEC (certified e-mail), registered office, secondary offices and local units, tax code / VAT number, legal nature, date of foundation, corporate purpose, distribution of share capital, activities carried out, any quality certificates, certifications, administrative positions, control positions and qualifications, corporate bodies, owners and partners with shares, presence in other registers, possession of roles and licenses.

Lists of companies

Using filters, it is also possible to extract from the portal customized lists of companies from the portal, both simple (with information only on the company name and geographic data) and more structured, in which - in addition to the basic data - it is also possible to obtain information on data economic, personnel-related and additional information such as website, telephone number and e-mail address where stated.

Annual accounts

The portal provides the series of deposited accounting documents, i.e., the annual account and the financial statements which form a part of it that a company is required to draw up periodically, in accordance with the law, in order to follow the principle of truthfulness and provide a clear, truthful and correct picture of its financial situation.


Italianbusinessregister.it in short

Created since its inception - in 1996 - electronically by InfoCamere, on behalf of the Italian chamber system, the Business Register is the official, complete and updated archive of public information relating to companies operating in Italy, required by law to register with Chambers of Commerce. Thanks to the italianbusinessregister.it portal, the Register can be consulted by the international public through a version completely designed to facilitate the search and identification of information that is essential for establishing reliable B2B relationships between foreign operators and Italian companies. Name and deeds of incorporation, people working there, any changes made after its foundation and the economic activities carried out, offices in the area and the certifications received: the Register is the essential starting point for each operator who wants to know the Italian production system – large groups, business networks and innovative startups – to verify the truthfulness of information on a customer or potential supplier or to identify possible partners to develop their business.


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