Thursday 30 March 2017

March 2017


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Don’t look now, but there are some great young entrepreneurs in Jersey. With all the coverage of the ill-fated Innovation Fund, you may be forgiven for thinking that, well, the entrepreneurial spirit in the Island had been scooped up with the St Aubin sea lettuce and dumped off shore.

If that’s the way your mind had been running, take a look at page 4, where you’ll find plenty of evidence that while their elders are worrying about diversification, about how to fund a start-up, about what’s the best way of creating opportunities for young people...those young people are just getting on and doing it themselves.

In this edition we profile four of them who just didn’t want to follow the ‘normal’ path to Jersey success. They have all rolled the dice and tried something different, learning valuable lessons along the way.

But the point is that given the right conditions, that sort of entrepreneurial spark will just catch fire, and the economy will be the stronger for it.

Our four entrepreneurs all wanted to do something outside of the Finance industry, which to them seemed too boring and traditional - which is exactly the point made by none other than the Director General of the Jersey Financial Services Commission, John Harris, at a recent leadership event. Albeit deliberately provocative, his message was that Finance had an image problem in Jersey, and needed to work much harder to sell itself as the dream job for entrepreneurial young people.

Fifty years ago it was the new, exciting, different career, an alternative to the traditional options in agriculture or law. Is that still the case?

In the Unplugged feature on page 16 you’ll find the case for the defence - that while Finance does need to work much harder to sell itself in Jersey, it has the leaders to do just that.

All of which brings me to The Fool. As ever, he has the freedom to whisper in the ears of the mighty, to tell the truth to those who listen only to themselves. On page 26 he asks have those in power (including the media) lost all touch with those who put them there? Do senior politicians and famous journalists now exist in an echoing world of their own self-importance?

Read Connect. It keeps your feet on the ground.