Business project office is the free service of the Metropolitan City of Bologna which supports the birth and development of new businesses.
The mission of Business Project office is to encourage and promote the creation and development of new business activities. It is aimed at all people who have a business idea to develop in the metropolitan area.
Business project office offers to aspiring entrepreneurs specific advice on everything one needs to know to start a business: from purely bureaucratic aspects to organizational, managerial and practical feasibility indications, up to the possibility of drafting a business plan.
A particular focus is aimed at the possibility of intercepting economic aid in the form of contributions, incentives in the panorama of business facilities.
The service is based in Bologna and is supported by a network of 7 territorial local desks located throughout the metropolitan area.
Business Project office offers:
• accompanying the development of the business idea and the feasibility check, through personalized consultancy for the development of the idea and the drafting of the business plan;
• information on data, bureaucratic, administrative and legal obligations;
• assistance in identifying competent bodies and services in startups and businesses;
• insights into economic and legal issues related to the various business sectors;
• information on opportunities, loans and grants issued in favor of new businesses and support in research and identification of the type of aid consistent with the business project;
• information on existing business culture training activities.

Resources needed

The estimated structural costs are approximately 400,000 euros for the period 2015-19 considering the cost of internal and external personnel, contracts, and others (organization of events, Barresi Prize, etc.). The estimated budget invested since the start of the activities (1989) stands at 2.5 mil

Evidence of success

This practice is considered great because a public body such as the Metropolitan City of Bologna offers a free advisory desk to all entrepreneurs who want to get off to a good business start with their ideas. The results of the office are:
• over 10,000 business ideas advised, 350 business ideas on average every year
• over 1.000 companies started thanks to the support of the service
• establishment of an annual award (Barresi Award) for business ideas (from 6.000 to 10.000 euro for prize).

Difficulties encountered

A public body can give concrete support to companies leaving free of charge to try to avoid many projects that spend many resources and then fail.

Potential for learning or transfer

The “Business project” office it is easily transferable with human resources, consultancy skills and economic resources. The service can be provided through physical and online offices. It is useful to choose staff with experience in business management. It is useful to choose staff with experience in business management and ability to network between the various realities of the area for business facilitation.

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Main institution
Metropolitan City of Bologna
Start Date
January 1989
End Date


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