Italian region will pay €24,000 to anyone who sets up a business there

Italian region will pay €24,000 to anyone who sets up a business there

The only condition is to run any kind of business for at least five years in an area with less than 2,000 inhabitants 

Have you ever thought of leaving your life behind and launching a business in a different country? Now is a great opportunity to finally do so. 

Italy’s second smallest region — Molise — has kicked off an initiative to fill its underpopulated towns and villages with a grant programme for new inhabitants.

Around 100 areas in the Molise region have less than 2,000 inhabitants — Shutterstock

The region will pay anyone willing to set up a new business in any area with less than 2,000 inhabitants. The grant could be around €700 a month for up to three years. This means the new business owners could gain €24,000 in total. 

Applicants interested in the programme have plenty of settlement options to choose from. Out of 136 areas in Molise, more than 100 are suitable for the programme. The new businesses have to last for at least five years. 

“We’re targeting the many people from Molise who live elsewhere and plan to come back home, but also non-Molisans who’d like a change of lifestyle and to enjoy the tranquillity and healthiness of our wonderful region,” said Antonio Tedeschi, the regional councillor responsible for the idea.

Molise joins other places in Italy in a fight with depopulation

As the whole country is facing an issue of decreasing population in rural areas, Molise is not the only region that has come up with a scheme including financial incentives.  

In January, Locana, a little town in the Piedmont region, offered €9,000 to almost anyone willing to become a new permanent resident. Their conditions for the applicants were having at least one child and an annual salary of over €6,000. 

Getting people back to villages is a challenge  in the whole country — Shutterstock Italian region will pay €24,000 to anyone who sets up a business there
Getting people back to villages is a challenge in the whole country — Shutterstock

“Our population has shrunk from 7,000 residents in the early 1900s to barely 1,500 as people left looking for a job at Turin’s big factories,” said the town’s mayor Giovanni Bruno Mattiet who proposed the incentive himself.

“Our school each year faces the risk of shutting down due to few pupils. I can’t allow this to happen.”

Similarly, in 2017, the mayor of Candela in the region of Puglia offered anyone €2,000 to move in. 

Eventually, the idea didn’t stay only in Italy. A Swiss village of Albinen suggested it would pay new residents $25,000 (close to €23,000) per adult and $10,000 (a little over €9,000) per child, and the US state of Vermont offered $10,000 to all Americans willing to relocate there. 

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