This post is also available in: Italian

Interesting socio-economic changes are taking place following the decline of the middle-class and the associated industries. New entrepreneurs are entering the market. They are each a micro and small business, people with a good education and cultural level who initiate new activities supported by the web and social networks, who are leading the way to being small.

A few days ago we were in Santa Giustina, a small town on the edge of the Dolomites near Cortina, for a conference on silkworm culture and we had a further proof of the ‘bubbling up’ of small entrepreneurs in sectors very different from each other: from hospitality to agriculture and manufacturing.

Some time ago Energitismo started to be interested in discovering and supporting the revival of some production activities fallen into oblivion during the ‘intoxication’ of mass production, and we were asked to tell what we do in a conference on silkworm culture.

Since we are based in Veneto, obviously we found the “Silk Road”, that for centuries represented the fortune of Venice and was the main occupation in a wide area that reaches as far as lake Como. The combined action of a pesticide used in agriculture, which had decimated the population of silkworms, and the decline of the mills in Europe resulted in young people losing memory of this activity.

At Santa Giustina we found highly motivated young people supported by the memories of their grandparents and by the knowledge of the CRA of Padua that had started to rear silkworms and research the culture. In parallel at Energitismo, we are supporting people like Ilario Tartaglia who realize looms for hand weaving and who has opened a school to teach this traditional craft. All are people working to become a small business.

People from distant places and different ages have now met each other thanks to the web. In a very short time, looking for the experts and people with experience, we have been able to reconstruct all the supply chain and very soon we will bear witness to what is emerging from these meetings.

In the evening we had further confirmation of the power of being a small business when supported by a web network. Through we found a B & B in a village in the Pre-Alps, Cesiomaggiore, so small that we could not imagine how it could not be Cesiominore (if one existed). We arrived there using our navigator and knocked at a door of an old stone house with a simple and elegant sign ’La Maison Lion’.

We were welcomed by a couple and, after showing us a warm country style room, we moved into their office to do check-in registration. There, as we found out later, the lady was on the internet with her editorial staff. On the table I saw many art books and one dedicated to the poet D’Annunzio and I was reminded of when we visited Vittoriale (the home of the poet) last summer.

A very interesting conversation followed about D’Annunzio and the way he ruled Fiume City and about the role of philosophers and poets in building a better society. So pleasant a conversation that we sought more information about the couple who were hosting us.

Marika Lion is a journalist working for an on-line magazine (firstonline) that focuses on art and finance. Her husband had been an antique dealer in Asolo who had ‘rolled up his carpets’, and together they opened this B&B with restaurant.

The power of being a small business? To offer virtually 5 stars treatment in a B&B, with warm human relations and personal enrichment, that occurs whenever you share emotional experiences, and a new friend on Facebook, all for the price of a B&B accommodation.

Lead the way for small business, be an elegant enterprise! This is our challenge, that of Energitismo portal!

Claudia Bettiol

IT Ingegnere, futurista e fondatrice di Discoverplaces. Consulente per lo Sviluppo Turistico dei Territori, specializzato nella sostenibilità e nella promozione culturale dei piccoli territori e delle piccole imprese. Ama i cavalli ENG Engineeer, futurist, joint founder of Energitismo and founder of Discoverplaces. Consultant for the development and promotion of the Touristic Development of Territories specialising in sustainability and in cultural promotion of small places and small enterprises. She loves horses


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