The winners of two JA Malta Foundation sustainable entrepreneurship awards, organised for the first time this year with support from the HSBC Malta Foundation, have been announced. ‘Spring’, a non-profit Malta-based application targeting food waste reduction by selling food surplus from local businesses at discounted prices has won the HSBC ESG Sustainability Award (Start Up Programme), which is part of JA Malta’s tertiary programme. Virescent, which has created a 100 per cent recyclable notebook from shredded office paper, has won the HSBC Green Entrepreneurship Award (Company Programme), which is part of the JA Malta post-secondary programme.
Students competing in the HSBC Green Entrepreneurship Award and the HSBC ESG Sustainability Award were tasked to create projects that focus on the realisation of innovative green business ideas while establishing and maintaining a strong sustainability culture in their organisation design. In the event that the winners of the HSBC ESG Sustainability Award proceed to launch their startup idea, HSBC Malta will provide seed funding of €10,000, based on a number of specific conditions.
Simon Vaughan Johnson, CEO at HSBC Bank Malta and Chair of the HSBC Malta Foundation, said: “By supporting JA Malta Foundation since its establishment in 1999, HSBC Malta has helped give thousands of young students important entrepreneurial skills, including sustainability and financial literacy. HSBC Malta and the HSBC Malta Foundation is proud to have collaborated with JA Malta on these important new awards as environmental social governance, or ESG, principles are of great importance in today’s business and economic landscape.”
The HSBC ESG Sustainability Award saw ‘S.A.P.’ and ‘Plastopex’ place second and third respectively. The former project has created a biodegradable, eco-friendly products made from a seaweed-based material that is like plastic, while the latter focused on recycling old plastic items and creating 3D printing. In the HSBC Green Entrepreneurship Award, the second and third places went to ‘LostNfound’ and ‘Apollo’. The former has created a fishnet bag made out of recovered fishnets that has been available in retail shops to fight fishnet waste in the sea with the latter creating a sustainable solar mobile charger demonstrating strong environmental credentials.
Matthew Caruana, CEO of JA Malta, said: “Entrants competing for these two ESG awards have presented strong, innovative ideas that have all embraced the idea of sustainable entrepreneurship at their core. The sustainable and responsible entrepreneurial mindset is not only an advantage in the present business landscape but a necessity. As our relationship with HSBC Malta and the HSBC Malta Foundation continues to evolve, thanks also to their recent significant commitment to our organisation, our determination to instil these important values in the younger generation will only strengthen.”
HSBC is currently supporting the Junior Achievement (JA) Malta Foundation with a grant of US$350,000 over a two-year period. These funds are being used by JA Malta to bring entrepreneurship and financial literacy skills to the community via the Future Skills High Impact Project.