As more and more young people choose to go down the entrepreneurial path rather than work their way up the corporate ladder, local start-ups are slowly yet certainly becoming more and more competitive. spoke to some of Malta’s leading young business leaders to learn more about their corporate journey. This is what they had to say to budding entrepreneurs:

Luigi Sapiano – Founder at SideStreet Malta

“Just do it. Before I decided to go ahead with SideStreet I sat on that idea for two long years because I feared that the content wouldn’t be good enough, that I’d be judged and because there’s always the risk that this could fail – and guess what, all of that is still true. But I’m so glad I took the decision to find out for myself, rather than having had the regret of not knowing what could have been.”

Luigi Sapiano (left) & Scott Schembri (right)

Scott Schembri – Co-Founder at Bulletproof Culture

“You have to believe in the concept and the people you are about to construct the idea with. There are going to be times when you will reflect on your decisions as a start-up. Times get tough, and this will affect your workflow and mindset. It’s important to keep your head in the game. Create positive energy in the team you’re with, it’s contagious! There’s nothing more satisfying than successfully working on your own project.”

Steve Ellul – Founder at The Growth Bully

“If something makes you happy and you think you can make your mark within the market, go for it. If you’re not sure where to start, Google it. You’ve got unlimited resources at your disposal online.”

Steve Ellul (left) & Nigel Borg (right)

Nigel Borg – CEO at Sharphawk

“The most important thing is to do what you love and what really makes you happy. You need to be able to enjoy the journey, not just look at the money which a business is capable of generating.”

Julian Cachia – Founder & Creative Director at Juwill Productions

“Take the plunge. It’s always worth it to chase your dreams and I wouldn’t stand to live my life knowing that I didn’t at least give something a shot. And with the endless opportunities available to us in this day and age, I really think we have it easier, so don’t side-line your aspirations – work on them.”

Julian Cachia (left) & Edward Cachia (right)

Edward Cachia – Founder at Machia

“Create your product before creating your company. Never stop testing your product and create solutions to any issue that product testing might show – it’s better to have one company with a solid product rather than six or seven with poorly-designed and easily replicable products. Most importantly of all – take care of yourselves. Your health, both mental and physical, is a priority, obsessing over finalising a sale isn’t.”

Andrew Critien – Managing Director at Elephant & Cross

“Do not underestimate yourself because of your age, and don’t let others use it as a tool to undermine you. Young people have a unique perspective on what other people want and the way things work. Never stop asking questions – take any opportunity to learn from others with experience. Adapt fast to things which don’t seem to be working. Invest in yourself today to enjoy a bright tomorrow.”

Andrew Critien (left) & Zach Ciappara (right)

Zach Ciappara – Founder & CEO at FreeHour

“Thinking long term is what I’ve always done since day one – FreeHour was never built to make money, to make me rich so that I can cash out and leave. My aim was always to build the next two years. As a CEO, your job isn’t in the present, it’s all about planning and putting your resources in such a situation that in two years’ time, you can take the next step.”


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