The National Confederation for the Craft Sector and Small and Medium Enterprise, represents Craft Businesses and small and medium enterprises
CNA was founded in 1945 in Bologna and has developed at local, national, European and international level.
CNA Bologna associates 16,000 companies (Craft Businesses, SME, Workers on Contract, Self-employed Professionals, Trades) which produce over 3-billion-euro turnover and employ 47,000 people.
CNA Bologna has 1 provincial Head Office, 40 branches located on the local territory, 10 affiliated companies, 10 Business Associations, 22 Consortia. 400 Member Entrepreneurs are engaged in the Board of Directors and the employees are over 700.
CNA represents the interests of Craft Businesses, SMEs and experts in public and private institutions, in the Public Administration, and in political, social and economic organizations.
CNA offers a wide range of services, ranging from financial and fiscal assistance to strategic consultancy; it also promotes the economic development and invests together with its member enterprises in high added value projects for their economic development.
CNA Bologna participates in the Chamber of Commerce and has its own representatives in the local and regional Craft Commissions (C.P.A. and C.R.A.) and in the most important Economic Bodies of the territory.
In Italy CNA associates more than 350,00 enterprises and has 20 Regional Federations, 106 Provincial Associations, 10 Business Associations, over 1.300 offices and more than 10,000 employees.
CNA also has offices in Brussels, El Cairo and is a member of the Chambers of Commerce of Nice and New York. CNA also is a member of UEAPME and participates in NORMAPME (European Technical Office for Standardisation Process) , in the Avignon Academy (Scientific Body for the study of SMEs and the Craft/Trade System) and in the Jeune (Committee of Young Entrepreneurs of the European Union) . Besides, the CNA system belongs to the EURO INFO CENTRE which is the European Information and Cooperation Network.
The mission of CNA Bologna
Small enterprises work in a complex framework where several elements play a significant role, such as ever changing international context, more and more flexible territorial borders, increasing competition among the economic operators and changing role of Italian local and national institutions. CNA Bologna offers its associated craft enterprises and SMEs a wide range of expertises.
CNA works side by side with small enterprises and not only does it interpret the changing processes but it also takes an active part into them together with its enterprises.
CNA Bologna is the authoritative voice of craft sector, small and medium enterprises and the new self employment businesses; it means identity, value, dynamism, flexibility and quality; it represents a network of very professional and innovative services.
- Managerial Services: administration, labour legislation, credit, fiscal and legal matters;
- Representation Services: dialogue with the social parties, monitoring of public policies;
- Development Services: consultancy for new enterprises, training, management consultancy, environmental and security legislation, internet and e-commerce, information technology;
- Social Services: welfare and health assistance;
- Progress Services: consultancy for foreign entrepreneurs, enterprise property transfer, commercial promotion, internationalization consultancy.
The Role of the Association
The industrial development of the Emilia-Romagna region has taken place in an advantageous framework. Thanks to an intense dialogue and a synergic action between the Institutions and the Associations an excellent social and institutional integration has been achieved.
The Associations have indeed played a significant role in the creation of the above mentioned integration by representing the interests of the associated enterprises belonging to different sectors and categories towards the Institutions. In this way and by unifying the enterprises’ ideas into projects, Associations have made it possible for enterprises to take part into the decision process for the development of the local territory.
Innovation and Technology Capacity
Local small enterprises are resourcefulness, dynamic and flexible and are able to convert their production.
They can innovate their manufacturing processes and their products quite easily thanks to their entrepreneur’s sensitivity for the market requirements.
Entrepreneurs, indeed, have commonly a direct contact with their customers and suppliers.
Predisposition to Export
Emilia-Romagna Region ranks third among the Italian regions as to predisposition to export and Bologna is the most export-oriented province of the region.
The main destination areas of the exported goods from Bologna are the European Union and other European markets, North America, Asia and the Middle East. The most export-oriented sectors are, in order of importance, the mechanical, the textile and clothing, the wood and furniture and the chemical sectors.
District system / networks / consortia
Institutions and trade associations in Emilia-Romagna have been experimenting an efficient relationship model for some time, conceiving strategic plans and priorities for regional development, sharing objectives and collaborating on the implementation of policies. Autonomy of respective roles and harmonization aimed at producing agreement and participation, are the key elements of a model that often inspires national and European decision makers as well. Industrial poles with hundred of specialised and independent small and medium-sized business operating in the same sector, which collaborate, compete and are concentrated in separated areas. This is the characteristic physiognomy of the industrial fabric in Emilia-Romagna, where industrial production is organized in numerous highly-specialised productive districts.
The sub-supply sector is one of the most developed in the country and it is vertically integrated with the activities of large businesses. It is thanks to the quality of the subsupply network, especially in the mechanical field, that a lot of foreign multinational companies started transferring their business to the region’s districts.
The major sector in terms of highest percentage of member companies deals with businesses services.
The strong point of the industrial sector in Bologna has always been the engineering and automation sector, in particular machine tools and foodstuffs packaging, followed by the building and transportation sectors.
