On Friday 1st December 2017, the Malta Business Bureau (MBB) launched a free and publicly-available training model in financial literacy for young and inexperienced entrepreneurs, as part of the EU-funded INVEST project. The launch was held at the Malta Life Sciences Park in San Gwann in an event attended by 60 entrepreneurs and stakeholders.
In his opening address, Hon. Aaron Farrugia, Parliamentary Secretary for EU Funds and Social Dialogue, referred to today’s generation as the ERASMUS generation – one that has fully benefited from the opportunities offered to it by means of complementary EU funding streams and initiatives.
MBB President David Zahra stated that “An entrepreneur may have the best business idea or the most innovative product in the market, but they risk failure if they lack the necessary financial knowledge in creating a sound business plan and in managing generated revenue”.
INVEST Project Coordinators Marika Huber and Marija Elena Borg explained how this model has been specifically designed to address existing gaps in financial knowledge, within both the Maltese and wider EU markets. The gaps were identified following research investigating the existing level of financial literacy amongst entrepreneurs in the five partner countries, namely Greece, Italy, Malta, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.
The research showed that young and inexperienced entrepreneurs in particular, wanted to improve their basic financial knowledge, preferably through an e-learning platform. Addressing this, the INVEST partners developed an online training model, allowing participants to learn at their own pace and in their preferred time.
The relevance of such a tool was re-emphasised by the panel, composed of four experts in the field: ZAAR Crowdfunding Platform Manager – Matthew Caruana, JAYE Malta Board Member – Fiona Captur, Business First Chief Officer – Paul Baldacchino and BOV Chief Credit Business Development Officer – Albert Frendo.
MBB CEO Joe Tanti said that “Financial Literacy among small business operators not only reduces the risk of failure and helps keep the business going, but also means that entrepreneurs will be in a better position to take advantage of opportunities that may arise”.
“The goal of this training model is not to turn entrepreneurs into accountants or financial experts – instead the goal is to improve their standards on simple, foundational skills that have a huge impact on their company’s bottom line” Mr Tanti continued.
The INVEST training model offers 30 hours of training customised to the entrepreneur’s skill gaps. The model strongly focuses on accounting, savings and investment for entrepreneurs and was developed from input by experts within the seven partner organisations.
MBB invites all entrepreneurs and stakeholders to be among the first to test this training model and help the project partners to improve it for the benefit of the Maltese and European business communities.
The INVEST Project, co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union, is run by the following European organisations: the Malta Business Bureau and the Mediterranean Bank Network (Malta), Association EFFEBI and Eurocrea Merchant (Italy), IDEC (Greece), Inqubator Leeuwarden (the Netherlands) and Bridging the Future (the United Kingdom).