SME Chamber organises a webinar on Cyber risks for Maltese Businesses

Earlier this week the Malta Chamber of SMEs in collaboration with Diligex – AML Compliance Specialists and Thomas Murray organised a webinar on Cyber risks for Maltese Businesses and provided an exclusive intelligence insights on cyber threats in Malta.

The webinar focused on the advanced persistent threats (APTs) that may target Maltese businesses. The main speaker of this webinar was Mr Stephen Green, Threat Intelligence Lead at Thomas Murray and provided guidance on how to fortify your defences against these persistent and evolving cyber threats.

He provided an understanding of advanced persistent threats, overview of recent campaigns that have directly impacted entities within Malta and those with a similar profile, insights into the latest tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) and methods to identify and prevent common initial access methods.

Should you wish to receive the webinar recording kindly contact us on

The Malta Chamber of SMEs and Trust Payments renew their partnership for the next 3 years

The Malta Chamber of SMEs and Trust Payments renewed their partnership for the next 3 years

During the signing of the agreement, Malta Chamber of SMEs President Mr. Paul Abela expressed his satisfaction in partnering once again with Trust Payments, noting that the collaboration offers the best possible electronic payment rates to businesses, especially to members of the Malta Chamber of SMEs.

Trust Payments Malta CEO Mr. Steve Grech highlighted the success of the partnership over the past three years and expressed confidence that the next three years will be equally successful.

Trust Payments is a leader in fintech, powering innovative customer commerce solutions across Malta and overseas. We provide on-demand Payments and Commerce services to help businesses grow and scale online, in-store, and on mobile.

Trust Payments combines these omnichannel services with powerful tools such as retail operations technology, loyalty management, and instant eCommerce. Trust Paymetns continuously engage in new innovative payment methods, including crypto and bank transfers, to drive Converged Commerce™.

SME Barometer (Q2 2024) shows discomfort and consistent concerns amongst local businesses whilst positively recognising lower inflation levels

Absolute majority of businesses skeptical on the country’s direction

The Malta Chamber of SMEs earlier today published the results of the SME Barometer (Q2 2024) Survey conducted amongst a total of 372 businesses (51% – Micro, 30% – Small, 16% – Medium and 3% – Large).

When asked what the topmost important issues are concerning their businesses, the data reveals the major concerns and challenges faced by businesses in Malta are categorised by the number of employees. In general, and across the board, the most pressing issues across all Business sizes are Employee Shortage (45%), Unfair Competition (24%) and Increase in Inflation (22%).

The primary contributors to business concerns when it comes to the national situation, across all sectors continues to be the lack of good governance (39%) and the level of corruption (36%). Inflation took a downward trend as opposed to Q1 (24) barometer, seeing a decrease of almost 10 percentage points.

SME Chamber President Mr. Paul Abela said that ‘The businesses overall sentiment continues to show that Businesses are feeling uncomfortable with the direction they are seeing Malta heading towards (79%)…This shows that businesses in general are not happy with the direction the country is heading to and a need for change in direction is imminent’.

The data shows that overall businesses’ sentiment continued to shift when compared with Q1, 2024.

Businesses, regardless of their size, are still facing considerable uncertainty when it comes to making investment decisions for the next year (53% – Unsure).

Misco Director Mr. Lawrence Zammit noted that as highlighted employee shortage remains a top most concern as a result of the current economic model. At the same time overpopulation was also regarded as an issue the government must tackle. Mr. Zammit said that a change in the economic model will directly address both the employee shortage and the concerns regarding overpopulation.

The SME Barometer survey is a collaborative effort between the SME Chamber and MISCO.

About Malta Chamber of SMEs:

The Malta Chamber of SMEs is a leading advocate for small and medium-sized enterprises, dedicated to championing their interests, fostering innovation, and driving economic prosperity in Malta.

About MISCO:

MISCO, a renowned research and consultancy company, specializes in providing actionable insights and strategic solutions to empower organizations, human resources and upskilling across various industries

Rewriting Your Business Plan to Integrate ESG Criteria: A Transformative Approach for Start-Ups and SMEs

In today’s rapidly evolving business landscape, environmental, social, and governance (ESG) criteria have become essential components of corporate strategy. For start-ups and small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), integrating ESG criteria into a business plan is not just a trend but a strategic imperative. This transformative approach can drive sustainable growth, enhance a brand’s reputation, and attract investors who are increasingly prioritizing responsible and ethical business practices.

