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The Committee for Economic Development to launch new approach to fostering entrepreneurship in Guernsey in early 2020

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Thursday 28 November 2019

In the Economic Development Strategy set out by the Committee for Economic Development and agreed by the States in mid-2018, a commitment was made to review Guernsey's approach to supporting start-up and scale-up businesses in order to ensure that all of the constituent parts of the approach have clear roles and responsibilities, are working together effectively, and there are clear targets.

Having undertaken a review, the Committee is pleased to be furthering its partnership approach by establishing a collaboration between the Digital Greenhouse, Agilisys, Barclays Eagle Labandthe Chamber of Commerce. This will replace the annual grant that has previously been paid to Start Up Guernsey.

The new collaboration will focus on six critical areas:

Deputy Charles Parkinson, President of the Committee for Economic Development said:

"The Committee promised to work in partnership with private sector expertise, and this innovative new approach is a fantastic example of that. It is a partnership of resources and expertise in the truest sense.

The Digital Greenhouse offer has developed year on year since it was established in 2016, and the Committee invested £1m of funding from the Future Guernsey Economic Fund for 2019-21 to further develop that offer.

The enhanced Digital Greenhouse model has been developed to dovetail with the network and expertise provided by Barclays Eagle Labs, whose investment in supporting innovation and entrepreneurialism in Guernsey is having strong benefits for local business.

Through the Smart Guernsey strategic partnership, the programmes offered by Agilisys and the Blenheim Chalcot family of businesses, of which Agilisys is a member, have also been developed to complement and enhance the overall entrepreneurship offer, and this is a very exciting development.

Finally I am delighted that we are also working closely with the Chamber of Commerce, whose space in the Market Square has become a truly effective business hub, and the working relationship with the Digital Greenhouse across the square has gone from strength to strength."

Deputy Andrea Dudley-Owen, Vice-President of the Committee for Economic Development said:

"As a board member of Start Up Guernsey I have seen at close hand how hard they have worked to support entrepreneurialism in Guernsey, and they have done sterling work to support many new businesses in the island. The Committee is grateful for their efforts and successes.

However the development of the Digital Greenhouse offer and the partnerships with Barclays Eagle Labs and Agilisys offer us a different way to support start-up and scale-up businesses and make our investment on behalf of the taxpayer work even harder. I am also delighted that we will be working even more closely with Barrie Baxter, Kay Leslie and the team at Chamber, who are doing a great job supporting new businesses in Guernsey."

Barrie Baxter, President of the Guernsey Chamber of Commerce said:

"We are absolutely delighted to be part of this important collaboration for the benefit of the business community and the island as a whole. This welcome development will further build on the existing collaboration with our members and business partners."

Simon Phillips, Island Director at Barclays in Guernsey said:

"Barclays is committed to supporting our local business communities and the Barclays Eagle Lab in Guernsey continues to provide local entrepreneurs, start-ups and scale ups with opportunities to learn and grow.

The continued support of the States of Guernsey for the Eagle Lab, along with the Digital Greenhouse, Chamber of Commerce and Agilisys, will create a strong network that will be of great benefit to the island."

Richard Hanrahan, Chief Executive of Agilisys Guernsey - the States' strategic partner for digital services - said:

"Agilisys and Blenheim Chalcot are delighted to be supporting the development of the island's digital economy. By combining the expertise of local partners with Blenheim Chalcot's track record in business building we have an unprecedented opportunity to unlock Guernsey's digital potential.

We have already signed Heads of Terms for our first economic development commitment - a London based Economic Development Office on the campus of one of the world's leading universities and are now scoping our skills and mentoring initiatives. Agilisys and Blenheim Chalcot are excited by the opportunity to work with the local community to create a vibrant and dynamic digital sector."

The new approach will be formally established in January 2020, but is already up and running as part of a transition period. Individuals and businesses seeking further information should drop a line to gareth.jones@gov.gg or steve.wakelin@gov.gg in the first instance.

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