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How EFSI benefits SMEs in Europe - Banca del Mezzogiorno case study: Il Mondo di Bua (Italy), food & beverage

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Il Mondo di Bua is a family business founded and run by Michele Bua and his wife Lucia, with the help of their three sons near Alessandria in the Piemonte region of Italy. Il Mondo di Bua was established in a former industrial warehouse where it produces, as Michele says, “fuel for humanity!”

Michele started the business as a bakery, but wanted to expand to offer his ‘fuel’ throughout the whole day. Today, the business runs from 6am to midnight, offering, beyond the bakery, the services of a restaurant, pizzeria, ice-cream parlour, patisserie and bar. In addition, they perform catering services and host events like weddings or baptisms.

With this expansion however, came escalating operating costs. “It was getting really difficult,” explains Michele, “we were close to breaking point and for 3 years I went to different banks but couldn’t get the credit-line I needed. We could only see the money with binoculars!”

In 2016, Michele undertook an extensive evaluation of operating costs, and concluded that energy consumption was one of the largest. So he decided to invest in restructuring the electrical, hydraulic and heating infrastructure. In order to finance this investment, Il Mondo di Bua received an EU-guaranteed loan through Banca del Mezzogiorno MedioCredito Centrale, backed by EIF under the Investment Plan for Europe.

With this financing, Il Mondo di Bua was able to replace traditional lamps with LED lighting, install a photovoltaic system for electricity production, and introduce a more energy-efficient oven as well as a multi-fuel boiler, with higher energy and environmental efficiency.

As a result of these changes, the company is now saving an estimated €60,000 in energy costs and 34,000kg in CO² emissions per year. This freed up resources that can be put to better use supporting the core activities of the company, like sourcing the best raw materials and staffing. “This was a godsend, no doubt about it,” adds Michele. “Thanks to the financing, we managed to really establish our day-long business plan and keep the company alive.”

Looking ahead, Michele is already exploring new ways to use the space. One of the projects is to set up a recreational area more suitable for an evening audience, such as a lounge bar or dancing floor.

Company: Il Mondo di Bua (Italy)

Type of business: food & beverage

EIF financing: COSME LGF, EFSI

Financial intermediary: Banca del Mezzogiorno MedioCredito Centrale

For further information about EIF intermediaries in Italy, please refer to: http://www.eif.org/what_we_do/where/it

 

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