Malta’s transition to the 21st century included a welcome diversification of the country’s economy. The passing of new legislation and the subsequent activation of several incentive schemes (for example, tax benefits, governmental assistance and financial subsidies, international networking) gave a strong boost to a variety of local industries. The most tangible results were in the financial sector, ICT, tourism, and iGaming.
In the financial sector, it was thanks to Maltese banks’ risk management approach that Malta dodged most of the ripple effects of the 2008 recession. Meanwhile, success stories in the ICT field include an e-government online system considered one of the most cutting-edge among EU countries. And as the Maltese tourism sector continues to expand; in 2017, it recorded an uptick of around 14-15% compared to the previous year. As for iGaming, Malta now hosts a rapidly growing list of online casinos, game providers, lead generation companies, and more, giving it the status of what some would call an iGaming mecca. And to top it all off, we’re witnessing the spread of blockchain technology in the country.
There’s another area, however, for which Malta deserves mention as fertile ground – startups. True, compared to the industries mentioned above, startup-related entrepreneurship is still in its embryonic stage, in part because people are understandably wary of giving up job security in favor of somewhat risky innovation and experimentation.That said, the country plays host to an ever-growing list of startups, a good number of which are making waves on an international level. In this article, we’ll take a look at a few of them:
Bumalift is a carpooling network that takes its name from the colloquial expression “to bum a lift,” which means “to hitch a ride.” The team behind this initiative took a problem rampant in Malta – a densely populated land with a car-per-person ratio of almost 1:1 – and devised a practical solution. Notably, the solution is rooted in volunteering and cooperation. Also, Transport Malta – the official department of public transport – is backing the project.
The way it works is that you sign up and choose whether you’re looking to share a ride to work, to take your kids to school, or to go to university. Then, you team up with people going in the same direction as you are, and you all use the same vehicle. There’s a point scheme in place, among other benefits, that enables you to earn rewards.