Courage, innovation and transformation are the keywords that have characterized Italian entrepreneurship in the difficult years characterized by market uncertainty following the Covid-19 pandemic. Despite the difficulties, some Italian SMEs have in fact distinguished themselves for their ability to adapt to change and for being able to maintain constant growth over time The jury of EY (Ernest & Young global Ltd) thus awarded in Milan at palazzo Mezzanotte (Milan Stock Exchange), 11 Italian entrepreneurs at the helm of companies that have been able to distinguish themselves for an innovative spirit and strategic vision, demonstrating courage, innovation and transformation at an unprecedented time. The sector of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises in fact contributes to 76% of employment and 64% of the country’s added value. The impact of Covid-19 was partly mitigated by the support of the policy measures adopted, but SMEs have also shown that they are ready to face the challenges of the future by seizing the growth opportunities of the new scenario.
Lorenzo Delladio, CEO and President of La Sportiva, market leader in the production of footwear and technical clothing for mountain enthusiasts, received the Entrepreneur of the Year award in the Consumer & Retail category “for the foresight that led him to transform a small artisan workshop into a global brand that combines exceptionally high performance with Italian design and style “. From its origins in a small town at the foot of the Dolomites in Valle di Fiemme, La Sportiva is in fact today a global player in the outdoor sector, operating in over 75 markets worldwide and with an export share that exceeds 82%, while maintaining its roots in the mountains of Trentino, far from the Italian industrial districts, with a strong attachment to its territory, to the people who are part of it and with great social and environmental responsibility.
The years of the pandemic have seen the company grow in double figures despite the uncertainties due to global contingencies, making responsible choices at a time of maximum emergency. After anticipating the closure of the company during the total lockdown period in March 2020, Delladio immediately set up a production line dedicated to health masks for civil protection and for hospitals in Trentino, operating in maximum safety for its employees. Furthermore, the choice to produce an exclusive mask for the practice of outdoor sports, has made it possible to keep the production lines active, preserving over 400 jobs in the main headquarters in Ziano di Fiemme.
“These are years of uncertainty for everyone, and some choices require courage and determination, and La Sportiva is a courageous company. – says Lorenzo Delladio – We have been producing and distributing mountaineering footwear and clothing from our offices at 1000 meters above sea level since 1928, not only with the logistical difficulties that this entails, but constantly searching for new solutions and ideas to keep up with the market and in many cases anticipating it with cutting-edge, innovative solutions. We have a vision that moves not only forward, but thanks to the mountains it also looks upwards, to the vertical dimension, to what inspires us and motivates us every day to do well. This Entrepreneur of the Year award in the Consumer & Retail category is particularly welcome after two years like the ones we have faced, during which we have managed to grow while keeping all the jobs intact, the most important result that, as an entrepreneur, I could hope to obtain. ”
In addition to Delladio, 10 other Italian entrepreneurs were awarded in various categories.
The jury, chaired by Guido Corbetta, Professor at Bocconi University in Milan, included Alberto Baban, Entrepreneur, who awarded the prizes; Paolo Boccardelli, Director of LUISS Business School; Laura Colnaghi Calissoni, President and CEO of the Carvico Group, Monica Mandelli, Managing Director in KKR & Co., New York; Marco Nocivelli, President and CEO of the Epta Group; Cristina Scocchia, Illycaffè CEO; Paolo Scudieri, Chief Executive Officer of Adler Plastic S.p.A. and Nunzio Tartaglia, Head of CDP Imprese.
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