In Italy, there are about 713 companies (from 145,000 SMEs) that have obtained the status of “Innovative SME”: a category introduced by the “Investment compact” Law Decree (D.L. 3/2015) to reward small and medium-sized enterprises able to adapt to a global market in continuous evolution.
And today we are happy to say that Etifor is officially one of the 52 “Innovative SMEs” present in the Veneto region!
But what does it really mean to be an “Innovative SME”?
Innovative SMEs: much more than just a category
According to the definition, Innovative SMEs can be considered “small and medium enterprises, constituted as capital companies not listed on the market, based in Italy or in other EU Member states operating in the field of technological innovation”.
Another essential condition is the certification of the financial statements prepared by an accredited accounting auditor. A condition that guarantees transparency in economic and financial management and that Etifor was more than ready to prepare because transparency is one of our fundamental principles (present in our Ethical Management System).
But how can we measure the degree of corporate innovation?
It is measured by incorporating the following criteria:
1) Demonstration of having incurred expenses in R&D and innovation at least equal to 3% of the greater amount between cost and total value of production, on an annual basis.
In Etifor, we fund PhD scholarships together with the University of Padua and we partner with European and National innovative R&D projects. For these reasons, we are proud to say that we invest 20% of the cost of production in these activities, about seven times the minimum value required by the regulation.
2) At least 1/5 of the total workforce have to be highly qualified.
In Etifor, about 70% of the associates, employees and collaborators have a PhD and 95% have a master’s degree. The theoretical and practical preparation of our team is reflected in the high quality of our services and our natural propensity for social and technological innovation.
Why did we choose to become an “Innovative SME”?
The qualification of “Innovative SME” offers various opportunities and incentives in Italy such as, for example, the possibility of raising capital through equity crowdfunding campaigns on authorized online portals and the possibility of issuing participatory financial instruments towards employees or the general public.
Being included in the category therefore represents a further step to demonstrating to our stakeholders, customers and partners our commitment to transparency, innovation and ethical management.