The aim of this paper is to analyze how “mini-bonds,” an innovative financial tool for Italian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), can contribute to the development and sustainability of the agri-food sector and its local products, such as Pecorino Cheese.
The study was conducted as a qualitative case study applying the CAOS (“characteristics, ambience, organization, start-up”) model. This model makes it possible to describe all variables that affect a company in a given economic context.
In Sardinia, a small island to the southwest of Italy, there are more than 60,000 agricultural enterprises, 60 percent of which are shepherding operations. Obtaining financial resources is a constant challenge, often related to the uncertainties inherent in seasonal activities. This paper explores how a mini-bond was implemented to promote the development and sustainability of Pecorino Cheese.
Limitations are chiefly related to the short observation period—the bond was first issued in 2018—and to the narrow geographical base of observation.
This research contributes to the expanding body of literature on innovative financial tools for the promotion and development of the local agri-food heritage. It may be useful to practitioners currently researching and developing growth strategies for companies. Existing barriers to credit access are among the most important causes of the lack of development of SMEs, especially in Italy where SMEs represent the principal type of new businesses in the agri-food sector, and their economic success is so dependent on seasonality. In February 2019, the Pecorino case played a role in the Italian government stepping in to avoid the collapse of the price of milk. Future research will focus on the analysis of specific economic results of the financial operations described herein, and will further focus on possibly similar cases of local products making use of innovative financial tools.
Emerald Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited