The MEA SME Helpdesk

The set-up of an SME Helpdesk – assisting the SME’s

  • The MEA SME Helpdesk was established on the 6thof December 2013. It is being administrated by  Anton Vella, who joined MEA in August 2013.  He has been working close to the SME sector for the past years.
  • The SME Helpdesk, within the MEA administrative office, is offering an additional service to those which were already being offered so far, but now specialising and mainly targeted to SMEs and Micros.
  • The Helpdesk, besides giving advice, and important info on how an SME will become fully compliant with all local employment legislation, and other regulatory bodies, is offering also handholding services, when entrepreneurs, decides to apply to benefit from any existing grant / assistance schemes.
  • During these last years we never stopped dreaming how we can be more efficient and creative towards this sector. Although we think that we did a lot, we are still eager to do much more.
  • As an SME Helpdesk we are relevant to employers even where it’s not an issue related directly to employment-employee relationship. We offer assistance when it comes to interaction with Government entities, knowledge on entrepreneurship and guidance of how an employer could be innovative, have better access to finance, explore in facilitating access for information, SMEs sector issues in general, etc.

The introduction of MEA’s Facebook page

  • It was part of the SME Helpdesk roadmap, that MEA should have a Facebook page to be able to promote all what concerns SMEs, its unique services and activities and the MEA TV Programme. This was set up on October 2nd 2013, and till today we have approximately 3,000 followers.

The establishment of the MEAINDEX online platform project

  • Following the first attempt to introduction an SME TOOLBOX – hard-copy-document, followed the tentative ESF application to create the AMAZE- online toolbox.
  • On June 2018 we proudly launched the MEAINDEX platform – the online toolbox for business entrepreneurs, which we still have today. This was a result of a three-year on-going project to establish an online tool/ local business ecosystem directory, which we felt that it was very much needed.
  • So far through the MEAINDEX project, we managed to give the opportunity to MEA to sign collaborative partner agreements with more than 16 different entities including: MCA, Family Business Office, Jobsplus, Agenzija Sapport, FSWS, MITA, MCCAA, Malta Enterprise, MDB,, NFDIS, OCVO, Malta Maritime Forum, Malta Development Bank, Ci-Consulta and the Foundation for Transport.
  • In the last three years we already managed to create a virtual traffic of more than 56,000 new viewers, over a 143,000 webpage hits, and 250 exclusive subscribers.

MEA’s participation in every year’s SME WEEK National programme of events

So far, for a number of consecutive years the SME Helpdesk and was responsible to organise and coordinate a number of events as part of the SME WEEK National programme of events, which are relevant to the SME’s sector.

These were:

  • 2013 Business Breakfast at the Corinthia Hotel St George

“SMEs from the Employers’ point of view”

Attendance approx. 220


Information Session at the Millenia Building -Marsa

“Employment Rights and Obligations for SME Employers”

Attendance approx. 40


  • 2014 Workshop Session- Hilton Hotel, St Julians

“The Concept of SME Business Clinic”

Attendance approx. 50

Half day Conference – Hilton Hotel, St. Julians.

“Access to Finance” – part of an EU Access to Finance Day – Malta

Attendance approx. 150


  • 2015 Business Breakfast – Le Meridien Hotel, St. Julians

“How is the Digital Economy changing the role of Employers?”

Attendance approx. 120


Information Session – MEA Premises in Valletta

“Family Business in Malta. Are they all pro-digital?”

Attendance approx. 50


  • 2016 Half Day Seminar- Le Meridien Hotel, St. Julians.

“Better Access of Information for SMEs – SME Tool a Possible Solution?”

Attendance approx. 150


Information Session – MEA Premises in Valletta.

“Equipping Employers for a more Equal and Inclusive Labour Market”

Attendance approx. 60


  • 2017 Half Day Seminar/focus group at MCC Valletta

Are Current Social Problems affecting Businesses?”

Attendance approx. 180


Half Day Conference at MCAST

“Bridging the Gap- Student to Business Entrepreneur”

Attendance approx. 200


  • 2018     Half-day Seminar, held at the Malta Maritime Museum on November 15th.

