There’s an entrepreneur in all of us!

13/11/2015 — Graeme Smith

Jersey Business CEO encourages us all to embrace innovation and show our own brand of entrepreneurship.

At Jersey Business we are delighted to help promote Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) and this year we have a real Jersey twist as we feature some of our own successful entrepreneurs stories. I hope you will find these both interesting and informative.

There is a lot of focus (quite rightly) at the moment on Jersey’s productivity and the fact that at best we have flat lined in terms of the traditional economic growth measures (GVA or GDP per employee). Whilst you always have to treat these sort of statistics with some caution (particularly given that we are a small economy with one dominant sector), reality is we do need to constantly innovate both our products and services if we are to continue to compete in a global market. Jersey is a limited market with a population of only 100,000 so if we want to grow we have to be able to export our premium products and services.

Entrepreneurs innovate, they identify something that they feel could be done better and then find a way to do it better. Often the best solutions are not necessarily the most complex, indeed complexity usually means that the idea (good though it may be) isn’t understood or valued for many years post that initial invention.

The most successful entrepreneurs however, in addition to coming up with a great solution, have also mastered the ability to monetise that idea and yes, go global once the concept is proven. In many instances they do this in partnership with others who are more skilled in marketing/selling.

The very best entrepreneurs even get to the stage that their personal brand is so strong that other entrepreneurs bring their great ideas to them, just think of Virgin and how Richard Branson operates.

So for Jersey to improve our productivity surely all we need to do is increase the number of entrepreneurs. If it were that simple we could easily just incentivise young entrepreneurs from across the globe to set up in Jersey whilst at the same time having more focus in the school curriculum to build future local talent.

Yes we do need to do both of the above but perhaps more importantly we need to all embrace innovation ourselves in our own work lives and show our own brand of entrepreneurship.

I’m sure that every one of us could identify at least one nagging issue at work and come up with a practical solution that would improve the process/service we deliver. Just think if during GEW we could have 10,000 + innovative ideas being debated across all business and all sectors of our economy what that could achieve.

If we can genuinely say that the Jersey workforce is the most innovative, motivated and yes entrepreneurial workforce, then those economic statistics will only go in one direction.

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