The Malta Business Bureau and the University of Malta have signed a agreement to collaborate on developing a crowdfunding platform to finance local business ideas and projects, according to a recent story on the University of Malta’s website.
The country’s Ministry for the Economy, Investment and Small Business will partially sponsor the platform’s set up and maintenance in its early stages. MBB President Mario Spiteri and University of Malta Rector Prof. Juanito Camilleri expressed their prior interest in crowdfunding, for the potential it offers to address market gaps in access to finance in the country (according to a report by the MBB), and for its potential to finance early-stage businesses, when the companies need them most urgently.
The outcome of that report clearly showed that the Maltese credit market needs a diversification of financial instruments – particularly for start-ups – because this part of the business lifecycle is not being catered for by the more established credit institutions. Furthermore the traditional instruments they provide such as bank loans and overdrafts are not necessarily the appropriate financing they should be after at this stage of their development.
Camilleri also said,
I am excited to see this project come to fruition as it will complement the University’s efforts to encourage entrepreneurship among students, following the successes of the Masters in Knowledge-based Entrepreneurship and the TAKEOFF Business Incubator, launched recently. Crowdfunding will surely boost innovation and entrepreneurship, particularly if the local as well as international community are encouraged to participate actively.
And FYI for those interested and in the area: The university news story also notes that there is a vacancy for the post of Crowdfunding Platform Manager, with an application deadline of Friday, June 12.