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“We would very much welcome a pan-island approach. The aim is to create a self-sustaining Channel Island private investor network”

they might need to invest in 10 firms, where four might not be successful, but one or two might offer stellar returns which covers the whole portfolio investment

How many other businesses have you seen in Jersey, and how many have you engaged with?

What we have achieved in Jersey is a phenomenal network of about 50 wealthy individuals who are not only willing to invest considerable sums of money, but also to offer support, guidance and mentoring. Our challenge is not finding the investors but to find more companies like DotTVMedia. To date, we have marketed four Jersey companies and we are currently working with another three who we showcased to investors at a presentation event in November. We would urge more to get in touch.

Do local entrepreneurs think they can gain financing themselves, and are they ‘put off’ by being on an island where everyone knows everyone? Clearly some companies are successful in raising finance from people they know already. We have also seen that some people are reserved about telling the community about their business, and almost feel that asking for money is slightly negative. And yet the investors in the audience would not see it as embarrassing, they would very much

welcome the chance to be involved and to really grow a high-quality company and assist the island at the same time.

What types of businesses approach you? We see all sorts of sectors. In Jersey, of the companies we’ve seen and ones we’re working with, there is waste recycling, recruitment, a media business and an e-commerce business. In the UK we have successfully funded manufacturing, software and technology firms. It’s more about the quality of the management team and the business model. A good idea is a good idea, after all.

Did you have any expectations from Jersey investors and businesses, and what would you say about the general standard you have found? I knew that there were some wealthy and highly successful investors, and that has been realised. However, I was surprised by the level of hesitation and reservation of some of the companies we have seen. Clearly Jersey is a small community compared to London and there isn’t the depth of companies, but we know there are good companies and we would urge them to tap into the mentor capital that exists on the island – and also within the UK – because we do promote Jersey-based companies to UK-based investors, and those further afield.

20 December 2010 / January 2011

You are working closely with Jersey Enterprise: how is that going? We are receiving very strong support from Jersey Enterprise. We work with a number of development agencies in the UK and really can state that Jersey Enterprise is incredibly proactive, and very commercial in welcoming private sector involvement – and we have the highest regard for that approach.

Are you working with any investors or companies in Guernsey?

We’ve already recruited a small but strong number of investors there. We aren’t working with any companies yet, but we would very much welcome a pan-island approach, and have approached Guernsey Commerce and Employment to replicate the Jersey Enterprise model. The ultimate aim is for a self-sustainable Channel Island private-investor network.

Should there be incentives for doing business with Channel Island companies? One of the strongest tax breaks in Europe to encourage investment into high-growth, early-stage companies is the UK’s Enterprise Investment Scheme – this provides tax incentives to encourage private individuals to invest into these companies. We would urge the States of Jersey to consider this as an extra incentive to support local industry. We also believe that there is an opportunity to create a co-investment fund

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