The notion of a new mass entrepreneurship refers to a new social and productive stratum of society that was consolidated both in terms of socioeconomic and class structure and in terms of political organisation. This new stratum contributed to a radical change of the old equilibria that characterised the Italian society of the Fordist compromise and the First Republic. In part, this group has formed the social bases of the Northern Leagues.
The various new forms of social transformation that emerged in Italy in the 1970s - the so-called auto-reduction struggles, the user and consumer strikes, and the radical critiques of the health care system and the total institutions of disciplinary society - were all centered precisely in the attempt to reappropriate the structure of welfare and invert their logic based on the reproduction of the norm of the wage relationship. From the beginning of the 1970s this new subjectivity, far from passively accepting the terrain of productive flexibility, appropriated the social terrain as a space for struggle and self-valorization. The dramatic increase in small businesses and in the informal economy in the central and northern parts of the country can be understood only in terms of the diffusion across the social terrain of struggles and practices that attempted to make use of this deepinging of the social division of labour between the businnesses to experiment in alternative forms of productive cooperation. There was a new form of mass entrepreneurship that would in the following years act as the protagonist in the new economic miracle of the so-called diffuse economy. This new subjectivity was based on the 'refusal to work; and on the high education level of the majority of the population invested all the interstices of the clientelist-Mafia model of regulation of the South along with all the articulations of its integration as dependent participant, realizing finally that class unity between North and South that Gramsci dreamed of in vain in terms of a social bloc between the industrial workers of the North and the peasants of the South.' (p. 83-84 Radical thought in Italy (Hardt, Virno)).
Further reading: From mass worker to mass entrepreneurship: the disconcerting parabole of Italian workerism Maria Turchetto. Interesting Critical historic account of operaismo from its birth to the late 90s. In italian