Vouchers and loans, three supports for people under 35 years old who want to pursue their own professional activity

Vouchers and loans, three supports for people under 35 years old who want to pursue their own professional activity

Three new incentives have been introduced for young people under 35 who want to start their own business.

In addition to the tax relief revival for employers who hire employees (young people, disadvantaged women and workers in the South), the Cohesion Decree-Law approved on April 30th by the Government contains three aids to start a new self-employed, entrepreneurial or professional activity.

These measures are financed with €940.2 million, of which €840.2 million come from the National Youth Women and Work Program 2021-2027 (with national and European funds, from the European Social Fund) and €100 million from the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NRRP) (Mission 5, Inclusion and Cohesion, Gol program, Guarantee of employability of workers).

Aid for the Centre-North and South

The first two aids are articulated on a territorial basis: “Self-employment in Center-North Italy” and “Resto al Sud 2.0”, the latter aimed at promoting the opening of new businesses in Abruzzo, Basilicata, Calabria, Campania, Molise, Puglia, Sardinia and Sicily.

In both cases, the beneficiaries must meet specific requirements: be under 35 years of age and, alternatively, be in situations of social disadvantage, unemployed or beneficiaries of social safety nets included in the Gol program.

The distinction between the “jobless” and the “unemployed” lies in the fact that the former have never had a job, while the unemployed have had a job that has since ended.

To obtain certification of the status of both, it is necessary to register with an Employment Agency. In regards to the people in conditions of marginalization, social vulnerability and discrimination, the National Plan for Youth, Women and Work identifies them as:

 Inactive, unemployed and jobless women in fragile conditions (victims of violence, with disabilities and immigrants);

 Long-term unemployed;

 People with disabilities;
 Prisoners or former prisoners;

 People from third countries, immigrants and beneficiaries of international protection;

 People assisted by social and health services;

 LGBTQIA+ people;

 People from the Rom, Sinti and Caminanti communities.

Are considered inactive young people who are neither employed, nor pursuing their education and/or part of formation programs.

Young people can apply for a non-refundable voucher to start their business, or non-repayable grants.

The voucher to purchase goods, tools and services for the start-up of the business varies according to the geographical area: 30 thousand euros for the Centre-North and 40 thousand euros for new businesses with registered offices in the South and in the areas affected by the earthquakes of 2009 and 2016 in Central Italy (with an increase of 10 thousand euros for the purchase of technological and digital goods).

The non-repayable grant also varies depending on the geographical area: for self-employment in Central-Northern Italy, it covers 65% of the investment up to 120 thousand euros and 60% of the investment between 120 thousand and 200 thousand euros.

These percentages rise up to 75% and 70% of the investment for those who benefit from the “Resto al Sud 2.0” bonus. A total expenditure of €800 million is planned for both aids.

Innovation: help for all

The third incentive, valid throughout the country, aims to promote youth employment in sectors considered “strategic” for the development of new technologies and for digital and ecological transitions.

Unemployed people under the age of 35 who will start a new business in these sectors and hire permanent employees (always under 35) between July 1st 2024 and December 31st 2025, will benefit from a total exemption from employee contributions, with the exception of Inail premiums, up to a maximum of 800 euros per month per employee and for a maximum of three years.

The funds available for this incentive amount to €140.2 million, as part of the National Youth, Women and Work Program 2021-2027.

However, the use of the latter incentive is subject to the approval of the European Commission.

Implementing decrees are provided for all aid intended for the start-up of new activities, so these are not immediately operational measures.


The reaction of Confprofessioni (organization of liberal professions) was positive: the president Gaetano Stella explains that the incentives that encourage the start of a business are to be welcomed.

The new measures aim to support young professionals, who have suffered in recent years due to a lack of protections and the effects of the pandemic.

The provisions of the Cohesion Decree respond to past requests and equate the professions sector with that of small businesses, as is already the case in European legislation.

In addition, Stella points out that the investments required are increasingly relevant, especially in the digital field.

Palermo, Rome, 10 May 2024

Dr. Angelo Pisciotta