The EU Digital Day 21 aims to bring together Member States to discuss current, and future challenges of digital technologies, by encouraging Member States to commit, and address, digital transformations within the EU. These declarations are intended to strengthen Europe’s role in the digital world through international partnerships, boosting the digital economy, and finding green digital solutions amongst others. It is noted that several of these initiatives are directly aimed at start-up initiatives.
During this year’s edition, Malta, as an EU member state, has committed itself to support start-ups through the signing of a declaration called the “Start-ups Nations Standard of Excellence”, whereby it assures to support start-ups as early as possible during the start-up phase. This declaration acknowledges the difficulties, and challenges, being faced by start-ups, particularly the recent ongoing challenge presented by Covid-19.
The sustainability of start-ups is key, and the Declaration is a positive step forward in the commitment to provide best practices, and EU-wide policies, which are intended to support start-ups as they develop.
As the National Economic Development Agency of Malta, Malta Enterprise has committed itself to support start-ups, by sharing knowledge, use of best practices, and developing incentive measures, designed to provide initial access to funding. With the launch of the new portal, “Start in Malta”, Malta Enterprise aims to actively contribute to achieving the four main criteria presented by Digital Day 21 which was committed, and adopted, by each member state.
Actions to support start-ups and scale-ups across the EU
1. Establishing a clear EU-wide reference point: Currently, the common criteria to define a start-up relate to companies less than 5 years old, the first action is to recognise all forms of start-ups and identify and establish key features to encompass all forms of start-ups. Malta Enterprise, through its portal, will strive to support start-ups, by collaborating closely with start-ups and stakeholders, which in turn will deliver better-designed support measures.
2. Highlighting sustainable growth through an entrepreneurship friendly environment: Providing a favourable framework to assist start-ups as they move through each stage of development, from ‘start-up’, to ‘scale-up’, to ‘exit’, in the form of an IPO or M&A. In this wide economic development area, Malta Enterprise recognises that start-ups should be presented with opportunities to grow sustainably. Thus, the Corporation intends to design, and seek favourable frameworks, to ensure that start-ups are supported within the growth phase, therefore achieving European and global success.
3. Best practices: Malta Enterprise ensures global collaboration through the Start in Malta portal by being open to business to stakeholders in Malta, the EU, and beyond. The Corporation intends to continue organising events to showcase innovative new start-ups, and to provide a space in which to network, and gain exposure.
4. Start-up Nations’ Hub – Malta together with the other member states will also contribute to exchange best practices to the creation of a common start-up data platform. This data will facilitate measuring and monitoring of progress so as to implement the best practices towards an EU start-up Nation. To date, Malta Enterprise ensures close collaborations with start-ups and maintain progress of start-up growth through regular monitoring.
Malta Enterprise has always maintained a leading role in supporting start-ups whereby it is observed that the launch of the Start in Malta initiative is in line with the commitments being proposed and accepted in Digital Day21 thus, ensuring a more sustainable growth to all start-ups based in Malta, by monitoring growth, developing frameworks, providing access to funding through carefully designed support measures and ultimately providing start-ups with necessary tools to make them resilient during such difficult times.