The idea behind crowdfunding has been around for many years, and is comparable to, for example, people coming together to contribute to charitable causes of interest to them. The medium used to carry out a campaign through this practice, however– the internet – is new and a reflection of the digital age we live in.
Together, Malta Business Bureau (MBB) and University of Malta have jumped on the proverbial bandwagon to offer the same opportunities to the Maltese population with a local platform, which is expected to be launched by the end of this year. Crowdfunding could be described as the collection of small monetary contributions by the general public to support or finance a particular initiative, project or venture. The crowdfunding platform is managed by The Foundation for the Promotion of Entrepreneurial Initiatives, an entity set up by the MBB and the University of Malta in 2015.
The platform provides individuals with creative ideas who require financing a local opportunity to help these projects take off. Entrepreneurs can now make the project idea available online on the ZAAR platform in order to gauge the interest of the general public. If the said initiative is able to gather the required funding within a stipulated time, the proponent receives the funds to materialize the project. In return, the proponents are encouraged to offer rewards to those who contribute towards the project. If the required funding is not raised by the deadline, then the funds collected by that time will be returned to the original sponsor.