ESG stands for Environmental, Social, and Governance, representing three critical dimensions of sustainability and ethical business practices. The environmental aspect involves initiatives to reduce carbon footprints, manage resources efficiently, and mitigate environmental impact. The social dimension focuses on managing relationships with employees, suppliers, customers, and communities, encompassing diversity, labor rights, and community engagement. Governance relates to the internal systems and practices that ensure transparency, accountability, and ethical decision-making. Incorporating these criteria into a business plan can yield numerous benefits, from operational efficiencies to enhanced stakeholder trust.

One of the significant advantages of rewriting a business plan to integrate ESG criteria is the attraction of investment and funding. Investors are increasingly looking for businesses that prioritize ESG factors. A 2021 report by Morningstar highlighted that sustainable funds in the U.S. attracted $51.1 billion in new investments in 2020, more than double the previous year. Even locally, banks are placing great importance on ESG factors, and are likely to be guided by a company’s ESG performance when determining whether to grant or withhold financial support. This is because, by integrating ESG criteria into a business plan, a company demonstrates a commitment to long-term sustainability, making it more attractive to conscientious investors.

Enhancing brand reputation and customer loyalty is another compelling reason to adopt ESG principles. Consumers are becoming more aware of the social and environmental impact of their purchases. A survey by Nielsen found that 66% of global consumers are willing to pay more for sustainable brands. Embedding ESG principles into a business model can differentiate a brand, enhance its reputation, and build stronger customer loyalty.

Improving risk management is a critical benefit of a robust ESG strategy. Such a strategy helps identify and mitigate risks related to environmental regulations, social issues, and governance practices. This proactive approach not only safeguards a business against potential legal and financial penalties but also ensures long-term viability. For instance, companies that prioritize environmental sustainability are better prepared for regulatory changes aimed at combating climate change.

A focus on ESG can also drive operational efficiency and innovation. Sustainable practices often lead to more efficient operations. Reducing waste and energy consumption can lower operational costs. Additionally, an ESG-focused approach encourages innovation. Start-ups and SMEs that invest in sustainable technologies and practices often discover new business opportunities and markets.

Attracting and retaining talent is another significant advantage of integrating ESG criteria. Today’s workforce, especially millennials and Gen Z, values purpose-driven work.

According to a Deloitte survey, 77% of millennials said a company’s commitment to social and environmental issues influences their decision to work there. By integrating ESG criteria into a business plan, companies can attract and retain top talent who are passionate about making a positive impact.

To effectively integrate ESG into a business plan, it is essential to start with an ESG assessment. This involves assessing the current ESG performance, identifying areas where the business excels and areas needing improvement. This assessment provides a baseline and helps set realistic goals. Defining ESG goals and metrics aligned with business objectives is the next step. For example, a company might aim to reduce carbon emissions by a certain percentage or increase diversity in its workforce. Establishing metrics to track progress and holding oneself accountable is crucial.

Engaging stakeholders, including employees, customers, suppliers, and investors, to understand their ESG expectations and priorities is essential. This collaborative approach ensures that the ESG strategy is relevant and impactful. Integrating ESG criteria into core business processes, from supply chain management to product development, ensures that decision-making at all levels considers ESG impact.

Transparency is key to gaining stakeholder trust. Regularly communicating ESG initiatives, progress, and outcomes through reports, social media, and other channels is important. Highlighting success stories and being honest about challenges and areas for improvement builds credibility. ESG is a dynamic field with evolving standards and expectations. Continuously monitoring and refining the ESG strategy to stay ahead of trends and regulations is necessary. Regularly reviewing goals and metrics and adjusting them as necessary ensures they remain ambitious yet achievable.

Rewriting a business plan to integrate ESG criteria is not merely an exercise in corporate responsibility but a strategic move that can drive long-term success. For start-ups and SMEs, this approach can unlock new opportunities, enhance a brand’s reputation, attract investment, and ensure sustainable growth. By committing to ESG principles, a business positions itself as a leader in the modern economy, ready to tackle the challenges and seize the opportunities of a rapidly changing world.

In an era where stakeholders demand more from businesses, integrating ESG criteria into a business plan is a powerful way to demonstrate a commitment to making a positive impact. In Malta, start-ups and SMEs can get their business plan funded through local schemes, making this step a no-brainer for those who want to tap into current opportunities to future-proof their business model. Embrace this transformative approach and watch your business thrive in a more sustainable and equitable future.

The Malta Chamber of SMEs, in collaboration with Weave Consulting – the ESG Specialists, is offering its members free advisory services to help them understand and implement ESG in a simple and affordable manner. To book your free session , email us on or call 21232881

Introducing the Alice Cash Management System!

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Malta Business Awards 2024 Launched – Applications open until 7th August on maltabusinessawards.mt

Following the success of the first two editions, the third edition of the Malta Business Awards is being launched today by the Malta Chamber of SMEs in collaboration with Malta Enterprise.

