Malta Enterprise PR

A survey carried out by the Europe Startup Nations Alliance (ESNA) among 21 EU countries placed Malta as the fourth best destination for innovative startups.

This emerged from the first technical analysis of its kind by the start-up-centric entity created by the European Union. Malta Enterprise represents Malta in ESNA.

Malta ranked few below by larger countries such as Spain and France, together with Belgium. Malta was among only 10 countries which exceeded the average percentage ratings of this analysis.

The Startup Nations standards are based on eight standards of excellence in the field of support to startups. Spain and France obtained the best ranking with 87 per cent, followed by Belgium and Malta scoring 74 per cent and 73 per cent respectively.

Malta garnered a 100 per cent mark or similar – and topped all other countries – in three specific areas. These are:

  • The attraction and ability to retain new talent in Malta.

  • Digital tools as main communication tools between startups and government entities.

  • Shortest time to register a new company.

Malta also compares well on the creation of innovative laws regulating emerging sectors.

On the other hand, the analysis revealed that Malta needs to improve further on aspects such as access to finance and employee share options.

To this end, Malta Enterprise explained that it is currently preparing a start-up framework “with the aim of ushering an improved legislative dimension for start-ups and for start-up investors.”

“Malta Enterprise is also continuing to strengthen its incentives such as BStart and Startup Finance which lead to assistance up to a maximum of €1.5 million,” the agency said.

In terms of wider financing, Government has recently announced the creation of a €10 million Venture Capital Fund to assist innovative start-ups.

Malta Enterprise has been working since 2021 to create synergies amongst Government and private entities – to provide a unified voice in relation to start-ups. Such efforts are being advanced via the “StartinMalta” brand.

“This result instils greater energy in our efforts to make life easier for startups in Malta” said Enterprise Minister Silvio Schembri.

The Minister welcomed this result and stated that this will further “drive efforts by Malta Enterprise and other entities in order to attract the best international companies and bolster Malta’s entrepreneurial spirit at home.”

“These are companies which employ fewer individuals but pay better wages. In fact, we estimate that the average wage of workers with start-ups assisted by Malta Enterprise vary between €40,000 and €60,000. Malta Enterprise has approved 60 such projects over the last few years – projects that are expected to generate hundreds of jobs of this kind. Through our national startup framework and the first investments from the,” he added.

On the other hand, Malta Enterprise CEO Kurt Farrugia said that through the National Start-up Framework the agency will change several laws following a consultation process with start-ups themselves.

This, he added, shall reduce bureaucracy, incentivise investment and further strengthen financing for startups while facilitating employee shareholding opportunities.

“We also need to advance our work to our local ecosystem via the Startup Festival and from this year the EU Startups Summit – which will held in Malta for the first time this year after ten years hosted in another European country,” he concluded.

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