“Start-Up”: a project launched by the Giuseppe Lazzareschi Foundation, to help new entrepreneurs grow

The Foundation enters the world of paper and establishes itself in Lucca, thanks to an intense programme of cultural and entrepreneurial activities dedicated to development and progress.

“To have dreams,

to elaborate projects,

to have the will to accomplish them

is the challenge for all of us.”

Giuseppe Lazzareschi

Lucia Maffei

Officially presented in Porcari on November 21st, 2003, with the inauguration of its modern and prestigious headquarters - the “Palazzo di Vetro” (Crystal Palace) -, the Lazzareschi Foundation is already operative. Besides having given birth to a team dedicated to specific projects in the fields of industry and science, it has also presented a very comprehensive programme of events. The Foundation organises activities following its two-fold inspiration: the first is represented by the interest in cultural and social fields; the other lies in the focus on research and entrepreneurial activities.

BOTH ARE INSPIRED BY THE PERSONALITY OF GIUSEPPE LAZZARESCHI, whose generosity and humanity have always gone hand-in-hand with his entrepreneurial skills and extraordinary far-sightedness. This way Lucca, the largest paper district in Europe, has been enriched by a new institution, which is the result of the joint effort of the municipality of Porcari and the Lazzareschi family itself, owner of the Sofidel group, to generate new energies in favour of the territory of Lucca.

The paper district of Lucca has many institutions – e.g., the “Lucense”, the “Scuola di Alta Formazione” – dealing with research, training, studies in the field of paper and connected realms, supplying support to industries.

But the Giuseppe Lazzareschi Foundation has a more ample field of action: it does not only operate in the paper industry, but also offers a wide range of services and opportunities, very rich in contents and destined to a wider public. This choice stems from the awareness that, being the Foundation’s aim that of supporting the industrial world as a whole, it would be too restrictive to merely refer to the world of paper. In any case, the Foundation will always consider the paper realm – in particular the tissue field – as its “pilot” sector, in which to test new initiatives and new projects before promoting them also in other industrial fields.

So the Palazzo di Vetro hosts cultural manifestations, art exhibitions, presentations of books, photography exhibitions, history exhibitions, which are largely attended; a team of specialists is also working on an important project connected to industry and territory, whose activities will begin in May 2004.

“START-UP” IS A PROGRAM DESTINED TO THOSE WHO WOULD LIKE TO ENTER THE ENTREPRENEURIAL WORLD. The Foundation is very keen on this project and is going to put great care into it, as it embodies the moral and ethical principles expressed by Giuseppe Lazzareschi. The above-mentioned team of specialists is led by Silvio Bianchi Martini, Professor of Business Administration at the University of Pisa and at the Bocconi University of Milan.

WITH THIS PROJECT – “START-UP: THE ENTERPRISE FROM PROJECT TO REALITY” – the Foundation appeals to the industrial world of Lucca to favour the development of new activities particularly inspired by innovation and research. “Start-Up” is specially dedicated to young people who have concluded their scholastic career and have to decide about their future, and show the skills to successfully aim at establishing a new entrepreneurial activity.

“START-UP” MEANS BEGINNING and so it connotes the concept of creating a business starting from an idea and bringing it to fruition by it passing through a project. The purpose is that of helping potential young entrepreneurs having innovative business ideas to undertake an autonomous business, through an initial global and qualified support. The Foundation aims at creating a synergy with all young people who feel like “jumping” into the world of industry and becoming entrepreneurs.

“Start-Up” takes the entrepreneurs’ hand and helps them find funds, provides them an adequate formation, supports and assists them by offering services and consultancy during the difficult start-up phase, for a minimum of two years. At the end of this period, the newly-created business should be able to “walk on its two feet”...


Outstanding personalities of the professional and industrial fields, professionals and experts able to offer technical and operative tools applied to the complex and variegated entrepreneurial world, propose their practical experience. The philosophy underlying this route is that of setting off the ideas and capabilities of the neo-entrepeneur and favouring him with the technical, managerial, commercial and financial knowledge collected by the Lazzareschi Foundation.

The Start-Up project originates from the awareness that a well-established enterprise, deep-rooted in the territory, contributes to the wealth of the entire community. This theory comes from the beliefs of Giuseppe Lazzareschi who aimed at maintaining, sustaining and enriching all the cultural and economical principles that are typical of our territory and constitute an invaluable common heritage. •

Giuseppe Lazzareschi: a memory for a book.

An initiative that involves and touches the world of tissue. Through its web site, the Foundation appeals to the friends of Giuseppe Lazzareschi to share individual memories and stories.

Cristina Lazzareschi, Giuseppe’s daughter, informs us that a space in their web site is dedicated to “A Memory of Giuseppe Lazzareschi”; it is a proposal to all who met Lazzareschi, to write a personal testimony. These stories will compose a book in which, thanks to all contributors, the life and history of Giuseppe Lazzareschi will be interlaced with the rich and manifold history of the tissue and paper world, of the people and companies that have built this strong local reality and given birth to one of the most famous industrial histories in Europe.

None better than the Director of this institution, Angelo Del Carlo, can provide a clear memory of Giuseppe, a sort of symbolic preface to the book.

“Being the Director of the Foundation is to me an important means to keep Giuseppe’s memory alive; ours was a great bond of friendship, not only just a collaboration relationship. Giuseppe was characterised by an extraordinary charisma, which he showed even in the most dramatic circumstances.

On May 31st, 1988, the Soffass company was completely burntdown by a fire. One night was enough to destroy all our machinery, not a single pack of finished product could be saved and the facility was completely destroyed. The Regina advertising campaign had just begun and was taking off. All employees were desperate; never had such a disaster occurred in Lucca.

The next morning, Lazzareschi summoned all of us for an assembly and said: “Soffass is destroyed but is not dead! If you follow me, with your work we will rebuild it larger and greater than before!” And he was telling the truth, as no employee was laid off, not even a single day. Some of our workers were temporarily hosted at various Italian facilities made available to us by our friends-competitors; our suppliers worked hard to produce the components necessary to work on machines different from ours.

I remember endless working days and holidays spent organising the work, the collection and delivery of the finished product.

Stefani and Lazzareschi were always by our side supporting us in the most difficult moments. That year we lost only one month of sales with respect to the previous year.

This was the strength of Giuseppe Lazzareschi: he knew how to motivate people, how to recognise their merits, how to support them in hard times.”

Then Cristina Lazzareschi concludes: “At the Giuseppe Lazzareschi Foundation one lives a natural interlace between culture and enterprise through time and history: the knowledge of the past, the appreciation of human, economic and social elements, the awareness of what we are, are key factors for continuity and future.”

Website: www.fondazionelazzareschi.it

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