With the launch of the awards, applications opened which will remain open until 7th August.

During this year’s edition, 23 awards will be available within 4 different categories, Distinct initiatives, Innovative & Sustainable Ambassadors, Celebrating Business and National Transport.

List of awards:

Distinct Initiatives – supported by Enemed

  • Exceptional Wellbeing at the Workplace – Supported by Ministry for Home Affairs, Security and Employment
  • Social Impact Award – Supported by Enemed
  • Leader in Mental Health Wellness Award – Supported by Ministry for Social Policy and Children’s Rights
  • Leader in inclusivity – Supported by Ministry for Inclusion and the Voluntary Sector
  • Local Cultural Contributor – Supported by Arts Council Malta
  • Customer Service Excellence Award – Supported by Malta International Airport

Innovative & Sustainable Ambassadors

  • Best Waste Management Strategy – Supported by Wasteserv
  • Project Green – Supported by Project Green
  • Innovative Digital Solution – Supported by Malta Digital Innovation Authority (MDIA)
  • Innovative Sustainable Business Award – Supported by APS Bank
  • Business Leader in Energy and Water Sustainability – Supported by Energy and Water Agency
  • Leader in Quality Tourism – Supported by Malta Tourism Authority

 

Celebrating Business

  • President’s Choice Award – Supported by Malta Chamber of SMEs
  • Gozo Business of the Year – Supported by Ministry for Gozo
  • SME of the Year – Supported by Malta Enterprise
  • Small Business of the Year – Supported by Malta Chamber of SMEs
  • Young Entrepreneur of the Year – Supported by GSD Marketing
  • Female Entrepreneur of the Year – Supported by Parliamentary Secretariat for Equality and Reforms
  • Family Business of the Year – Supported by Malta Chamber of SMEs
  • Start-up Business of the Year – Supported by Trust Payments

 

National Transport Supported by Ministry for Transport, Infrastructure and Public Works

  • Smart Transport Initiative
  • Green Transport Initiative
  • Logistics Solution Award

The launch was addressed by SME Chamber Deputy President Philip Fenech together with Malta Enterprise CEO Kurt Farrugia and Chief Executive Abigail Agius Mamo.

Malta Enterprise CEO Kurt Farrugia  said these awards are a natural continuation of the work we do as Malta Enterprise in supporting businesses. We will continue to work to support businesses both through our incentives and support measures but also through opportunities like this one which allows us to shine a light on the work which is being done by businesses.

Mr Farrugia added, “we encourage all businesses to make the most out of this opportunity and apply for all of the different categories!”

The CEO of the Malta Chamber of SMEs Abigail Agius Mamo urged businesses to apply for the Malta Business Awards by 7th August at www.maltabusinessawards.mt/application/

Agius Mamo explained that companies can apply for more than one award. It also announced that the first selected companies would be announced on 10th September and the finalists would be announced on the 10th October. The final evening will take place on the 15th November 2024.

For more information about the Malta Business Awards one can visit www.maltabusinessawards.mt.

SME Chamber organises a webinar on New Growth Schemes in collaboration with Malta Enterprise

The Malta Chamber of SMEs in collaboration with Malta Enterprise organised a webinar on new Growth Grant Schemes, which attracted over 400 registrants.

Rent Subsidy Scheme
– INVEST – Support for Initial Investment Projects
– Skills Development Scheme
– Business Development Scheme

Should you need any further information contact us on 📩 

FLOW 24 – Another successful conference on digital transformation

4 Sight Group hosted the 3rd edition of Flow 24 – The Digital Transformation Event.

The conference attracted over 200 delegates from various sectors, eager to explore the latest technologies like AI and automation and understand how these innovations can enhance business efficiency and streamline operations.

Attendees also had the chance to network with other business leaders and gain insights from their experiences.

The Malta Chamber of SMEs was a proud supporter of the successful event.

TERRA: A Conference on ESG & Impact Investing – 15% discount for SME Chamber members

Terra 2024 promises to be a key event on Sustainability. ESG is revolutionising how we view environmental and social impacts in business, with the EU leading the charge through its Green Deal.

Key regulations are paving the way for a transparent and accountable future, and will impact a number of companies directly, and most others indirectly.

Hear from, and interact with, the experts including Chiara De Prete from EFRAG – The minds behind the European Sustainability Reporting Standards, which include a set of voluntary standards for SMEs.

Members of The Chamber of SMEs are entitled to a 15% discount to attend this event. Email us if interested and we will send you a discount code.

Click here for more information and registration.