Structural characteristics of Emilia-Romagna enterprises
The production networks of Emilia-Romagna region and of the province of Bologna are mainly characterised by small and medium enterprises. The entrepreneur is the main actor and decision-maker, he decides the strategic policy of the enterprise and takes the operative decisions. SMEs are very flexible, they can in fact easily adapt themselves to the tastes and requests of the demand and can, therefore, manage the potential instability of the market quite well. Small dimension in terms of human resources also means that some of the people working in the enterprise belong to the entrepreneur’s family. This characteristic helps building informal relationships among the employees which favours the development of a common and strong culture also thanks to the responsibility-sharing spirit.
In addition, small enterprises are strongly rooted in the territory and are characterised by a wide variety ofspecialisations. There are over 400,000 enterprises in Emilia- Romagna Region – 1 out of 9 inhabitants – of which 100,000 in the industry sector, 100,000 in the trade sector, almost 200,000 in the service sector. More than 140,000 of them are craft enterprises.
In Bologna there are over 90,000 enterprises and 26,000 of them are craft enterprises. As to the legal form, 50% of the total are sole proprietorships. 90% of joint-stock companies’s turnover is inferior to 5 million euros, while 9% of them have a turnover ranging from 5 to 50 million euros.
Bologna’s food tradition
The agro-food and drink industry is one of Bologna’s most important and dynamic sectors. The longstanding Bologna’s enogastronomic tradition is universally known. There are about 14 agriculture products and foodstuffs recognized and protected nationally and throughout the European Union: Mortadella, Tortellini, Parmigiano Reggiano, Salamini alla Cacciatora (hunter-style sausage), vitellone bianco dell’Appennino bolognese (beef meal), Gran suino Padano (pork meat), l’Asparago Verde di Altedo (the green asparagus of Altedo), la Patata di Bologna (the Bologna potato), la Cipolla di Medicina (the Medicina onion), il Pane montanaro (mountain bread), l’albicocca di Imola (apricots from Val Santerno in Imola), la Pera dell’Emilia Romagna (the Emilia-Romagna pear), il Marrone di Castel del Rio (chestnuts from Castel del Rio), il miele di montagna e di pianura (mountain and plain honey).
Wine production includes Pignoletto, Albana, Barbera, Merlot and Bianco dei Colli Bolognesi.
CNA Bologna Food Union
With a number of about 1.500 associates members, CNA Bologna Food Union voices and supports the interests of every sector and every size of the agro-food industry, including: farmers; buyers and retailers of agricultural products; food producers; restaurants; bar; catering enterprises; florists; garden centers; activities related to local products and to typical agriculture-related life.
CNA Food Union aims to help food’s SMEs grow and prosper. In the city known as the “grassa” (the fat one), it promotes the quality and supports the Bologna’s culinary tradition represented by hand fresh pasta as tagliatelle, tortellini and lasagne and by some world wide famous typical products, such as mortadella, prosciutto and Parmigiano reggiano.
This includes identifying and developing certain concepts, for example concepts based on local traditions. This process involves identifying a number of special regional features such as typical foods, and natural and cultural assets. These become symbols of the area and contribute to developing a local "tourist brand".
Cioccoshow - Since 2005 the Cioccoshow, a Chocolate show organized by CNA Bologna every November, bring together the grandest names in chocolate, right in the heart of the city centre.
The participants and exhibitors are craftsmen, retailers, renowned confectionery chefs and master chocolate-makers. Visitors can sample some chocolate, savour recipes prepared "live" by famous chefs and confectioners, admire works of art made of chocolate, participate in interactive exhibits.
In the last edition, more than 280,000 people visited the Cioccoshow and over 80.000 lb of chocolate was sold out.
Regali a Palazzo – CNA Bologna organizes every year on Christmas time a fair called Regali a Palazzo (Christmas Gifts at Re Enzo Palace) aimed at promoting local production and strengthening measures to sustain economic, tourism-related and cultural activities for craft and small enterprises. The fair provides an opportunity for local craft businesses to gain access to long-lasting markets and the consumer’s desire for products that are not mass-produced or standardized.
On the 5th edition, Regali a palazzo reached the resulted of 35.0000 visitors.
Cna Bologna Manufacture Union
Engineering and Automation sector is one of the most consolidated and largest sectors in the Bologna’s industrial system thanks to the excellent and innovative products, know-how and skills and the ability to comply with customers' wishes. With over 2.2 million euro in exports and more than 6.300 employees, Bologna is world’s leader in Mechanical Automation.
As well as the automation sector, the wood product manufacturing industries or woodworking industries are competitive, boasting very good technical and commercial performance. The woodworking sector is world’s leader in many areas. For this sector, the SME dimension is highly relevant.
Finally, the chemicals, plastics and rubber industries generate jobs and investments ensuring that businesses and University collaborate to make the Province of Bologna Italy’s leading area for industrial research and technology transfer.
Over 2800 companies coming from these wide and dynamic sectors are represented and supported by CNA Bologna.
