SUPPORT MECHANISM:

Zaar.com.mt is Malta’s only local crowdfunding platform. This crowd-funding platform was launched in 2015 as a donation and reward-based crowd-funding model.

Currently Zaar helps its clients to fundraise on the basis of rewards, meaning that those pledging a donation will receive a non-financial reward to thank them for their interest and support. Zaar campaigns are backed by mentoring, support and publics relations guidance, to help each of the campaigns take off and to help guide them into the best crowdfunding direction.

However, Zaar believes that sticking simply to rewards-based campaigns is limiting the potential of crowdfunding in Malta because an investment-based option is not yet available. To combat this, Zaar invested its own efforts into lobbying the MFSA for the release of a discussion paper on Investment Crowdfunding Legislation, and in fact a discussion paper was published in November.

MONITORING + EVALUATION METHODS:

Currently Zaar helps its clients to fundraise on the basis of rewards, meaning that those pledging a donation will receive a non-financial reward to thank them for their interest and support. Zaar campaigns are backed by mentoring, support and publics relations guidance, to help each of the campaigns take off and to help guide them into the best crowdfunding direction.

However, Zaar believes that sticking simply to rewards-based campaigns is limiting the potential of crowdfunding in Malta because an investment-based option is not yet available. To combat this, Zaar invested its own efforts into lobbying the MFSA for the release of a discussion paper on Investment Crowdfunding Legislation, and in fact a discussion paper was published in November.

RESULTS  :

Since the initiative was launched in 2015 as collaboration between the Malta Business Bureau and the University of Malta, the platform has supported an average of two campaigns each month. This had led to a total of 26 projects so far, including five that are currently active. Of those projects 57% were successful, with 12 of the 21 completed projects securing the desired funding. Top grossing projects included the Mater Dei Pet Cabin, the University of Malta’s Racing Team, and the Simshar DVD campaign. In total, over €65,000 has been channelled through Zaar into local initiatives.

CHALLENGES + LESSONS TO DATE:

Zaar has also been active on numerous other fronts to raise the profile of crowdfunding in Malta in the last 12 months. Zaar manager Matthew Caruana attended numerous events and spoke at a number of conferences, including at Women Mean Business, ZEST, the ECN Convention, the Mediterranean Crowdfunding Forum, and Crowdialog and regularly at networks including JCI, JAYE, SOPA and ACM. On top of that, Mr Caruana was also asked to deliver training on crowdfunding to female entrepreneurs in Albania. 

Beyond all that, Zaar has also been recognised for its contributions in 2016. Among its accolades the platform was announced as the winner of the first prize in its section at the National Enterprise Support Awards 2016. This led to Zaar being asked to represent Malta at the European Enterprise Promotion Awards in Slovakia. In the year to come, Zaar will be focused on further raising its profile among potential backers and investors, while also reaching out to entrepreneurs, project makers and NGOs that could benefit from local crowdfunding.