“Go and come back” (Vado e Torno) is a Case Study identified in the course of SIE-SME Internationalisation Exchange project as part of the learning process.
Molise has relatively low levels of internationalisation among its SMEs community as well as depopulation processes due to young people leaving the region to find employment. In order to address these issues and encourage the development of new companies, the Molise region developed the innovative “Go & Come Back” project which aims to boost SMEs internationalisation in the region.
The project offers international internships to 40 young graduates from Molise region so they can gain valuable work experience abroad in order to bring back international skills, connections and experience which can be used in the region to create a range of new international start up companies.
Young people from the region were invited to apply to a public selection in order to participate in the programme.
Opportunities and placements outside the EU were identified through a network of individuals or organisations from Molise who are living and working in companies all over the world. These networks include associations of Italian people abroad and international Chambers of Commerce.
The internships costs are funded by the project and at the end of the period, when young people return back, they are offered a financial incentive of up to €20,000 to establish a new international business in the Molise region. They also have the option to partner with up to 4 other young people involved in the scheme to pool resources in order to have a bigger investment of up to €100,000.

Resources needed

The programme’s budget of €1.1m is funded by the regional ESF & ERDF programme. Costs covered include the international work placements travel and daily allowance costs and as well as grants of up to €100,000 to establish new international companies in the Molise region.

Evidence of success

The results achieved are the following:
• Promoted entrepreneurship & business development in Molise and created new international companies;
• Established international partnerships and business relations to help Molise SMEs internationalisation;
• Promoted Molise Region identity across the world and of the "Made in Italy" brand;
• Boosted high quality employment opportunities for young people through training opportunities in international markets.

Difficulties encountered

• High demand to participate in the programme – over 200 applications for just 40 places;
• Monitoring overseas placements across the world;
• Motivating participants to use the international experience to start up a company.

Potential for learning or transfer

The project is divided into 4 phases:
1. Preparation and orientation
2. Foreign training placements (6 months duration)
3. Return & create a new company
4. Financial incentives (tax credits) for companies in Molise or abroad recruiting young people having completed the programme.
The scheme could operate successfully in other European regions with good international connections and access to funding resources to deliver a similar programme. The long term impacts of the project should be the creation of new companies in the Molise region. If these are successful, the companies could grow and create high value employment opportunities for the local population as well as boosting international trade activities in the region. The “Go & Come Back” project was part-financed by the regional Operational Programme in Molise through the European Social Fund and European Regional Development Fund so it can be replicated in other EU countries funded by structural funds.

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Main institution
Molise region
Molise, Italy (Italia)
Start Date
January 2015
End Date
December 2017


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