JA Malta Foundation CEO Matthew Caruana shares his thoughts on how, on paper, he feels that this year’s budget has good and promising initiatives laid out for start-ups. However, he is quite skeptical as to how these will turn out in practice as he believes that “the devil is always in the detail” and he needs “to see how the new one stop shop will vary from the already existing Business First.”
“The same can be said for the new Digital Innovation Hub and the new Business Incubator,” Mr Caruana notes. “How will these vary from what there is already? Are we spreading resources over multiple projects, instead of keeping up what we have, but not having enough dedicated resources to deliver the best results in the long run?” the CEO asks.
Speaking of the long run, Mr Caruana also notes how he would have liked “to see a bit of a longer-term plan.” Although he points out that he does understand that the energy crisis is the government’s main concern at the moment, he would have preferred to hear about “plans of where the country is heading for the long haul.”
The JA CEO mentions several proposals which he had previously suggested, and which did not feature in this year’s budget speech. “I personally believe that although the improvements are there, one needs to really see what is missing,” he asserts adding that there should have been more and better discussions with the stakeholders.”
He goes on to say that “sometimes it seems like we are mainly focusing on foreign investment, like the good work done by Malta Enterprise through StartinMalta and attracting the EU-startup summit, or setting up what looks good from the outside rather than getting the basics done well.”
Mr Caruana notes how “from an educational perspective, there was an increased effort in research and innovation, but we still lack a National Entrepreneurial Education Policy.”
“We urgently need to implement, what the EU Commission has recommended since 2012, that all young people should benefit from at least one practical entrepreneurial experience before leaving compulsory education,” the CEO concludes.
Matthew Caruana / LinkedIn
He replaces Jose Ramon Alegre, who resigned from the position at the start of 2024.
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