Malta will be introducing a venture capital fund for start-ups that cannot get a commercial loan, Economy Minister Silvio Schembri said on Tuesday. 

Schembri said banks are often reluctant to finance start-ups with "innovative products", so the government will be stepping in.   

"We were the only European country that did not have a venture capital fund," Schembri said.

Speaking on Tuesday morning, Schembri listed several Budget measures to help start-ups and small businesses take off.

The Budget for 2024 was presented on Monday.

Schembri said the €10 million venture capital fund will provide local entrepreneurs with equity for their new products.  

After undergoing due diligence and securing private investment, Malta Government Investments will double a start-up's investment to a maximum of €500,000, Schembri said.  

The fund is one of several measures aimed at start-ups, Schembri said.

The idea, he added, was to support their development into successful companies, Schembri said.  

"Just like Estonia gave birth to Bolt, Sweden to Trustly, and England Revolut, Malta must aspire to have its own successful start-up that puts the country on the map," the economy minister said.   

Brand new companies can also receive up to €10,000 to develop their ideas and up to €200,000 to cover salaries once a business plan is approved, Schembri said. 

Companies can then apply for a grant of €400,000 of further assistance once they have a viable product, he said. 

And if the company has a digital focus or an alternative energy product, the grant goes up to €800,000, he said.

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