Malta’s Junior Achievement Young Enterprise (JAYE) Foundation has announced that business innovator Matthew Caruana has been appointed as CEO designate.

After a transformative three-year tenure, JAYE’s current CEO, Fiona Captur, will be handing the reins to Matthew Caruana in February 2022.

For the past 30 years, JAYE Malta has provided high-quality education programmes to young people aged eight to 30 living in Malta and Gozo. The Foundation aims to nurture economic development and broaden the horizons of the next generation by providing education, opportunities, and hands-on experience in the areas of business, economics, employability, and entrepreneurship.

Having benefitted first-hand from JAYE’s projects as a student, Caruana brings a wealth of entrepreneurial experience to his new role, with the aim of driving JAYE’s reach even further. As a business innovator, coach and mentor, Caruana has a proven track record for propelling grassroots projects to success.

Caruana is passionate about entrepreneurship and strives to positively transform Malta’s startup scene, believing it to be essential for the country’s future economic success. Since 2016 he has headed up ZAAR, Malta’s leading crowdfunding platform. Caruana has also transformed its impact and reputation, driving numerous startup projects through their critical early days to success and built the platform into a nationally recognised brand.

Recently, Caruana has coached and mentored students through JAYE programmes, as well as the Climate KIC accelerator programme, and in the international Masters’ programme SMARTUP. He has been a speaker at numerous conferences about crowdfunding, entrepreneurship and alternative finance. He has also made his mark as Malta’s Alternative Finance and FinTech expert at the European Commission workshop, DG GROW Workshop.

“It is an honour for me to take on this responsibility with an organisation that has contributed so much to the development and education of so many individuals over the years,” Caruana said.

“JAYE gave me a lot when I was a student, and now I am delighted to offer my services and build on the excellent work that has been done so far to enable the organisation to reach out to more young people” Caruana added.

Outgoing CEO Fiona Captur commented, “I am delighted to be handing the baton to Matthew Caruana. Apart from the fact that he is a JAYE alumnus himself and has been one of our mentors for quite a few years, his work in entrepreneurship and crowdfunding will bring a new angle to JAYE that will take the organisation to new places. Exciting times lie ahead!