When participating in a panel discussion during Start-up Café organised by the Malta Enterprise, Minister for the Economy, Investment and Small Businesses Silvio Schembri explained that, through Budget ’21, several start-up schemes were enhanced in order to aid start-ups stay afloat amid such circumstances, as well as further assisting them to implement their projects.
“Start-ups play a crucial role in the growth of our economy. This is the time to provide the ideal tools for start-ups to take flight, both on a local level and also to pursue with our efforts in attracting international ones. Hence, the Start-up Finance Scheme and the Business Start Scheme were strengthened with two-pronged aims in mind; to encourage more already existing start-ups to come forward and present their solid plans to Malta Enterprise, as well as to bolster new ones. Besides, through Budget ’21, a Venture Capital Fund was announced aimed at bolstering Malta’s start-up community,” said Minister Schembri.
Minister Schembri added that the government’s aim is to provide a strong ecosystem for start-ups to flourish, as well as for Malta to become an international hub for start-ups. “Thus, earlier this month, we have announced the €470 million industrial infrastructure investment program, which includes the €15 million Kordin Business Incubation Centre. Built over 10,000 square metres, this investment will create new space for start-ups and small businesses,” said the Minister.
The initial measure for start-ups administered by Malta Enterprise is the Business Start (B Start). This is aimed at companies or individuals who are at an earlier stage and are seeking stronger platforms for their enterprise to take flight. Currently, this scheme has a ceiling of €25,000, however plans are in the offing for this measure to be expanded as of 2021. This shall increase the assistance ceiling and include directed actions to assist those businesses which already have a business plan, but also those who are starting from scratch.
The Start-Up Finance Scheme is a repayable advance aimed at supporting small start-up undertakings that demonstrate a viable business concept and that exhibit commitment to expand and further develop their economic activity. Through this scheme, Malta Enterprise may provide support up to €400,000, which may be increased to up to €800,000 if the start-up is an innovative enterprise. Up to €400,000 of the full assistance can be made available to cover operational costs.
Start-up Café is a yearly event organised by Malta Enterprise as part of SME Week. This year’s online edition was split over three consecutive days with panels discussing ‘Location – Synergies –Funding’.
Malta Enterprise CEO Kurt Farrugia addressed the second panel on Thursday, focusing on synergies between start-ups, academia and industry. He stressed the need for entrepreneurship education to be made available way earlier in our students’ academic journey; “We need to instil an entrepreneurial mentality from a very young age. I believe that we need to re-engineer our education system to ensure that our students are well equipped with entrepreneurial abilities.”
CEOs of start-up businesses based in Malta shared their own experiences in arriving to where they are today and encouraged young entrepreneurs to take that leap forward and turn their ideas into enterprises.