How innovative start-ups will help to diversify the Maltese economy

2021 was a record year for innovative startups on a global scale and this trend continues to gather momentum, with startups emerging in all sectors of the economy. Digital transformation in recent years has created a suite of new priorities and needs for businesses and individuals. These needs, demanding innovation and creativity, have in turn introduced a perfect breeding ground for startups.

Post-pandemic shifts in working trends and attitudes have meant more people are opting for self-employment, further bolstering the startup economy. Malta, in particular, is experiencing high numbers of emerging startups.

Customer expectations have changed with people demanding higher quality service and speedier transactions in all areas of their personal and professional lives. Businesses have had to adapt fast to stay competitive. Startups in the economy are essential for sustaining this competition, with technological developments typically driving productivity and regenerating the economy. This article covers:

  • Why Malta is so attractive for startups
  • How the government is facilitating startups on the island
  • The advantages startups are bringing
  • Examples of startup business models in Malta


Why Malta is so attractive for startups

Besides its wonderful Mediterranean climate, idyllic location and high standard of living, there are many reasons why the island has long been a popular destination for entrepreneurs.

This section takes a closer look at why Malta is such an attractive place for startups:

  • Malta’s tax benefits have made it a great destination for entrepreneurs. The local government have made it easy and fast for local and international companies to set up companies.
  • It has a strong financial sector and robust compliance regulations. Malta has attracted a lot of foreign investment and recent developments in compliance have restored trust in the Maltese financial sector. Check out the latest opportunities in accountancy and finance at Accelerate Recruitment in Malta.
  • Malta has strong economic foundations in technology and top-notch telecommunications. The island’s location in the south of Europe and close to North Africa makes it an ideal choice for investors and startups on both continents.
  • Malta enjoys extensive trading opportunities. The trading potential is strong. Malta has trading advantages as an EU member state within the Schengen area – a borderless zone – and part of the British Commonwealth.
  • The workforce. Initiatives by the Maltese government have ensured that the local workforce is well-equipped with technology skills. Malta’s reputation as a digital hub and its enthusiasm for innovation has attracted a wealth of international and diverse young talent to the island meaning there are skilled professionals and industry experts available to fulfil most business ventures.
  • The burgeoning blockchain industry and DLC technologies put Malta in a strong position to diversify. As the first country to implement regulations for blockchain, Malta is one step ahead of other nations.


What is the government in Malta offering to startups?

  • Grants and loans. The local government has pledged to offer generous incentives and grants of up to €400,000 for developing projects and €800,000 for innovative ideas through its Start-Up finance scheme. Silvio Schembri, the Minister of Economy, launched this initiative.
  • The Startup programme was implemented before the pandemic, but funding has since doubled.
  • Malta Enterprise will manage the initiative and approve applications. By providing this positive ecosystem for start-ups, Malta is attracting high-calibre entrepreneurs. Malta Enterprise offers comprehensive support schemes with guidance and well-structured mentoring programmes for participants.
  • It also fosters collaboration between entrepreneurs and the health and education sectors.
  • Malta hosts a startup festival to enable young entrepreneurs and more mature startups to match up with investors and find collaboration opportunities.
  • Malta hosts the annual SIGMA summit every year. This 3-day long iGaming event attracts local and international operators, industry experts, innovators and investors to participate in workshops, join panel meetings, listen to speeches and attend networking events. Malta becomes a hub for IT entrepreneurs and cryptocurrency experts during the summit.

Malta is a digital hub and has drawn hundreds of tech startups to its shores. The island is leading with its progression of Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), Internet of Behaviours (IOB) and (DLTS), and is aspiring to be the blockchain capital. Famed for its innovations in iGaming and cryptocurrency, there have been interesting developments in new iGaming platforms and crypto payment systems.

There have also been interesting developments in other sectors; Some brilliant innovations have emerged in geolocation games and educational apps. Other sectors have also gained momentum; the pharmaceutical cannabis sector is budding in Malta. The aviation sector and engineering sectors are also experiencing significant growth.


How do startups generate the economy?

Startups arise from creativity, the desire to build something and fulfil a need; by their very nature, they introduce something new into the economy and create curiosity and enthusiasm. Strong startups potentially solve problems, relieve pain points, create jobs, generate income, and drive the economy forward. The world is still adapting to digital transformation and new needs and gaps in services appear regularly. There are optimum opportunities for start-ups to provide solutions to bridge these gaps.

Although startups may not have the financial stability of more mature companies they offer the benefits considered below:

  1. Agile. Older companies are often enmeshed in bureaucracy and the decision-making process is lengthy. Startups are smaller and more flexible; they can make snap decisions and often think on their feet, changing plans and developing ideas as they operate.
  2. Originality. Startups appeal to consumers because of their unpredictable nature and the novelty value they bring. They offer new solutions and ways of doing things which stimulate interest and curiosity.
  3. Customer support. With a focus on sustainability, people want to support smaller businesses. They often get more personalised service from a startup. With good service or quality from a startup or small business, clients are likelier to remain loyal to the company.
  4. Startups will go the extra mile to succeed. Startups want to make it and in a competitive business environment, they will try to provide a stellar customer experience. They’re personally invested in the success of the new business.
  5. Identity. Startups are smaller. They’re managed by a few people and often have a distinctive personality and more individualised brand.
  6. Teamwork. Close-knit teams. In small groups, communication is often easier which potentially means decision-making and skill-sharing are simpler processes.


Startups with their cutting-edge ideas and developments have the potential to disrupt and ultimately transform our professional and personal lives. Malta, with its industry experts in finance, tech and crypto is an optimum place for professionals to build connections and nurture partnerships. IT resources and connectivity on the island are second to none.

Furthermore, Malta’s advanced legal and accountancy services and resources make it an ideal ecosystem for startups to thrive. If you’re interested in developing a career in accountancy or the legal sector in Malta, it’s an exciting time to come on board. Check out our recent career opportunities and download our latest Finance & Legal Salary Survey.