Through the history of ENAPI, the article analyses the evolution of the public sector from Giolitti to fascism; it focuses on the relationship of sectorial public agencies to corporatism and looks into the role of State and Second bureaucracy (‘parastato’) in the development of small industries between the two world wars. The author follows the gradual change, completed in 1928, from Nitti’s effort to modernize this sector and to the integration of the ENAPI in the fascist economic choices and in the strategy for achieving consensus. During the Thirties, this public agency, controlled by the Confederation of Industry and the Confederation of Handycraft, became a corporative body. While this attempt failed to achieve the development of the two sectors, it was successful in the social field, because it fostered the State’s interest in the small manufacturers.
Keywords: Small industries; sectorial public agencies; Nitti, Luzzatti; 1928 ("ventottismo"); corporatism.