Bucolic life? The idea is not enough, we need clarity. The recent statistics break a lance in favor of those who want to open a farm: in the countryside could create about 200 thousand new jobs; 38% of the boys, according to the polls, would prefer to manage a farm rather than work for a multinational company.
Yet, bureaucracyand critical issues are the two fearful monsters with whom the young entrepreneur who decides to launch this challenge will have to deal. Facing them is possible; Here are the key words to do it: strategy, commitment and dedication, but above all, the desire to enter a business reality that is very different from the others. Whether you choose the path of the “traditional” agricultural entrepreneur, specialized in production in a specific sector, or that of the “multifunctional and multi-active” agricultural entrepreneur, you will encounter quite different regulatory opportunities and scenarios. This is why a simple “bucolic vision” of life is not enough; as a first step, it is necessary to have a clear idea of the company around which to build a development project.
Intuition alone is not enough to decree the success of an activity. An idea, to be valid, must be accompanied by an in-depth analysis of the competition and the market in which it intends to operate. With the support of appropriate consultants it is therefore advisable to analyze:
- human capital;
- physical capital (company size, available and acquired properties, machines and tools);
- the offer (critical mass, product and activity differentiation, quality, diversification);
- the markets (possible sales channels, promotional activities);
- economic performance (profitability and costs).
In addition, it is also appropriate to evaluate components external to the company on the plan:
- institutional (normative of reference, existence of formalized networks like consortiums, cooperatives, roads of the wine, etc …);
- territorial (infrastructural, material and immaterial endowment, availability of services to agricultural enterprises);
- commercial (local distribution channels, characteristics of supply and demand);
- competitive framework (competitive structure and degree of concentration of supply).
2) Design .
Only after this phase of analysis will it be possible to transform the “idea” into an entrepreneurial development project, through a real design work: it will be necessary, therefore, to draw up, with the help of appropriate specialists and professionals, a Business Plan, able to give credibility to all the preliminary work carried out and to allow the request for public or private financing. The initial situation, the development project and the post-investment situation must be analyzed in the plan.
3) Resource search.
Now it will be possible to proceed with the search for sources of financing. In the case of young farmers, there are different measures and tools to facilitate their establishment. It will be necessary to carefully study the announcement and verify the existence of the requirements to access it.
Once the necessary analyzes and checks have been carried out, the project can be submitted through a specific application accompanied by a Business Plan. In this phase, in particular, assistance from a CAA (Authorized Agricultural Assistance Center) and advice from a professional for the technical part is advisable. It must be taken into account that any request for funding that is respected provides for the existence of certain guarantees, which will be presented to the bank on duty. Evaluating which ones are the most appropriate is not an easy task and it will be necessary, once again, a punctual assessment of one’s financial situation.
4) The tools available.
In this obstacle course, central is certainly the presence of ISMEA (Institute of Services for the Agricultural Food Market), an economic public body that supports the Regions in the activities of land reorganization, through the formation and expansion of agricultural property, encouraging the generational change in agriculture on the basis of a specific aid scheme approved by the European Commission. ISMEA promotes and supports agro-industrial development projects that, as induced impacts, imply a structural improvement in the income levels of agricultural producers.
Industrial projects are eligible for the realization of:
- new initiatives;
- programs for the expansion, modernization and restructuring of existing production units;
- investments for renewable energy production plants, within the limit of 1 megawatt of power for self-consumption.
The investments must be consistent with the Rural Development Plans of the Regions in which the national and Community limits of ESL (Gross Grant) are realized and respected.
Another instrument of primary importance for those who intend to take this path is the ln 135/97, which allows to obtain incentives and grants for the start of new agricultural activities and provides for the takeover of a young entrepreneur in the family business: the capital disbursed is only repayable for 50% of the sum received. It has the aim of encouraging different business initiatives in the agricultural sector, especially by young people living in areas defined at risk of depression by the European Union or “lagging behind”; in the same way the areas with a strong “industrial decline” or “disadvantaged rural areas” are defined.
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