A networking event hosted by The Foundation for the Promotion of Entrepreneurial Initiatives (FPEI) and the island’s only reward-based crowdfunding platform, Zaar, has brought together entrepreneurs from across Malta to celebrate the Erasmus+ project, INCrowd.

At the Opportunities in Action event, held on May 3 at international art gallery Valletta Contemporary, Malta’s community of enterprising entrepreneurs enjoyed the chance to mingle with like-minded individuals over food and drinks. While taking in the exhibitions at Valletta Contemporary, attendees could also find inspiration from short videos about recent Zaar campaigns and the INCrowd project.

“Since Malta joined the European Union, we have been an active participant in several EU projects, most notably the Erasmus+ projects,” explained Zaar manager Giselle Borg Olivier at the event. “This is what brings us all together: the Erasmus+ project, INCrowd, which stands for Inclusion through Crowdfunding. Due to the negative effects of the pandemic on the labour market, workplace instability led to job losses; however, it also gave rise to people’s curiosity and innovation as they began to explore different avenues. INCrowd seeks to support these entrepreneurs and visionaries who look for the light in a moment of darkness by providing opportunities that promote inclusivity.”

Through INCrowd, entrepreneurs can receive training on the opportunities and benefits of crowdfunding, and then launch their projects through a crowdfunding campaign on Zaar. Following that, a select few receive the opportunity to garner experience from an international Crowdfunding Academy in Europe, where project owners can learn from each other and grow their ideas.

At the event, Borg Olivier introduced two INCrowd pilot project participants, Karolina Rostkowska and Nicole Borg, who both ran successful crowdfunding campaigns that exceeded their respective funding goals. Sharing their experience, Rostkowska explained that she ran a Zaar campaign for her creative retail venture il-lokal, to raise funds for new, larger premises with extra facilities and accessibility to better serve Malta’s creative community. Likewise, Borg ran a campaign to support the Sikura brand, which provides wearable devices for women to use in life-threatening situations. With the funds raised, Borg can kick-start and further establish the brand locally, through the development of a website, online shop and blog.

“It makes me proud to know that we at Zaar have been able to continue our mission of supporting entrepreneurship in Malta with incredible opportunities like INCrowd – and the great news is that we will provide this opportunity again for another cohort of people, that will culminate at a Crowdfunding Academy in Padua, Italy, this November,” Borg Olivier announced at the event, referring to the INCrowd project’s second round of training sessions set to start in the coming weeks.

“If you, or someone you know, are aged between 18 and 30, have an idea that you would like to launch, and are interested in developing your entrepreneurial mindset, then we would like to hear from you! We look forward to helping you transform your ideas into a reality.”

More information is available at www.zaar.com.mt.

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