Friday, 9 February 2018

Has life get any better for Solopreneurs, Entrepreneurs and Start-Ups since 2015?

I met a former colleague today and we got chatting and it caused me to reflect upon the ciChange “think-tank” and a workshop for Solopreneurs done with the Chamber of Commerce in 2015.

Remember the economy was different in 2015, but I wonder how different the issues are in 2018?


With businesses, banks and government downsizing we can expect more people to become “reluctant entrepreneurs”. Indeed we anticipate the current financial black hole will see a significant amount of job shed and a number of people seeking new self-employment.

Moreover digital and global changes with decentralisation and mobility is bringing a shift back to “cottage industries”, working from home, or small shared hubs, like Digital Jersey.

ciChange are interested in independent consultants, solopreneurs and start-ups in Jersey. We’d like to discuss the challenges, pros and cons of setting up and running as an independent, and identify what experiences we can share, where might be able to collaborate and what would make the business of being an independent much easier, better and more rewarding.

Would you be prepared to complete a short survey and contribute to a 2 hour workshop?

We are looking for between 8 and 16 people to offer a spread of ideas, experience and industries. If more people are interested we may, with Chamber of Commerce and Jersey Business run further, future workshops and feedback sessions for the outcomes and progress.

The aim is to conclude with a report to be shared with Chamber of Commerce, Digital Jersey, and Jersey Business in an effort to help startups and solo independent consultants in Jersey.


There were 32 respondents to the questionnaire and workshop audience (12) invited to “score” their top 3 issues, and those with the highest score got discussed first.

Score   Theme
9          Coaching / mentoring (Fear?)
7          What government can (and cannot) do (incl tax, socsec, gst etc)
3          Charge rates
3          Legal Start-Up Pack (insurance, accounting, employment law etc.)
3          Startup funding (including incubators)
3          Growth strategy and growth implementation
2          Ability to work with the States
2          Skills level
1          Structured guidance
1          Understanding finance, funding IT
1          Light industry opportunities
0          Market prices / market information
0          Directors responsibilities

We then explored the top 2 in the greatest detail and identified the following broad themes and 20 ideas for improvement (not listed here in the interests of brevity!). 
1.      There was a feeling that social, economic and technology changes combined with increases in bureaucracy mean that more people will be independent and work in loose affiliations and groups in preference to building larger organisations.

2.      There was criticism of some agencies for not being joined-up and at times being critical without being constructive with advice. Guidance in some cases is inconsistent and not coherent resulting in stop-start and dead alleys as people move from one agency to another.

3.      There was concern about guidance and support on issues relating to redundancy and startups, noting that redundancy often produces “reluctant entrepreurs” who need guidance and support.

4.      There was discussion of some form or barter system or credits whereby independents might collaborate, cooperate and help each other, perhaps through forums or sponsored networking events.


I wonder how much has changed? Is there a need for a joined-up forum, focus-group or support network for Solopreneurs, Entrepreneurs and Start-Ups.

Or are these issues now addressed by the positive steps  and supportive services provided by Digital Jersey, Jersey Business, Chamber of Commerce, Barclay’s Digital Eagle and IoD?

I would be interested in comments and feedback.



Tim Rogers is a Qualified Change Practitioner and PRINCE2 Project Manager, with an MBA in Management Consultancy. Past projects have included the incorporation of Ports of Jersey and Operations Change and Sales Support for RBSI and NatWest. He is a tutor/lecturer for the Chartered Management Institute. 


+447797762051 Skype: timhjrogers

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