When it comes to starting off a business, few are those people who actually take the plunge. Many people become overwhelmed with a number of thoughts such as: Is it a good idea? Will it kick off? Where do I get started? How do I fund my business idea? By the time they get these questions answered many would have probably given up and the “idea” gets lost forever or is eventually implemented by other people.
For these reasons, PwC Malta is dedicating €1 million per annum in pro bono services to assist entrepreneurs in nurturing their business during the critical stage of starting up and growing a new business.
Young growing companies
The fund is open to all aspiring entrepreneurs or start-ups that have innovative ideas or the prospect of growing. Applications will be reviewed by a committee made up of a mix of representatives from PwC, Times of Malta, Microsoft Malta, University of Malta and an external business leader. Certain eligibility criteria apply.
Business start-up consulting and mentorship
The Times of Malta, owned by Malta’s most influential media organisation Allied Newspapers Limited, is part of the country’s social fabric having been a persistent reality on the ground for decades, informing and updating the public through a constant commitment towards credible news coverage and the country it serves.
Throughout Malta’s various historical moments and struggles, the Times of Malta was there to document it all, never failing to publish an edition even in the direst of circumstances, a fact of which the company is very proud.
Due to its independence and credibility, many regard the Times of Malta as the news source of ‘reference’ and it in fact boasts the highest circulation in a country saturated with newspapers. The Times of Malta brand also extends to a plethora of inhouse magazines and supplements.
The continual emergence of new ways of disseminating content, especially with the on-going diffusion of personal computers, mobile phones and tablets, means that Allied Newspapers is constantly endorsing new ways of carrying out its business.
The company’s leading news portal – timesofmalta.com – launched over 10 years ago, sees up to 300,000 unique IP hits in a day when major events occur. It is the most followed local website in Malta and the fifth most followed overall following the likes of Google, Facebook and YouTube.
The company has just recently rolled out premium content to its subscribers. This significant package includes access to exclusive information, a digital version of the newspaper, digital archives containing news dating back to the 1930s, and access to news across different platforms, including a newly developed tablet and smartphone app. The company has recently also invested in an audio-visual department, creating a studio on site and training journalists to develop their skills to work well across a multimedia platform.
Over the last few years, the University of Malta has embarked on an ambitious programme to transform itself into an entrepreneurial university, with the goal of rendering the organisation itself more business oriented and innovative; inducing faculty, students and staff to adopt a more entrepreneurial culture; and interacting with the regional stakeholders – private companies, government entities, commercial networks - so as to promote entrepreneurship at a National level for the socio-economic benefit of the country.
The process picked up significant pace since September, with the launch of a project funded through the European Structural Funds specifically to build and consolidate a Knowledge Transfer Framework at the University and launch a formal training programme in Technology Entrepreneurship, spearheaded by the Knowledge Transfer Office and the Centre for Entrepreneurship and Business Incubation respectively.
Since the setting up of the Directorate for Corporate Research and Knowledge Transfer in 2009, the University has been building the necessary internal infrastructure to support this goal. In addition, the Centre for Entrepreneurship and Business Incubation (CEBI) was recently set up as an academic centre of excellence in entrepreneurship at the University of Malta (UoM), complementing the existing endeavours in the area. More information about the Knowledge Transfer Office may be found at http://www.um.edu.mt/knowledgetransfer, whereas information about CEBI, the Intensive Training Program and a Masters program in Entrepreneurship may be found at http://www.um.edu.mt/CEBI.
Since 2003, Microsoft has been a partner to Malta, supporting its strategy in IT and contributing towards making Malta a regional centre of excellence. This was done through a number of initiatives in trustworthy computing, cloud computing, big/open data, education, and driving economic growth. Most importantly it leads with a primary foundation to attract, invest in and develop the best people in the market, supporting them to grow exponentially as individuals and within the company.
Moving forward, Microsoft Malta will be focused on continuing to enable our youth for success, driving economic growth, and being leaders in EU for hybrid cloud environments, both in the government and commercial sector. With each employee, Microsoft Malta remains committed towards establishing Malta as a beacon and leader in leveraging IT to support its citizens.
Read more about the Seed Investment Scheme