According to Ismea, the only possibility to provide support for export initiatives aimed at small businesses is “investing in promotion and marketing plans, as well as creating a system.” This is the same objective that GIFT is reaching towards in its commitment to working for more quality exports by offering technological support to this end. Earnings from the sector have few rivals to contend with due to the vast array of Italian products created is some cases by small-scale operations which often find it difficult to cross national or regional borders.
The food and agriculture industry in Italy is valued at 250 billion euros, or 15% of the country’s GDP, and only a small fraction of it consists of large or medium sized businesses. Only about 10,000 companies are worth over 20,000 euros, and there are only 300 with more than 50 million euros in annual turnover. Conversely, there are some 880,000 small enterprises with an average of 1-2 employees which could stand to see enormous growth in value through a highly organised export framework thanks to targeted initiatives and support. This widespread “dwarfism” makes it nearly impossible for these firms to enter international markets without the challenge being supported by a structured export strategy designed around their specific needs.