Business START offers seed funding for start-ups.
Business START is intended to support small start-up undertakings that are in the process of establishing and/or consolidating a business operation that has been deemed as economically feasible and innovative by the Corporation.
In order to be eligible, the applicant must be:
1. proposing products and/or services that have potential to be marketed and distributed internationally;
2. producing products and/or service which are new or substantially improved compared to the state of the art in the local industry.
The maximum value of aid that may be provided is a cash grant of up to €25,000 which shall be disbursed as follows:
An initial installment of up to €10,000 shall be paid once the project is approved. The initial payment shall only be paid once the applicant registers a minimum of one (1) employee. Subsequent installments shall be paid quarterly after the Corporation reviews and endorses that the progress achieved is in line with the business plan as approved or as adjusted to adapt to market requirement. The grant at the end of each quarter shall be calculated by multiplying €1500 to the number of Full Time Employee which has been engaged with the beneficiary at least one (1) full month prior to the end of the quarter in review. The total payment in any quarter shall not exceed €10,000.
The total budget for this scheme is € 1,000,000 per year and € 5,000,000 until 2020.
Evidence of success
In the pilot project (10 months) there were 40 beneficiaries.
After this success the scheme was continued and in the subsequent year another 34 enterprises benefited. This is deemed to be a great success, considering the uptake vis a vis the size of the country.
Main sectors who benefitted till present are digital media, software and manufacturing.
Potential for learning or transfer
The full process of design, deployment and managing a seed capital scheme, tailored to the current ecosystem, can be shared with the partners.
This practice can inspire public authorities and the improvement of a public policy as it supports the policy by creating visibility for startups and startup policy, it already supported a good number startups which in turn will have an impact in Malta's economy and hence is delivering on and supporting startup policy. Furthermore, the incentive can be adapted also to other areas of startups finance, not just seed capital, but also support for scale-ups or startups from special groups, as has been the case in Malta.