Startup Guernsey's Global Entrepreneurship Week welcomed more than 300 islanders to a successful series of events held between 17th and 21st November in Guernsey.
The programme of six events provided an opportunity for islanders to network, learn about emerging technologies, hear talks from entrepreneurs and engage with ongoing discussions about Guernsey’s digital and economic future.
The ‘Digital Greenhouse’ concept – Commerce and Employment’s proposed innovation centre, which will provide a collaborative workspace for entrepreneurs, particularly in the digital space – formed a key part of the week. An official launch announcement and open brainstorm about the project marked the first event of the series, with feedback on the concept encouraged throughout the other events and via social media.
“The week proved to be a very successful celebration of entrepreneurship in Guernsey," said Sasha Kazantseva, director with Startup Guernsey and events organiser. "We deliberately aimed for variety in our events, targeting the business community in general but also more niche demographics such as mumpreneurs and young entrepreneurs.
“Not only did this help emphasise that Guernsey has an incredibly diverse pool of talent, it also meant that we were able to garner valuable opinions on the proposed Digital Greenhouse project for us to feed back to government. This was one of the primary goals of the week.”
Discussions on what the Digital Greenhouse needs to succeed took place during the week’s events. Using the hashtag #DigitalGuernsey, several common themes emerged through the course of the week. Comments focused on the need for the Greenhouse to be community-minded, skills-focused, collaborative (between businesses, the public and private sector and the Channel Islands) and inclusive of all sectors and individuals, not just those in the digital space.
“There was a lot of enthusiasm about what an innovation centre could provide for Guernsey’s entrepreneurs and its wider economy. There was some debate about the facility’s name – does it really speak to the intended diversity of the concept or is ‘digital’ too limiting?” said Mrs Kazantseva.
“It is clear that the community wants to stay involved in shaping the concept by keeping dialogue open with Commerce and Employment. Startup Guernsey is striving for openness, transparency and engagement and currently investigating the best options for keeping the process communicative. Until then we are keen for people to continue sharing ideas online using #DigitalGreenhouse,” she said.
Along with the Digital Greenhouse event and Startup Guernsey’s regular co-working Wednesday meet-up, Global Entrepreneurship Week featured events on financial innovation and mumpreneurship, along with a screening of The Startup Kids with a young entrepreneurs panel debate, a speed networking event and a wrap-up session with Beer Code Design.
The events were organised in partnership with a diverse group of local organisations: Commerce & Employment, Rise & Shine Breakfast Club, GTA University Centre, Beer Code Design and Guernsey College of Further Education.