arnas lasys volt

One of Malta’s newest political parties has released a proposal aimed at supporting local start-ups and SMEs to expand more quickly by easing connections with investors.

Volt said it believes that the private sector is not able to utilise its full potential, and believes that unnecessary bureaucratic roadblocks should be eliminated, whilst new doors of financing and operation should be opened.

In this respect, it is calling for a re-evaluation of how businesses start and interact with the State.

The party said it firmly believes that the digital infrastructure should be much more useful for new and existing businesses, and pointed to the New Zealand system as one Malta should take inspiration from. New Zealand has consistently ranked as the top place for doing business, while Malta was last ranked 88th.

kassandra mallia volt
Kassandra Mallia

“SMEs are at some of their most vulnerable stages when they’re starting,“ said Kassadra Mallia, Volt vice-president and candidate. “We will therefore work to provide incentives for those who continue to create jobs and reinvest their profits in their first years.”

To further support start-ups and current SMEs, Volt said it aims to increase the transparency and activity of venture capital by facilitating an accredited network of venture capital firms and angel investors who have familiarity with the local and European market, and criticised the currently opaque progress of Venture Capital Malta, launched in 2015.

‘‘When our economy is starting to rebound from the pandemic, we need to ensure that it’s easier than ever, and there are more options than before to be involved in the market. The state can’t be a laggard,’’ added Arnas Lasys, co-president of Volt Malta.

In comments to BusinessNow.mt, Mr Lasys explains the proposal in more detail.

“How it would work is that start-ups, or even current SMEs with growth potential, would present their business plan to grow or expand their operations to potential individual investors or investing firms.”

The start-ups or SMEs, he suggests, would offer a slice of their business to the investor in exchange for a sum of that investor’s money to accelerate growth and also gain from their experience and network.

“The purpose for an accredited network is to more accurately match potential investors to potential start-ups and SMEs efficiently based on industry and experience.

“The goal is to foster networks and facilitate talent based in Malta to expand, not only locally but also internationally across the European Single Market, much faster and more efficiently with the help of venture capital and the experience it comes with.”

While the proposal appears to address major issues with Malta’s current start-up environment, Volt is not typically seen as a pro-business party, with social measures more central to its ethos.

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