The region of Molise, one of Italy’s smallest, plans to introduce a grant for people who open businesses in its least populated towns and villages.
There are just two conditions: applicants must agree to run a business for at least five years, and they have to do it somewhere with under 2,000 inhabitants.
The scheme, to be launched this month, is designed to combat depopulation, a chronic problem throughout rural Italy and especially in southern regions.
Applications will open via the region’s website on September 16th and remain open for 60 days. Candidates must commit to transferring their residence to Molise, getting a VAT number and running their business for at least five years – that’s two years after they stop receiving the stipend – or face paying back the grant.