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Access to finance

20 November 2009
by Ina Dimireva -- last modified 03 July 2012

An overview of the sources of finance available to SMEs in Malta.


Public finance

Indirect support

Maltese law provides for three types of financing under the Business Promotion Act: loan guarantees, soft loans, and interest rate subsidies.

Loan Guarantees provide businesses with the finance necessary to acquire capital assets. The maximum loan guarantee is 75% of the loan requirement - as set out in Article 10 of the Business Promotion Regulations. (S.L.325.06)

Article 10 of the Business Promotion Regulations

Soft loans are loans offered at low interest rates. The maximum soft loan available is 75% of the qualifying expenditure - as set out in Article 8 of the Business Promotion Regulations. (S.L.325.06)

Article 8 of the Business Promotion Regulations.

Loan Interest Rate Subsidies support capital assets leading to a more effective and efficient production and supply of service. They are offered under Article 9 of the Business Promotion Regulations. (S.L.325.06)

Article 9 of the Business Promotion Regulations

Malta Enterprise Incentives - Access to Finance

Direct support

Malta Enterprise offers a multitude of incentives to companies who make investments. These incentives fall under 4 different categories:

  • Investment Aid - Companies engaged in specific activities can benefit from tax credits on capital investment and job creation.
  • Investment Aid

  • Enterprise Support - Assistance to businesses to support them in developing their international competitiveness, improving their processes and networking with other businesses.
  • Enterprise Support

  • SME Development - Grants targeting the creation and development of innovative start-ups, and the development of forward looking small and medium-sized enterprises.
  • SME Development

  • Research & Development - Various incentives are being offered to stimulate innovative enterprises to engage in research & development.
  • Research & Development

Access to EU funding

Calls for applications for funding from EU Structural Funds (ESF) are issued by the Managing Authority (MA) of the ESF or by its Intermediate Bodies (IBs). In Malta, IBs are public bodies charged with the implementation of Aid Schemes, such as the Malta Enterprise and the Employment and Training Corporation (ETC).

Malta has two Operational Programmes (OP) for the 2007-2013 programme period: 

  • OPI: Investing in competitiveness for a better quality of life;
  • OPII: Empowering people for more jobs and a better quality of life.
  • Key Documents and Links - Operational Programmes

    Each OP issues separate calls for project proposals under a respective priority axis. Therefore you must make sure that the proposed project fits within the priority axis under which the call is issued, and according to the eligibility criteria and conditions as stated in the same call.

    Calls for project proposals are publicised in all the local newspapers.

    Open Calls for Project Proposals - All Funds

    Approved projects: Cohesion Policy 2007-13

    To apply for EU funding, you need to download:

    • the application form;
    • guidance notes to the application form.

    Application forms must be submitted both in electronic and paper format as stated on the guidance notes.

    During the application process, information sessions are also held. Registration for participation in the relevant information sessions is publicised with the call for project proposals.

    It is recommended that you attend information sessions organised by the MA or IBs as the case may be.

    ETC - Employment Aid Programme (EAP)

    Malta Enterprise - Business Incentives

    Tourism and Sustainable Development Unit - EU Funding

    You can find other Funding Programmes managed by the Maltese MA, as well as access to closed calls' application forms and guidance notes at the Planning and Priorities Coordination Division:

    Territorial Cooperation Programmes

    Other Funding Programmes

    Closed Calls for Project Proposals

    Business support organisations can advise businesses on how to find financing.

    Business support — Malta

    Source: European Commission

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