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Malta’s allure for startups: strong ecosystem and access to funding

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As much as it is exciting to decide to be your own boss, germinate your very own ideas and start a business, startups typically face a myriad of challenges to get their ventures up and running. A sound business plan based on rigorous market research to gauge demand for services or products is the first one. Getting the right people on board with the appropriate skills and knowledge, and who share your same passion and energy, could also be a make or break. Entrepreneurs will also tell you that implementing target marketing is elemental to achieving brand awareness and position the company well against any competition, for the business to gain traction.

Considered the most crucial, however, is getting the funding to kick-start. Startups need money to hire people, purchase equipment, rent offices and go-to-market. The easiest and fastest way to do this is to use own funds. However, more often than not, founders need to source third-party finances. This is usually done by securing venture and seed capital or by taking out loans from financial institutions. Both hurdles have become even more challenging due to market and geo-political fluctuations as well as stringent regulation and compliance.

Unless you’re considering launching your venture or scaling it in Malta and you are eligible for non-dilutive funding from Malta Enterprise. Then, your funding hurdle might become less daunting.

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Access to Startup Assistance in Malta

Understanding the pivotal role of funding in ensuring startup success, Malta Enterprise, the government’s economic development agency, extends different funding packages and non-dilutive assistance. Entrepreneurs establishing their businesses in Malta may also gain access to EU funding, fostering research and development, talent acquisition, and collaborative ventures.

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Beyond funding, a comprehensive suite of assistance awaits. From facilitating entry to world-renowned accelerator programmes to providing mentorship and advisory services, Malta nurtures startups at every stage. A dedicated team stands ready to guide entrepreneurs through the entire setup process, continuing to offer support along their business journey.

This robust support network not only creates new avenues for growth but also instills confidence in launching and thriving within Malta’s entrepreneurial landscape, serving as a catalyst for realising ambitious entrepreneurial dreams in a nurturing and conducive environment.

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Malta’s strong pro-business environment

With small and medium sized enterprises being the backbone of its economy, Malta is strengthening its flourishing startup ecosystem, while promoting the country as a sound and competitive entry-point and base, for entrepreneurs to launch their innovative ventures and access the EU market and beyond.

The Mediterranean Island of Malta has one of the fastest growing economies in the European Union. Robust regulation, booming industries in an array of sectors, a skilled talent pool and pro-business government policies have all ensured Malta’s attractiveness as a jurisdiction of choice, both for investment and for economic migration.

English, along with Maltese, is an offcial language and the language for doing business. This means expats can communicate easily with no barriers – an advantage not many countries can boast of. The Island has nationwide 5G and hundreds of free public wifi hotspots, ensuring excellent connectivity. The country is well connected to Europe and the MENA region via daily air and sea links while due to its time zone, business hours easily coincide with many countries across the world.

Startup residency for non-EU founders

Non-EU startup founders considering Malta as a base have a straightforward migratory road to medium-term residence in the country. To facilitate the process for third country nationals, the Malta Startup Residence Programme grants a 3+5-year residence permit, during which beneficiaries are able to reside in Malta while launching or scaling their startup venture. This ensures a seamless residency period that gives entrepreneurs peace of mind so that they can put all their energy and focus on their venture.

The Programme is run by Residency Malta and Malta Enterprise, and is open to founders, co-founders, core employees and immediate family members. The Programme offers beneficiaries long term business and family stability as well as the opportunity to attract and retain international talent and reach business contacts around Europe with visa-free access to countries in Schengen.

The investment requirement for the Malta Startup Residence Programme is a minimum of €25,000 in a tangible investment or paid-up share capital. Beneficiaries would need to have a tangible presence in Malta and pay taxes locally.  After completing five years in Malta, beneficiaries will be able to apply for long-term residency.

Malta: a safe, second home with an Island lifestyle

Malta as a place to live, work and settle in, has unique plus points. It is one of the safest countries in the world and boasts top notch educational institutions and world-ranking health care.

Residents then enjoy a pleasant Mediterranean lifestyle with a mild climate, hospitable people and numerous leisure activities. Malta has such a vibrant cultural scene with an array of performances and events all the way from pop to high-brow. Expats will also discover why Malta is called an open-air museum, as they get to feast their eyes on numerous heritage sights and historic architecture. For foodies, Malta is a haven for the tasting of different cuisines, from Mediterranean fare to the best of Asian fusion, Indian and Lebanese.

All this should seriously whet one’s appetite enough to want to find out more about the opportunities Malta offers.

For additional details on the Malta Startup Residence Programme, please click here. For comprehensive information about Malta Enterprise initiatives and funding, kindly refer to: Start in Malta.

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James Musoba
James Musoba
Studying Africa's startup and technology scene. I always look forward to discovering new exciting inventions and vibrant entrepreneurs.

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