their employment prospects in these difficult economic times, young Florentines
are using their imaginations to invent new professions and re-invent
centuries-old artisan trades.
to a recent study conducted by Florence’s Confcommercio on the new businesses
that have opened in the city in the last 12 months, up 10 percent compared to
previous years, the majority of those in these ‘new professions’ are young
of Florence professor Margherita Azzari, who worked on the study, explained
that possessing a university degree is not a prerequisite for entrepreneurship
as the majority of these innovative thinkers are fresh out of high school.
While 16.4 percent of young adults with a degree are unemployed, the
unemployment rate for those with a high school diploma is 6 percent. The youth
unemployment rate in Florence is 16.7 percent, compared to the national rate,
which is recorded at 24 percent.
Florence’s new young entrepreneurs are turning to the Web, sustainable
agriculture and construction. Some are artisan shoemakers who use
three-dimensional computer graphics to design their footwear, while others are
‘trashware specialists’ who refurbish old computer hardware. Web-based jobs are
communication specialists, ‘Web community’ managers, and Web surfers. Young
adults are also involved in sustainable and OGM-free agriculture.
is construction, however: 80 percent of all new businesses involve bricklayers
who have set up their own businesses.