States funding for a body which fosters entrepreneurs in Guernsey is being withdrawn, as the Committee for Economic Development says it will instead spend that money on new ways of supporting start up businesses.
Startup Guernsey has been "advising and supporting Guernsey entrepreneurs for over 20 years' but said yesterday that it would be 'shutting down at the end of the year due to the removal of government funding'.
It was previously known as the Guernsey Enterprise Agency until rebranding as Startup Guernsey in 2016. The agency said it has 'provided confidential advice and support to more than 1000 clients over the past 5 years and made introductions to help local entrepreneurs raise over £3 million in equity funding'.
It's remit included supporting start-ups, scaleups, entrepreneurs seeking investment, and assisted in the selling of successful companies.
Tony Brassell, Startup Guernsey Director and business advisor said: “One of my favourite parts of the job over my 12 years with the agency has been that I never know what ideas are going to walk through the door. The variety and ingenuity of local entrepreneurs always astounds me. I also enjoyed introducing students to the world of entrepreneurship and digital skills. These include giving advice and acting as a Dragon’s Den judge for business programs at the College of FE and pioneering the student Discover Digital internship program. The best part by far is seeing some of those new businesses growing and becoming part of the local business community.”
Jennifer Strachan, Startup Guernsey CEO said: “Getting entrepreneurs ready to pitch to investors has been a real joy. We watched them grow in confidence and clarify their message with our one-to-one coaching sessions and are proud to have coached all of the of the Bailiwick Express Business Academy winners, introduced entrants in our Angel Pitch Competitions to local investors and prepared pitch presenters for the FinVention conference.”
Pictured: Gez Overstall
Startup Guernsey also lobbied for more funding options for local entrepreneurs and worked with corporate sponsors on its event program.
Carl Symes, Chairman of Startup Guernsey said: “We have been grateful over the years for the ongoing in-kind and financial support provided by local businesses and experienced mentors.
“This allowed us to stretch the grant funding much further, adding to the support for local entrepreneurs. Most importantly, we would like to thank the many entrepreneurs who have given us their confidence to advise them over the years. It makes us very proud to see so many of them flourishing today.”
The majority of Startup Guernsey’s funding has come via a £112,000 government grant which paid for three part-time staff as well as running costs. The Committee for Economic Development has announced it will instead be funding new work streams via its partnerships with the Digital Greenhouse, Agiisys, Barclays Eagle Lab and the Chamber of Commerce.
“Unfortunately, the Committee for Economic Development did not share the vision proposed by Startup Guernsey to grow the provision of support for local entrepreneurs with more focused support and increased funding options, preferring instead to move the work in-house,” said Ms Strachan.
“This has meant the elimination of the grant in 2020. The board of Startup Guernsey determined that the agency was not viable without this support, and will therefore cease providing entrepreneur support at the end of the year.”
All client records will be disposed of prior to the shut down.
Startup Guernsey is open for business until 31 December, so any entrepreneurs seeking advice can contact them as usual on email@example.com.
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