The main objectives of CNA Bologna, as the voice of crafts, trades
and SMEs include:
- Monitoring the national and international policy and legislative process and keeping its members informed on all matters of relevance to crafts, trades and SMEs;
- Representing and promoting the interests, needs and opinions of its associates member to the institutions;
- Supporting its members academically, technically and legally;
- Supporting the idea of networking and contributing to businesses co-operation.
INNOVANET is the name CNA of Bologna (Italy) has given to this innovative SMEs group.
Just few lines for introducing what CNA means and what CNA of Bologna represents.
CNA is the National Confederation of Artisans - Small/ Medium Enterprises and Bologna province head office represents on its territory, 16700 associated companies involved in various fields i.e. mechanic, electronic, biomedical, commerce, consultancy.
INNOVANET is a group of 40 SMEs : manufacturers of packaging machines, tool machines, certified testing and measurement laboratories, manufacturers/designers of complet electronic boards, mechanic and electronic designers, subcontractors of mechanic and micro mechanic parts, furniture and textile.
INNOVANET aim is to find new business fields using new and innovative technologies and/or partners in order to increase and diversify the today core business.
Fields of interest are as follows:
- recycling / recovering from waste
- energy save
- health care
- green economy
At present some companies of INNOVANET group are involved in UE projects.
Company profiles of INNOVANET companies group are available at the following link.
Please do not hesitate to contact us for any further info you may require.
In the heart of what is known as Motor Valley, small- to medium-sized businesses specializing in the production of spare parts and components for cars and motorcycles are the backbone of the motor industry. Air filters, designed and produced by a bolognese enterprise, have equipped some of the most important Teams in F1 and American Le Mans Series.
Bologna has the highest concentration in the world of packaging enterprises. Production of these packaging groups is exported all over the world and is targeted at the agri-food industry, the pharmaceutical-cosmetics, toiletries industry and the chemical.
The Bolognese companies design and produce an innovative range of equipment for modern fruit-growing, machines for the industrial laundry sector, highly specialized automated machines for paper and tissue products, etc., in compliance with international quality and safety standards.
In addition to companies producing components for motor industries and specialized automated machines, Bologna is home to leading companies in the production of optical reading instruments, tools for measuring and controlling productive processes in industry, and electro-medical instruments.
The strength of these small and medium enterprises is due to the flexible production system combined with a great capacity for technological innovation and, most important, a consumer-friendly orientation, able to offering an after-sale services.
CNA Bologna works side by side with these enterprises and not only does it interpret the changing processes but it also takes an active part into them together with its associates. It means identity, value, dynamism, flexibility and quality.
Cna Bologna Fashion Union
Textiles and clothing industry
The textile and clothing industry is an important part of the Bologna’s manufacturing industry. It covers a wide number of activities from the transformation of fibres to the production of a variety of products such as clothing, shoes, leather goods, bed-linen, accessories, sportswear and luxury products.
The CNA Bologna Fashion Union aims to help associate members strengthen and grow both in Italy and abroad, as well as to ask policymakers to take entrepreneurial interests into account. It represents over 1.000 companies covering all sub-sectors and sizes, from medium enterprises to micro-companies specialized in handmade work.
In accordance with the mission of the association, CNA Fashion Union is the point of reference for national and international initiatives aimed at valuing and promoting Italian style and Fashion. There are over 1.000 associates members: they produce high-quality apparel, knitwear, handbags and accessories, which are made according to the Italian craftsmanship tradition.
The shoemakers- Hand made shoes created with expertise and passion are the core values of some very exclusive bolognese shoemakers.
Right in the heart of Bologna, there is an enduring tradition of shoemakers, who love their work and look for quality and perfection of forms and shapes.
Shoes require a very special know-how and the bolognese master artisans create by hand shoes of exceptional quality and comfort. There is a minimum of hundred steps that each shoe undergoes before it becomes an extraordinary hand crafted creation, recognized and appreciated worldwide.
An enduring passion for elegance - Nelson Mandela and Clint Eastwood wear skirts made by hand by tailors based in Bologna. The traditional artisan methods honed by bolognese tailors make it possible to produce suits, shirts, ties carefully cut and meticulously sewn by hand, respecting the higher standards of quality and comfort.
They are able to give their clients a service “made to measure”, blending together craftsmanship and luxury. Creations signed by the bolognese artisans are carefully measured to the client’s fit and hand crafted at each phase.
From tailored clothing and handmade shoes, to the excellence, quality and innovative design of bags and accessories. Over decades, the bolognese artisans have been ensured the extremely high quality of valises and overnight bags, travel, gym and garment bags, even wallets and belts. Collections have an immediate impact for their distinctive design and bold use of materials, such as leather combined with nylon and rubber, and even recycled materials, the new frontier of fashion design.
These collections are produced with high quality craftsmanship and style, and are distributed all over the world. International clientele benefits from bolognese artisan’s dedication to excellence, research and value for the price.
With the purpose to support and promotes the values of craftsmanship, CNA Bologna recognizes, through different initiatives, a tribute to these products and enterprises that maintain the high image of Made in Italy.