In-order to promote innovation and entrepreneurship the Italian government has taken initiatives and policy implementation for Startups. According to Flanders Investment & Trade Market survey “The Italian Startup Act rewards equity investments in innovative startups, made by natural and legal persons, with a robust tax incentive. Its current configuration, applicable to equity investments made from 1 January 2017 (Budget Law 201711), foresees the following12:-for individuals, a deduction from gross income tax (IRPEF) equal to 30% of the amount invested, up to a €1 million ceiling.-for limited companies, deduction from taxable corporate income (IRES) equal to 30% of the amount invested, up to a €1.8 million ceiling”.
According to Startup Blinks – Italy ranks 25 globally among 202 countries, based on the strength of its startup ecosystem. The cities with the most vibrant startup ecosystems in Italy are Milan, Rome and Turin. The most popular industries in Italy are Software and Data, Social & Leisure and Ecommerce & Retail.
“The key focus areas – Fashion, Dairy & Agriculture, Tourism, Ethical Finance and Future Technologies. Italy can be gateway to European, and Mediterranean markets for Halal Startups.”
Halal Angels Network was launched to promote innovation, entrepreneurship and start-ups, and inspire investors across the world to tap into a sector that will be worth $9.71 trillion by 2025 (Reuters, 2019).
Dr. Karim C. Benvenuto, Ceo of Omar Business Development (www.omarbusinessdevelopment.com), one of the leading companies in Italy, specialized in the sector of certifications, marketing campaigns and consulting for the Islamic markets, stated that “the partnership with Halal Angels Network is an important milestone for Omar Business Development, considering that, in Italy, the halal business is worth 5 billion dollars. This agreement aims to strengthen and implement foreign investments in Italy, with particular reference to sectors such as “Halal” agri-food, “Muslim Friendly” tourism, Modest Fashion and Ethical Finance ”.
The relevance of Halal Consumer Market
It should be calculated that the population of Muslims in Italy, constantly growing, is close to 3 million people, but the products for Muslims are very scarce, arousing considerable interest from foreign companies ready to enter the Italian market, which is taken into high consideration for its strategic position, as the gateway to Europe and crossroads of the Mediterranean countries. In Europe, but especially in Italy, the number of Muslims is experiencing exponential growth, placing Islam as the second most widespread religion after Catholicism.
Important numbers that have and will probably have a significant impact on the Italian economy, making the Halal market an “inevitable” market for Italian companies. The term ‘Halal’, which translated means ‘Lawful’, for the Muslim client includes a series of concepts ranging from moral conduct to food matters. It has now become a real trend; in Italy, there are many Halal certified agri-food companies, including famous brands and, in order not to be cut off from the market, many other companies are gearing up. Therefore, the agri-food sector is just one of the many sectors of the Halal market, which also includes insurance, cosmetics, design, finance, marketing, fashion, healthcare, pharmaceuticals and tourism.
Stefano Valente, co-founder of Omar Business Development and chartered accountant and auditor in Italy (www.apuliaforbusiness.com), who focuses on the concept and importance of ethical finance said that “Normally, when talking about finance and investments, we refer exclusively to concepts such as yield, profit, return on investment. However, to believe that this is the only possible prospect is somewhat simplistic: in recent years a new movement has been gaining strength, made up of investors who are not only concerned with seeing their money pay off, but want to be informed about how it is used to generate profitability. The objective pursued with the support to companies that pay attention to socio-environmental impacts is, ultimately, to improve the choices of individuals and businesses, placing the human being and his needs at the center of the project. Italy, for its geographical position, could become a hub for such typology of investment and could attract not only ethical finance investors, but also foreign companies, entrepreneurs willing to relocate their business in Europe and eager to launch new start-ups. We are ready to accept this challenge and to support such initiative”.
Italy & Halal Angels Network’s Relations
Dr. Benvenuto also dwells on this point , by emphasizing that the halal market and ethical finance will have an increasingly greater role, especially in exports to Western countries, since Muslim population, both immigrant and native, is fastly growing at higher percentages, therefore requiring ‘Halal-Muslim friendly’ products and services, that are easily available directly in the Western part of the world. However, the company requesting the ‘Halal certification” often does it with the goal to export the product to eastern countries, neglecting the conspicuous internal and European market.
Indian American Dr Tausif Malik, Founder of Halal Angels Network said, “With over 1.5 billion Muslims in the world, the Halal industry offers tremendous opportunities across the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia. Based on the vision, experience and expertise, we felt that Omar Business development is the right partner for the Italian market. Our partnership is to support the Italian government’s Startup initiative and market opportunities to venture and tap the halal consumer market.
Dr. Malik also said that Italy is one of the most developed economy with excellence in Fashion, Automotive Dairy, Agriculture and they would be open to working with government authorities, universities, businesses to promote Halal & Ethical startups in Italy and create awareness for exports.
Based on research Halal Angels proposed the idea that post Brexit UK can reposition as the global hub & gateway to Ethical & Shariah Finance to the world. Halal Angels is moving its headquarters to UK and this would help connect with Global investors to startups across the globe and Italy can also benefit from this.
Europe’s Startups in Post Brexit Scenrio
Post-Brexit financial institutions are relocating to various cities across Europe such as Frankfurt, Dublin & Paris, according to Northwestern University Medill Report “London’s emergence as an economic powerhouse has profound implications for the country’s economy post-Brexit. Financial services accounted for 15% of London’s economic output in 2017 and 6.9% of the United Kingdom’s economic output in 2018, according to a 2019 report by the House of Commons Library”.
Both Halal Angels Network & Omar Business Development will work together to support the Italian government’s Startup initiative and market opportunities to venture and tap the halal consumer market.
Recently Halal Angels Network has tied up with the following organisations.
- Fintech major Delio to use their digital platform showcase Halal-based deals to a much more international audience, connecting angel investors across the world not just with deals, but also with each other.
- Halal Board India for Halal compliance & certification.
- SSC Capital of Tanzania to tap the African investment market.
- Education Partnerships UK to offer British certification to aspiring entrepreneurship in Islamic finance, entrepreneurship, Business management etc
- UAE based FasterCapital which is an incubator that will become your technical cofounder or technical partner and develops the whole startup from A to Z through its internal team.
- Vietnam Halal Centre for the Vietnamese Market (Halal consumer & Startups)