Nowadays, there are many opportunities for young people who want to start or run a company: we are talking about the various funds specifically designed to encourage new businesses. How do they work? From whom are they provided and how is it possible to access the calls made available? Here is a brief guide to non-repayable loans, dedicated to all those who need help to enter the world of work or to start their own business project, but who do not have enough money to cover their initial investments.
Non- repayable loans are a very useful tool for young entrepreneurs, as they involve numerous benefits: first of all, since a certain percentage of the amount should not be fully repaid; secondly, because the sum that must be repaid can be repaid through a particularly advantageous and flexible installment plan, with a very long duration and a much lower interest rate compared to common bank loans.
In the next paragraphs we will explain in detail the characteristics of the main non -repayable loans, and we will explain who can get them and who to contact to make the request.
What are non-repayable loans?
As we said, we are dealing with capital provided mostly by public bodies – such as the European Union, the Italian State, the Regional and Local Administrations, aimed at financing those activities considered socially useful or ‘strategic’ or those sectors that of difficulty and abandonment. Some examples?
- agriculture, especially if biological or biodynamic: a field often ignored by young people, causing the depopulation of provinces and peripheral areas;
- female entrepreneurship;
- non-profit organizations operating in the social sector ( Onlus );
- companies operating in the recycling of materials, alternative energy and environmental protection sectors;
- research and innovation;
- tourism, useful for raising the economic conditions of small towns
- start-ups initiated by young people, to encourage the entry of new graduates and under 35 into the world of work.
Loans: Who are they paid?
As we said, non -repayable loans are a sort of ‘economic aid’ for nascent companies or for those companies considered worthy, by virtue of their social utility. These capitals are offered, for the most part, by public bodies that belong to the following categories:
- European Community or European Institutions → this is the most substantial part of the funding available, even if many of them are not properly exploited, due to the lack of visibility they receive within the local administrations and the complicated bureaucratic process necessary to request them. They are mainly intended for the agricultural, education, research and new technologies sector.
- State Bodies → for the most part, these are preferential loans for young entrepreneurs, the unemployed and housewives; they are not paid out continuously, so you need to keep constantly updated on the new calls in circulation.
- Local Regions and Administrations → in addition to managing a large number of European Funds, the Regions also offer subsidized loans: to access them, one must take part in one of the calls made available; the amount will ultimately be paid following a ‘tender’, after which the name of the winning company will be published, by virtue of the greater adherence to the established requirements.
How to apply for non-repayable loans?
Let’s start immediately to answer this important question, underlining that each loan has its own requirements and procedures for carrying out the application, and that these depend largely on the organization responsible for supply: it is therefore necessary to have a clear understanding of the type of the Fund to which you wish to access, after which you can inform yourself on how to apply.
- for European funding, the council is to keep an eye on the European Union website, and especially the section dedicated to calls for tenders;
- for finance and government loans, however, we suggest that you regularly check this website or the portal Invitalia, another institution specializing in the provision of funds for new businesses;
- for regional funding, finally, you should consult the website of your region.
We suggest, however, to contact you – at least every three or four months – at the office of the Regional Offices, as, as we said, it is up to the Regions to manage and channel the flow of funding from the European Community.
What requirements are required?
As we said, the ways to make the request change according to the project you are interested in, and the same applies to the access requirements. In general, however, non-repayable loans are aimed at young adults who have not turned 35 or 40, the unemployed, those who have been living in Italy for at least six months, housewives and new graduates looking for a job.
A fundamental requirement, moreover, concerns the desire to remain at the head of the company that receives the loan, for a minimum period of five years, and to keep intact the internal structure (board of directors, number of employees), if there are specific parameters in this regard (for example, for funds for female companies).
How much can be achieved with non-repayable loans?
Even in this case, the answer depends on the type of Fund you want or can access: some loans are almost totally non-repayable, and allow you to cover up almost all the expenses without repaying practically nothing; others, on the other hand, consist of a non-repayable portion and another that is a personal loan, to be repaid in a very dilated period (up to ten years), with a flexible installment plan and a very advantageous fixed interest rate., which is around 0.5%.
In some cases, moreover, it is possible to “freeze” the personal loan for a period ranging from 12 months to 3 years, in order to start its own start-up in a more calm manner, before having to repay the debt.
The sums payable through the Funds are variable: from a few thousand euros to very large amounts, which exceed 200,000 euros; for loans dedicated to franchising activities, of which we have spoken here, instead, the figure depends on the onerousness of the initial investment, and is therefore established by the agreements with Invitalia.
Furthermore, some loans are not paid in one single payment, but in two or three tranches : the subsequent payments will therefore be paid only if the objectives have been achieved, or after a careful assessment of the economic performance of the company. company.
How to obtain non-repayable loans?
Finally, the question that many of you are asking is: how to get the desired funding? In fact, although there is a wide range of loans and benefits for young people and start-ups, access is more complicated than expected, especially in those areas where there is some competition or for the most advantageous solutions.
Here, then, three suggestions to increase the chances of being among the winners of the announcement, and get the amount necessary to start their own business:
- Keep up to date on the latest news, checking regularly the websites of the agencies that provide funding and, above all, keeping an eye on the requirements and deadlines.
- Fill in the question accurately, rechecking any mistakes or omissions: the bureaucracy does not forgive, and a small oversight could cost you the loss of funding!
- Establish a business plan, that is a business plan, effective and detailed, specifying the amount of the initial investment, the sector in which you will operate, a valid analysis of the market and of the competition and, above all, a precise calculation of the real earning prospects.
In conclusion: in order to obtain a non-repayable loan it is necessary to be very fast and, above all, scrupulous, paying great attention to news and all the bureaucratic aspects. If, however, you fail to access this type of facilities, perhaps because of the more advanced age or the absence of some requirements, consider the possibility of contacting a bank (there are subsidized loans, designed for businesses) or use other methods to collect the amount you need, such as venture capital or crowd funding.