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Networks of enterprises: a valid initiative

Di Antonio Caneva, 18 Dicembre 2014

Even Italians, who are so individualistic and reluctant to join forces, have realised that the current difficulties can only be overcome by the joint effort of a plurality of local players.
One of the ways to enhance the value of business is by aggregating in a ‘network of enterprises’, a new tool made available by a law decree of 2009, modified and converted into law in 2010.
The most accurate definition, in my opinion, is the one provided by the Milan Chamber of Commerce, stating:
A network of enterprises is an agreement, formalised in the form of a “network contract”, based on cooperation, exchange and aggregation among enterprises, and constituting an alternative business model as opposed to the individualistic and fragmented nature of our economic fabric.
The main purpose of networks of enterprises is to achieve common targets in terms of an increase in innovative capacity and hence business competitiveness.
The law allows for ample contractual freedom in stipulating legal obligations in line with the purposes and objectives pursued by the networked enterprises.
Based on a common plan, the networked enterprises may:
• Collaborate within the scope of their respective activities
• Exchange know-how or industrial, commercial or technological services
• Perform joint entrepreneurial activities
Networks may have a common capital and corporate body; in this case, by applying for registration with the Business Register, they can obtain recognition as legal entities.
I went to Nerviano, where they presented the network of enterprises of the Northern Milan area, which aggregates 15 hotels under the slogan “la Milano che conviene” loosely translating into “Milan: together is better”.
Starting in 2009 from the intuition of a few hotel owners, a whole system has been developed which now includes, among others, the participation of about twenty municipalities, and has its own online presence granting visibility to the area’s items of excellence.
Clearly, the main point of these projects is marketing, which – as we know – is a costly activity. Well, by means of this initiative, in a public/private perspective, the network of enterprises has obtained a financing assigned by the municipalities for the creation of the website, and they are now expecting to receive a significant amount for this specific purpose.
During the presentation (with the inevitable parade of the politicians of the moment), a spirit of euphoria pervaded the room when they described the results achieved, which testify to the fact that, with effort and tenacity, important targets can be reached even at times of difficulty.
A nice initiative, almost a good omen for the new year.
This is the last issue of our magazine before the festivities: we will reconvene in January.
I take this occasion to express truly heartfelt wishes to the many readers and friends who have shared a problem-ridden 2014.

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