MicroLab Association

Associazione microlab onlus up to youth

The MicroLab Association is a non-profit organization that’s been operating in Italy since 2003 exclusively for the purpose of social solidarity, helping people with social and economic difficulties.

MicroLab’s goals are to:

- favour valorization, promotion, and development of self-employment and entrepreneurial activity for young people and people in difficult situations, as a tool to guarantee development and social inclusion;

- assist and support setting up and developing businesses, micro-enterprises, and startups, also through a network of voluntary Mentors;

- provide self-employment education and training for young people under 35 through training courses (Up To Youth)  and with projects for the transition from school to work.

Through a network of voluntary Mentors MicroLab assists and supports the establishment and development of micro-enterprises, small business and other initiatives by people who, if they don’t receive adequate support, run the risk of becoming economic-social outcasts.


The MicroLab non-profit association pursues its goals with the following activities:

  • MENTORING gives young entrepreneurs the chance to be assisted by a Mentor who, thanks to their professional and personal experience, can provide valuable support during the various phases of the start-up and development of a business. Are you a young entrepreneur who needs the help of a person with more experience to develop your business idea? Ask a Mentor for help! Do you think you’ve got what it takes to become a voluntary Mentor? Take our test to find out!
  • TRAINING periodically organizes business training courses for the young businessmen and women of the future who want to develop their business ideas but must also expand their knowledge on “how to do business”. The MicroLab Association is the Italian partner of the Youth Business Europe network, supporting young entrepreneurs. The initiatives can involve groups or individuals, e-learning courses, practical workshops, etc. The Up to Youth courses for aspiring entrepreneurs under 35 are currently held in several Italian cities.
  • TRANSITION FROM SCHOOL TO WORK MicroLab also supports young businessmen and women with courses for Transition from School to Work.
  • SUPPORT FOR MICRO-ENTERPRISES Through a network of voluntary Mentors MicroLab assists and supports the establishment and development of micro-enterprises, small business and other initiatives by people who, if they don’t receive adequate support, run the risk of becoming economic-social outcasts. Mentoring micro-entrepreneurs represents the essence of MicroLab and consists of: mentoring to help set up the business (studying the business idea, helping prepare the Business Plan); mentoring after business start-up (checking progress, analyzing deviation from the initial Business Plan, establishing corrective actions and setting new goals).
  • FINANCIAL LITERACY and microcredit education, training, consulting, education and access to credit to set up and develop a business and plan family resources in a responsible way, through group sessions and individual consulting.
MicroLab Business Mentoring


Associazione microlab mentoring


The Atomi Onlus Non-Profit Association was set up in Turin. The Association participated in the Paideia Foundation competition with the “Microcredit – Growing with trust” project. Thanks to 100,000 euros in contributions, the Association held its first courses in Turin, helping families who had been refused traditional bank loans.


Atomi organised some initiatives (the convention “Microcredit and Microfinance: A comparison of experiences” and the “International Microcredit Course”) in collaboration with Turin University to promote microcredit and microfinance culture in both an academic and institutional scope through training courses with operators in the sector.


The Association opened 10 territorial help desks in Italy, to promote training activities on the themes of banking and credit mentoring thanks to 400,000 USD backing from the “Western Union Foundation”.


Atomi signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Turin Provincial Authorities for the promotion and diffusion of microcredit throughout the territory, organising initiatives to provide information and mentoring to help new entrepreneurs take out loans.


Atomi became an active partner in many territorial projects, such as: “Business ties”, “The business of integration, micro stakeholders of the future” and “Far-sighted by nature”.


The Association changed its name to “PerMicroLab”. PerMicroLab joined the global Youth Business International (YBI) network of independent non-profit organizations.


PerMicroLab became a partner in the Youth Business Europe project, backed by Youth Business International (YBI) and the Citi Foundation launching the Up to Youth initiative, a free course for young people under 35 years of age who want to start their own business. Today, courses are held in 10 Italian regions with the participation of over 700 young businessmen and women.


In 2015 PerMicroLab became the partner of Centro Astalli, organizing financial literacy courses for refugees.


PerMicroLab developed the school to work transition courses called "Put yourself to the test: the future is yours" for 350 high school students.


A new operational branch opened in Naples, in order to increase activities in Central-Southern Italy. The Association changed its name to MicroLab.


Social Impact MicroLab Association

Supporto ai microimprenditori

According to a study published in 2018 by Centro Tiresia of Milan Polytechnic on the social impact of microcredit on PerMicro (our partner) enterprises, 67% of the entrepreneurs supported by our Mentors considered the mentoring to have been effective.

In terms of creating jobs, 2 enterprises out of every 3 hired 1 person and each of the same created 2 new jobs.

Up To Youth, the format of which was developed in 2013, is a free training course for young people who want to set up a business.

The course is organised in three 3-hour classes on the essential subjects you need to know to start a business.

Up to Youth 2016 :  6 cities 11 sessions

Up to Youth 2017: 6 cities 8 sessions

Up to Youth 2018: 8 cities 8 sessions


2018 up to youth

The program for Transition from School to Work called "Put yourself to the test: the future is yours!" aims to help young people find their way in the employment word, choose the right faculty and the type of work best suited to their skills.


The programme, first launched for school year 2016/2017 is now in its third edition and is held in the following cities: Turin, Naples, Novara, Pescara and Termoli.


Schools participating 1

Number of classes 3


Schools participating 7

Number of classes 12


Schools participating 11

Number of classes 19


The MicroLab Association has created a consolidated network of national and international partners