Like most new ventures, Global Entrepreneurship Week started with an idea. What if there was a global movement to inspire people everywhere to unleash their ideas and take the next step in their entrepreneurial journey? Now an established event, 77 countries have now officially signed on—and 3 million people participating it is a celebration of the innovators and job creators who launch startups that bring ideas to life, drive economic growth and expand human welfare. During one week each November, GEW inspires people everywhere through local, national and global activities designed to help them explore their potential as self-starters and innovators.
We hosted an event at the Jersey Museum where Greg Wills, founder of Rentalcars.com, spoke about the journey he and his team took in growing a start-up into the world’s most successful travel website with a turnover of over £1bil and over 1400 employees.
When Greg and his wife Nichola founded Traveljigsaw in 2004 the plan was always to be the biggest and best, however, they didn’t know at the time just how far the journey would take them. They grew the business from a start-up with seed funding, through a growth phase powered by private equity finance to a trade sale to The Priceline Group which also owns www.bookings.com. Greg and his senior team remained within the Priceline Group after the sale and expanded the business, overseeing the worldwide rebrand to Rentalcars.com and becoming Europe’s fastest growing travel business. Today Rentalcars.com is one of the world’s most successful travel website with over £1bil turnover and over 1400 employees.
At this unique event Greg shared with the audience the highs and lows of growing an international online business, touching on his experiences of raising finance, building an enabling business culture, expanding overseas and planning an exit.
Our Social Media campaign during the week centred on our local entrepreneurs but we also referenced international entrepreneurs by linking to the BBC’s ‘CEO Secrets’ series of short videos where they share thier top tips for succeeding in business. Check out our Twitter Feed and click on the links.
We also decided to celebrate our home grown entrepreneurs by running ‘A day in the life of a Jersey entrepreneur’ campaign on social media where innovative individuals living in Jersey had an opportunity to share their personal insights on what drives them to success. Click on the links below for the full story or check out our Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn feeds.
Roger Le Maistre – When asked how he got to where he is today Roger said it was ‘hard work, always being approachable & responsive, grabbing opportunities and a bit of luck.’ Read more here
James Filluel – Challanges he has faced have been overcome by intense focus, drive & a desperation to do well. Read how his average day goes.
Alex Morel – What would Alex tell her younger self? ‘Try not to worry about the future and have patience – it takes time to grow a business.’ Read more here.
Julian Box – Julian believes that surrounding yourself with the right people is key to success in business. Read his insights here.
Alana Mann – ‘Asking a lot of questions, listening, never thinking I know it all’ is Alana’s response when asked ‘How did you get to where you are today?’ Read more here.
Jonathan Ruff – What does his normal day look like? ‘I have several businesses so every day can be very different’. Read more here.
Ed Prow – There’s no such thing as a typical day in Ed’s life and that’s what he loves about it. Read more here.
Fiona Kerley – Advises to ‘Try not to take on the world alone, accept support and advice offered and seek it where necessary!’ Read more here.
Penny Downes – ‘Always take risks, nothing is set in stone and can be adapted.’ Penny’s advise to her younger self. Read more here.
Jenni Liddiard – ‘Believe in yourself and your passions and you CAN make it happen!’ Read Jenni’s insights here.