Zach Ciappara

From launching a wildly successful student app and creating niche content to exploring new markets and expanding their reach overseas, there’s just no stopping FreeHour.

“There are some great resources for start-ups to tap into in Malta, and a supportive ecosystem that’s very good to test your product offering within the local community. When it comes to funding, many institutions are available to help a start-up scale quicker,” Founder and CEO Zach Ciappara said.

“Even though the pandemic has done a lot of damage, it highlighted local entrepreneurs’ resilience and adaptability, as more and more successful start-ups keep showing up. There really is a lot of drive.

“How business will progress can only be educated guesswork, but most industries should continue to recover, as more opportunities return to the country. It will be interesting to see how other variables besides the pandemic play out.

“In business you’re always going to be faced with new changes and challenges, and part of being good at what you do is being able to adapt. At FreeHour, COVID-19 turned out to be an opportunity, with our team pivoting into content creation and growing an Instagram following of 40,000.

“Just as we managed to thrive in a new space, we’re ready for whatever’s next and will find new ways to innovate within the crisis. It’s important to work with whatever resources you have available. Think on your feet, be creative and make something work. If it fails, you’ve still learnt something valuable.”

This article is part of the serialisation of interviews featured in MaltaCEOs 2022 – an annual high-end publication bringing together some of the country’s most influential business leaders.


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