Q1: If you had one piece of advice to share with an entrepreneur who wants to launch his/her startup, what would it be?
A: To consider which jurisdiction is best suited for his or her business, before assuming that his home country is necessarily the best location, and to spend time planning, before launching, as every day spent planning is a worthwhile investment.
Q2: How would you describe your government’s involvement in supporting start-ups?
A: Malta Enterprise is Malta’s economic development agency, tasked with attracting new foreign direct investments as well as facilitating the growth of existing operations which provides incentives for enterprises demonstrating commitment towards growth, an increase in value added and employment. Enterprises engaged in manufacturing, ICT development activities, call centers, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, aviation and maritime services, education and training, logistics and more may benefit from these incentives. Malta also offers a stable and strong economy, where start-ups can flourish.
Q3: As the case may be, what kind of government policies exist in your country?
A: Apart from the usual laws and regulations which one would expect from a country which is a full member of the European Union and has the Euro as its currency, Malta also has specific pieces of legislation intended to promote business, and which are aptly named The “Business Promotion Act” – Chapter 325 of the Laws of Malta and the “Business Promotion Regulations” – Subsidiary Legislation 325.6 which provide incentives for the establishment and growth of businesses in Malta.
Q4: How would you describe the startup ecosystem (government, enterprises, incubators, schools) in your country?
A: Malta has been welcoming investors into the country since the early 1950s. The process of setting up on the island is a straightforward and transparent one. Prospective investors often make use of a service provider from the private sector capable of seeing to all their legal and logistical requirements from company registration, access to banking facilities to recruitment of staff. The government supports startups with a number of programs which they can benefit from, including funding and premises. Moving to Malta and finding accommodations and schools is easy, with English being one of the two official languages, and lessons at school or university and other institutions (apart from lessons in Maltese and other languages of course) being taught in English.
Q5: Are there entrepreneurship programs to reduce the barriers that hinder diversity (for example a funding program offered by banks/governement/NGO/foundations for women, people of different ethnicity, the elderly and so on)?
A: The National Commission for the Promotion of Equality (NCPE) is an independent, government funded body set up in January 2004 to safeguard equality by virtue of Chapter 456 of the Laws of Malta. NCPE works to create a culture where diversity is seen as an added-value and where equality and non-discrimination are able to flourish within society by empowering individuals and organizations. Equal treatment is safeguarded and promoted on the grounds of:
- Gender and family responsibilities;
- Sexual orientation;
- Religion or belief;
- Race or ethnic origin;
- Gender Identity;
- In employment;
- Education and vocational guidance;
- By banks and financial institutions; and
- In vacant posts in employment.
Equal treatment is also safeguarded and promoted on the grounds of gender and race or ethnic origin in the access to and supply of goods and services. NCPE provides various services to the general public and other stakeholders in relation to equality and non-discrimination including:
- Investigation of cases of alleged discrimination in areas falling within NCPE’s remit (as mentioned above);
- Consultation on drafting policies on equality and sexual harassment for private and public entities;
- Training on subject matters related to equality;
- Publication of studies and tools related to equal treatment and non-discrimination (which are available on NCPE’s website: A library and documentation center at NCPE’s premises that can be accessed by appointment);
- Replying requests for information from the general public, students, researchers and other stakeholders; and
- Awareness raising through various means including:
- Online Campaign
- Social media
- Printed and broadcast media
- Meetings and conferences.
Maltese society is a peaceful and inclusive society, and welcomes foreigners and foreign investment.