“Assisting SME’s Facing Today’s Challenges”

Attendance approx. 150


Focus Group

“Cyber Security from the eyes of the Maltese Employer and the Employees within the SME context”

Attendance approx. 55


  • 2019     SME National Forum held at the Dolmen Hotel-

             “Today’s Opportunities and Challenges in Employment for SMEs”

Attendance approx. 220


Cloud Technology for SME’s Masterclass –

“Making a Difference in my business using cloud technology”

Attendance approx. 60


  • 2020 SME National Forum held at the Dolmen Hotel- hybrid/online event

“Upskilling and Digitisation- the key for resilience”

Virtual attendance approx. 250


  • 2021 SME National Forum held at the Dolmen Hotel -hybrid/online event

“SMEs role in a Greener Economy Strategy”

                        Virtual attendance approx. 200


MEA’s participation in the NESA / NSBA local competition.

For a number of consecutive years, through the SME Helpdesk we managed to create projects with which we were able to apply and compete successfully in this National Competition.

These were the outcomes so far:

  • 2015 Winner                        Strengthening the Environment through Active Social Dialogue project
  • 2016 1ST Runner Up MEA-EQUIP – Equipping SMEs for a more Diverse and Inclusive Labour Market
  • 2017 Winner                        the Maltese Business Story project
  • 2018 1st Runner Up  Index project
  • 2019 Winner                        Meaindex – the online toolbox for business entrepreneurs’ project
  • 2020 2nd Runner Up pro-inklude project
  • 2021 1st Runner Up  MEA HR Handbook
  • 2022 1st Runner Up  MEAGreen


MEA – SME Helpdesk – automatically represented in each years’ SME European Assembly.

MEA’S SME Helpdesk representatives are always invited to attend the European SME Assembly, organised by the EU Commission,

So far SME Helpdesk Executive was present at:

  • 2015 Belgium-Luxembourg,
  • 2016 Slovakia- Bratislava
  • 2017 Estonia-Tallinn,
  • 2018 Austria-Gratz
  • 2019 Finland-Helsinki
  • 2020 Germany-Berlin (online)
  • 2021 Slovenia

We were lucky that on two occasions, in Luxembourg and Tallinn, MEA was awarded with the special mention award by the EU Commission, for the two projects with which we competed with.


MEA TV programme

  • For a number of consecutive years, the SME Helpdesk took the initiative to create, design and coordinate the setting up of the television programme studio set.
  • Is Responsible to make sure we apply for the PSI with PBS, and make all the necessary follow-ups, till we get the PBS approval.
  • The SME Helpdesk is also the main driver in coordinating topics, carry out all the necessary research, identifying the right speakers, looking for relevant footage, coordinate recording sessions and do all the necessary editing of programmes, with the participation of a number of different distinguished guests.
  • The SME Helpdesk was also entrusted to act as executive producer and main coordinator to produce a number of interviews, instruct foreign videographer to take relative on-location filming footage, and coordinate conference coverage, during the ILO Conference in Geneva.

SME Helpdesk also take initiatives in coordinating specific projects, such:

  • Taking in charge of logistics in MEA events, such as conferences, seminars, info sessions, etc.
  • Main driver in all coordination works related to the revamp and rebranding of the HR Handbook


The SME Helpdesk is also a key player who initiates and finally reach an agreement with other entities to actually sign an MoU with MEA.

Amongst, one can mention:

  • The MoU with MCAST (signed in October 2017)
  • The MoU with the Malta Enterprise (signed in September 2020)
  • The MoU with the Foundation for Transport (signed in November 2020)
  • Other MoUs signed as part of the meaindex project

SME Helpdesk Executive represents MEA in different fora including:

  • The Business Disability Forum
  • The Enterprise Consultative Council
  • The Foundation for Transport
  • The Malta Cloud Forum
  • The eskills Malta Foundation strategic consultation committee
  • The Customs Supply Chain Forum
  • The National e-invoicing Forum
  • The MCAST Entrepreneurship Sales Pitch Evaluation Board.


For a period of time, the SME Helpdesk  was also MEA’s representative during meetings and events organised by:

  • CORE
  • President’s Trust Fund
  • MCAST Business Entrepreneurship Forum
  • Skill-card Focus Group
  • NCPE
  • And others…