The prime minister opened the Milan’s Stock Exchange this morning, sending an important message to the real economy.

In a time when accessing debt finance through the banking system is proving more and more difficult, the development of a stock exchange focused on the real economy is of utmost importance. The ability to access affordable capital is fundamental for the growth of SMEs.

At Piazza Affari, 357 companies, of which 259 are SMEs, are listed at a total market capital of 542 bn Euros. Since the listed companies maximize value for shareholders and guarantee transparency, they represent a platform able to attract foreign direct investment and thus create positive effects on jobs and tax flow.

In 2013 E&M, a magazine by SDA Bocconi School of Management, published the eloquently titled article, What would Italy look like with 1,000 listed companies?, describing how listed companies can lead to real growth by increasing employment, investing in R&D and developing more balanced financial structures.

The path is still long but we need to persist.. The last budget law introduced progressive steps forwards. The challenge for Italy, a country that has always relied on debt more than equity, is now a cultural one.

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