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Could 2023 be the ‘Year of the Entrepreneur’ in Jersey?

Could 2023 be the ‘Year of the Entrepreneur’ in Jersey?

Thursday 10 November 2022

Could 2023 be the ‘Year of the Entrepreneur’ in Jersey?

Thursday 10 November 2022

According to Chinese tradition, 2022 was the Year of the Tiger, and 2023 will be the Year of the Rabbit… But Ministers are hinting that in Jersey it could be the Year of the Entrepreneur.

Addressing local business leaders at a Chamber of Commerce lunch event on Wednesday, the Treasury Minister spoke of his desire to drive entrepreneurial spirit in next year’s Governent Plan.

“I want to do more to foster innovation and enterprise in Jersey and I shall be working closely with Ministerial colleagues to prepare for a budget for innovation and enterprise in 2023,” Deputy Ian Gorst said.

“Innovation and enterprise means different things to different people, and we will be engaging widely with Islanders and business groups such as Chamber, to better understand your priorities for this important agenda.” 

The comments echoed those of Economic Development Minister Deputy Kirsten Morel, who told a Scrutiny Panel last week that he would soon be releasing an ‘Enterprise Strategy’ focused on incentivising start-ups, cutting “red tape” and finding ways to help new businesses overcome “barriers”, such as the high price of commercial rents.

"[The Enterprise Strategy] is about trying to encourage islanders to try to re-find that belief that I grew up with in Jersey, that anyone can start a business and succeed with it – I believe that is something that has been lost," Deputy Morel said.

The proposed new Government Plan – the document outlining the government’s spending plans over the next four years – includes a £2.8m funding commitment to arms-length body Jersey Business, which provides advice to local businesses and start-ups.

Deputy Kirsten Morel.jpg

Pictured: Economic Development Minister Deputy Kirsten Morel is working on an 'Enterprise Strategy'.

The move effectively makes temporary funding provided to support Jersey Business over the course of the pandemic into a permanent measure.

Explaining the rationale for the £700,000-per-year pledge, the draft plan notes that Jersey Business’s resources remain in high demand in the wake of the pandemic, while there also remains a need to tackle “legacy economic issues, such as low productivity, workplace skills and financial resilience, which will be essential to drive the island’s economic growth potential.”

However, the Economic Affairs Scrutiny Panel, which is reviewing parts of the Government Plan falling under the Economic Development Minister’s portfolio, said it wanted more information about the need for this extra funding.

“To further aid our ongoing review of the Government’s proposed savings and spendings plan, however, we will be seeking more clarity about how the Government is assessing the added value of Jersey Business,” Panel Chair Deputy Moz Scott said. 

money pounds

Pictured: Ministers are pledging £2.8m to Jersey Business between 2023 and 2026 in the Government Plan.

“As part of our review, we invite all local businesses, whether they work with Jersey Business or not, to share their views on whether the proposed funding allocated to the organisation in this year’s Government Plan is justified at this stage.

"Businesses are welcome to share their views by writing to before next Monday, 14 November.”

The Government Plan is currently scheduled to be debated and voted on by States Members in December.

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