Local administrative services to reduce barriers to entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial activities: Understanding the reasons behind the differences in user satisfaction

Previous research has shown that start-up rates and established firms growth are negatively correlated to the existence of barriers to entrepreneurship and especially of administrative costs. In Italy, local administrations introduced SUAPs, integrated information and service systems related to One Stop Shop for Production Activities, to simplify the relationship between public administration and firms and thus to reduce the barriers to entrepreneurship. Despite the efforts to standardise the functioning mechanisms of SUAPs and to favour the diffusion of best practices, the quality of the services delivered to local firms differ significantly from one region to another, as well as among different municipalities within the same region. Our empirical research investigates the reasons of the unevenness in the satisfaction of the users of SUAP services. Our hypotheses about the explanations of such differences are tested through the analysis of primary data collected with two surveys, one conducted with 101 SUAPs (out of 218 functioning SUAPs in Tuscany), the other carried out with 60 firms that have been users of the administrative services provided by three conveniently selected SUAPs. The qualitative, sometimes anecdotal results of two exploratory focus groups are also used as corroborating evidence. We conclude with some managerial recommendations.

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