New start-ups to face local Dragons’ Den?

MILLIONS of pounds of taxpayers money could be invested in Jersey companies through a 'Dragons' Den'-style fund.

Economic Development Minister Alan  Maclean
Economic Development Minister Alan Maclean

MILLIONS of pounds of taxpayers money could be invested in Jersey companies through a 'Dragons' Den'-style fund.

Plans for a £5 million 'Innovation Fund' that will support businesses with grants and loans are going to the States for debate soon, meaning the States could buy a stake in a company in return for investment, much like the BBC programme Dragons' Den.

But Economic Development Minister Alan  Maclean says that there are plans to add a further £5 million to that fund next year, and to give the States the option of taking a stake in a company, as well as one-off grants and repayable loans.

Senator Maclean has been working with Treasury Minister Philip Ozouf on the rules for the Innovation Fund, which will see applications reviewed by departments, before an expert board assesses them and gives a recommendation on whether they should be supported or not.

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Comments for: "New start-ups to face local Dragons’ Den?"


Would I want the states as an investor in my company telling me what to do, with the huge overspends they make for themselves, the huge cut of pie they will take for dividends and on top of all this wanting money back, no thanks, with rather get a bank loan.

Just a local

They were talking about schemes like this in 2007, along with the Small Business Loan Guarantee Scheme in a bid to get diverse industries & economies started up. It didn't happen then, why should Jersey believe either Maclean or Ozouf now? Their collective track record when it comes to stimulating alternative streams of revenue hasn't been exactly stellar. With more islanders out of work than at any time over the last 25 years, the focus is as ever on finance and associated business and nothing else. Why talk about leasing parts of the Channel Islands waters to renewable energy providers when people in Jersey would benefit from learning the skills to work in those industries? If these power generating agencies do come over, they should be preparing a local work force to be part of it, rather than reaping all the benefits themselves. Perhaps this would be a better stimulus for local industry?


Any scheme backed by Senators Maclean and Ozouf will have the kiss of death vested on it. Keep the States of Jersey out of free enterprise!


Hope these 2 are not sat in judgement of decision making as neither are known successful businessman in their own right unlike the real Dragon panel.

Pip Clement

Not a Dragons Den, more a Rabbit Hole, staffed by Flopsy Ozouf, Mopsy MacLean and a pet Cotton Tail from the Civil Service who has lived it's entire life in the safe hutch of public employment.

the thin wallet

thats a side splitter pip, tears of laughter.

if you get wind of the board of experts , let us know.

i will be recovered for the next round of side splitting laughter.

on another tack , what happened to the reduction of red tape for busineses.


Lets make sure we keep any States employee off the Dragon's Den. Real business people only - please.

gino risoli

Sorry cannot support this idea.

Alan your job is to support industry by keeping taxes low and making government very much more resposive to buisness needs not to give away money

Davey West

Governments job, as difficult as it may be, is to put in place a sustainable economic structure that allows all business to succeed, grow employ people and they pay social and taxes.

To this aim there should be,

Cheaper flights and travel to and from Jersey thus landing fees must be reduced.

This would increase visitor numbers and safeguard links through traffic flow for the island, which makes it worthwhile for carriers.

Reduce the red tape and costs for new business, promised but never effected by Government. As an example should a carpenter want to turn a shed into a workshop, or a chef turn a retail shop into an eatery, help people rather than stalling them over plans for where the cooker and sink go, charging a fortune in permissions,and turning down plans just to create more work for the planning department.

All capital start up costs should be immediately set against tax in the first couple of years, rather than the present system.

No doubt many other people have good ideas to stimulate the economy, the problem is with a top heavy civil service that has to be paid, the ministers find it incredibly difficult to bring themselves ( under public sector advice no doubt ) to reduce the amount they take in financially, to build a long term future. This will happen with a dropping economy anyway.

Therefore why should acorns take a long term view, with a hostile business structure in place that works heavily against them ?



Pip that must be the funniest comment of 2012!


If this idea was to ever come to fruition, then it should be adjudicated by proper, well established business people who should be selected by say the Jersey Chamber of Commerce and it's members. Maybe have a States member on the panel (he/she can make the tea during any intervals) but only real business people know anything about business. I have forgotten more than most States members know and their involvment should be minimal.


Will the ring binder have the deciding vote?