Bank of Valletta participates actively in Malta SME Week
The eight edition of the Malta SME Week 2016 was brought to a close on Friday 28 October. A series of events was organised during this event which is driven by the European Commission across all member states. Activities organised during this period focus on entrepreneurship while generating public awareness, especially among those people who wish to start a business or are already in business and wish to grow and expand their business activities. In Malta the events are organised by the Ministry for the Economy, Investment and Small Business.
Bank of Valletta participated in various fora during the Malta SME Week, sharing the experience it gains on an everyday basis when engaging with SMEs.
In the Access to Finance Information Session organised by the Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise & Industry in collaboration with Bank of Valletta, the bank’s CEO Mario Mallia delivered the opening address.
Referring to the Survey on Access to Finance (SAF1E) run by the European Central Bank, Mr Mallia highlighted that two of the biggest challenges faced by European SMEs were finding employees with the right skills sets, and accessing bank finance. He spoke of the bank’s focus on SMEs which he described as the ‘backbone’ of the Maltese economy and referred to the various financing packages which BOV has undertaken in liaison with the European Investment Fund. He concluded by reaffirming the bank’s commitment to continue providing financial solutions for the various needs of local entrepreneurs.
Chief Business Development Officer (Credit) Albert Frendo gave participants an overview of the banks SME financing product suite with particular emphasis on the BOV JAIME Financing Package, highlighting the benefits that this EU-funded risk-sharing financing tool offers to eligible applicants. In his presentation, Mr Frendo also highlighted the role of the six BOV Business Centres that act as centres of expertise for Maltese and Gozitan SMEs.
A similar event was organised in Gozo in collaboration with the Gozo Business Chamber. Bank of Valletta was represented by Victoria Azzopardi from EU & Institutional Affairs, where the benefits of the BOV JAIME Financing Package together with some practical SME examples were presented to Gozitan SMEs.
Ivo Camilleri Executive Electronic Banking addressed the audience during the Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise & Industry Digitalisation Do or Die? conference at Xara Lodge. He gave an outline of the manner in which the bank’s electronic banking services can be used by SMEs to reach new markets, increase sales and derive internal efficiencies to improve their competitiveness levels.
The bank actively participates in such events because they offer an opportunity to bring the key players involved in SME policy to the discussion table, giving a voice to the challenges faced by players from this economic sector, while creating more awareness on the solutions available to make their business grow.