The Malta Chamber of SMEs and Malta Enterprise held the finals of the first edition of the Malta Business Awards on Friday at the Mediterranean Conference Centre in Valletta.
Awards were divided into four categories, namely Distinct Initiatives, Green Ambassadors, Celebrating Business, and Business Innovation, with over 20 awards being given to enterprises from a variety of sectors. 300 nominations were presented, while 100 finalists were chosen by independent judges during the first round, while the winners were chosen after a second round of judging following pitches put forward by the finalists. The event was attended by over 550 people representing local businesses and major stakeholders in the respective industries.
Malta Chamber of SMEs CEO Abigail Agius Mamo said that it was a “great honour” to reward the firms, as such awards were created to “recognise Maltese business”.
“Our country has a strong and resilient business community and our mission as Malta Enterprise is to see that Maltese business is further strengthened and that it regenerates itself to be stronger in its future endeavours,” Malta Enterprise CEO Kurt Farrugia said.
“Our schemes are designed to support businesses in their path towards growth. Tonight’s awards are a celebration of all the good that Maltese and Gozitan businesses and workers have to offer,” he added.
Minister for the Environment, Enterprise and Energy Miriam Dalli said: “The first edition of the Malta Business Awards served as a showcase of our nation’s leading entrepreneurs and businesses, who despite the ongoing challenges still strive to produce and deliver excellent products and services. I look forward to seeing more businesses adopt innovative and sustainable solutions, giving their operations a competitive edge.”
Following the event, a number of winners expressed gratitude for the awards they were given, with many noting that the results were only possible with the help of their respective teams.
“No words can describe how happy I am. Not enough thank you to my colleagues that make this group so incredible. The biggest well done goes to you for all your constantly outstanding performances,” Bajada Group Managing Director Mark Bajada said upon the company being named SME of the Year.
Geoffrey Friggieri, Managing Partner at catering company Busy Bee Ltd, said that he is “super proud” that the firm was named Family Business of the Year, before thanking all the families and staff that helped it achieve the “prestigious award”.
“My head is still reeling from last night’s event,” Celebrate Life Malta Founder John Spiteri wrote after the funeral organisation hub was awarded Start-up Business of the Year, while his daughter Miran Sapiano was named first runner-up for Young Entrepreneur of the Year.
“The awards are a huge achievement and a great incentive to keep improving the service I offer. I also feel the need to add that Miran will still be close to the families she is trusted with and will keep her feet firmly on the ground,” he added.
As event management company Colours of Malta was named Leader in Quality Tourism, Managing Director commented that it is a “super proud moment” and thanked the rest of the team at the firm.
Tour operator Robert Arrigo & Sons won the Malta Chamber of SMEs President’s Choice Award in memory of the late Robert Arrigo. “We know Robert Arrigo would be proud,” the company’s management wrote on social media, as it thanked its employees for making it possible.
The winners of the first edition of the Malta Business Awards are:
1. Local Cultural Contributor
1st Stephanie Borg
1st Runner-up – Golden Island Ltd
2nd Runner-up – Te Fit-Tazza
2. Leader in Inclusivity Award
1st Costa Coffee – The Coffee Company Malta Ltd
1st Runner-up – HILA Homoes
2nd Runner-up – Verdala International School
3. Exceptional Wellbeing at the Workplace
1st Lottoland Malta
1st Runner-up – Finductive Ltd
2nd Runner-up – Switch – Digital & Brand
4. Customer Service Excellence Award
1st ESS Ltd
1st Runner-up – Melita Ltd
2nd Runner-up – Maypole Bakery Ltd
5. Best CSR Initiative
1st Jacob’s Brew Cafe
1st Runner-up – Lottoland Malta
2nd Runner-up – Malta Freeport Terminals Ltd.
6. Apprentice of the Year Award
1st Mirhea Abdilla
1st Runner-up – Amber Borg
2nd Runner-up – Chris Saliba
7. Leader in Sustainable Initiatives Award
1st Gerada Quality Construction
1st Runner-up – MRX Investments Ltd
2nd Runner-up – Natural Health Malta
8. Innovative Climate Solution Award
1st WES Trade Ltd
1st Runner-up – Frank Wrap
2nd Runner-up – Bio Aqua Garden Ltd
9. Green Transport Initiative Award
1st Rotolo Ltd
1st Runner-up – Malta Electromodility Manufacturing
2nd Runner-up – Michael Attard Ltd
10. Carbon Neutral Commitment Award
1st Lottoland Malta
1st Runner-up – Melita Ltd
2nd Runner-up – Oli Vibra Ltd
11. Best Waste Reduction Strategy
1st Frank Wrap
1st Runner-up – Aquaculture resources Ltd
2nd Runner-up – General Soft Drinks
12. Innovative Business Award
1st Freehour Ltd
1st Runner-up –Diligex
2nd Runner-up – Moneybase Ltd
13. Reinvention Award
1st Portughes Dry Cleaning
1st Runner-up – HumAin Ltd
2nd Runner-up – Jugs Malta Ltd
14. Leader in Quality Tourism
1st Colours of Malta
1st Runner-up – Merill Rural Network
2nd Runner-up – Robert Arrigo & Sons Ltd
15. Best Campaign
1st Crosscraft Ltd
1st Runner-up – Retail Marketing Ltd – Welbees
2nd Runner up – Eurosport
16. B2B Digital Solution of the Year
1st Arkafort Ltd
1st Runner Up – Diligex
2nd Runner-up – Scope
17. Young Entrepreneur of the Year
1st Alona Aldruk – Take-Off
1st Runner-up – Miran Sapiano – Celebrate Life Malta
2nd Runner-up – Carlos Borg – Carisma Collections
18. Start-up Business of the Year
1st Celebrate Life Malta
1st Runner-up – Fyorin
2nd Runner-up – My Mama
19. Best Financial Institution
1st Moneybase Ltd
1st Runner-up –Finductive Ltd
2nd Runner-up – Lifestar Insurance Plc
20. Gozo Business of the Year
1st David’s Bakery
1st Runner-up – Ta’ Mena Agri Ltd
2nd Runner-up – Kempinski San Lawrenz
21. Female Entrepreneur of the Year
1st Dr Joanna Delia – People and Skin
1st Runner-up – Jo Caruana – Finesse
2nd Runner-up – Sarah Mifsud – Saz Mifsud
22. Family Business of the Year
1st Busy Bee
1st Runner-up – Oxford house
2nd Runner-up – Greens Supermarket
23. SME of the Year
1st Bajada Group
1st Runner-up – Maritime MT
2nd Runner-up – Misco
24. Presidents’ Choice Award
Robert Arrigo & Sons
This comes after Martin Saliba’s term ended after three years at the helm.
He first joined the organisation in 2015 as Head of Business Development
He leaves Esports Entertainment Group after a year as Vice President of Information Security.
Co-Founder Jörgen Nordlund will take over the position on an interim basis until a replacement is found.