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Gibraltar Federation of Small Businesses

Coronavirus COVID-19

The GFSB is a non-profit organisation that exists to help small businesses in Gibraltar to start, grow and thrive. We represent the business community and pressure Government on our members behalf.

If you run or are starting a business in Gibraltar you should consider joining us.

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GFSB MEMBERS BENEFIT FROM:

Networking

NETWORKING

A key part of our service is offering our members excellent opportunities to network. With our regular speed networking events and our breakfast clubs, getting  your business known is easy.

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Advice & Support

ADVICE & SUPPORT

Starting and running a business can be challenging we are here to help you with practical advice and support to make sure that you have all the knowledge you need to give you the best chance of success.

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Discount System

DISCOUNT SCHEME

We have a growing discount scheme.

The goal is to aid companies to do business with each other at reduced rates.

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Events

EVENTS

We are continually holding events for our members. From our informative and interactive breakfast clubs to our training sessions. GFSB Events are a great place to network and grow your business contacts.

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CONFERENCE ROOM

For your business related meetings & training, get in touch today to rent now

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INNOVATION AWARDS

The GFSB Innovation Awards further promotes quality standards, business improvement, innovation and achievement for its members.

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TRAINING

We offer regular subsidised training on a large variety of topics.

Save 40-50% on regular costs of training in Gibraltar.

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YOUR VOICE

We represent Gibraltar businesses on many Boards, we apply pressure on the Government to try to get the best deals we can and can help you solve a great deal of business issues.

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LATEST NEWS

Business Innovation Award WINNER

By | News

Sponsored by Gibtelecom

The GFSB is delighted to announce that the WINNER of the GFSB Business Innovation Award 2020 is EBike Gibraltar who wins £2,000 of telecoms and IT products/services sponsored by Gibtelecom.

Congratulations to EBike Gibraltar and the two runners up Ezylet and Queue Wisely Gibraltar!

The GFSB would like to take this opportunity to thank all the applicants of this year’s GFSB Business Innovation Award sponsored by Gibtelecom. The judges have been very impressed with the quality of the entries this year as always. Innovation amongst Gibraltar’s entrepreneurial community is still certainly very much alive. 

Commenting on the winners, Eran Shay- GFSB Board Member and one of the judges, said:  “This year we have had to conduct the interviews online via video-conferencing. I was impressed to see how all contesters have managed to think outside the box and innovate their business model even further to be able to operate one way or another, despite the current Corona crisis. E-Bike Gibraltar not only expands the Gibraltar tourism offering but also provides a viable, affordable and most importantly – environmentally friendly means of transport, in line with Gibraltar’s Go Green strategy. With the absence of tourism due to COVID19, it was impressive to hear how E-Bikes Gibraltar were able to swiftly adapt their business model to the needs of the local community, be it through rental of E-bikes to those wishing to exercise or renting them out to perform deliveries around town, including a trial with the Royal Gibraltar Post Office. We wish them every success for the future”.

GFSB Business Innovation Award 2020 by Jackie Anderson

Innovation, the ultimate differentiator “Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower” (Steve Jobs) Innovation is key to business success, and it will be key to broaching the challenging conditions emerging in the post Covid-19 pandemic global economy. This year, the Gibraltar Federation of Small Business, through the sponsorship of Gibtelecom, once again sought out the best of business innovation in Gibraltar through its Business Innovation Awards which ran from November through to March, with the winner announced at the start of May, in the midst of an unprecedented lockdown.

The process of judging the entrants usually involves the evaluation of application forms from which a shortlist of businesses is selected, and these are invited to make a presentation to a panel of judges. This year, inevitably, the process was carried out entirely online, with the forms distributed to the panel via email and the presentations carried out via video-conferencing. In some ways, this presented particular challenges; regardless of the impressive functionality of video-conferencing apps, face-to-face interactions are still an important part of being able to both demonstrate and evaluate a product or service. However, as GFSB Board member and one of the judges, Eran Shay, explained, all the applicants adapted well to the new format. Fellow judges were Stephen Reyes, and also David Taylor from Gibtelecom.

Indeed, as Eran went on to elaborate, the lockdown period during which the judgement took place presented an interesting picture of how innovative businesses are so well-placed to adapt to a rapidly-changing environment, with businesses that were already innovative being able to demonstrate further innovations in order to meet the new challenges. For example, one of the runners up, Queue Wisely, altered its business model to be able to provide clients with information on waiting times at Morrison’s supermarket instead of at the border, where the flow of traffic had drastically reduced. “Necessity,” Eran reminds us, “is the mother of invention.” Where a business needs and wants to change, it will find a way to do so and the degree of adaptation to new circumstances from the entrants demonstrated impressive entrepreneurial spirit.

This was particularly the case with this year’s applicants and superbly exemplified by winners, EBike – Gibraltar, which provides a variety of ebikes for sale or for rental. “EBike-Gibraltar brought a new product to Gibraltar,” says Eran, “tailored the business very much for Gibraltar’s market. Initially a tourism product, the ebike business gained traction with the local community and the concept has been adapted to apply to a variety of client requirements: leisure, sport, business transportation, and home delivery services to name a few.”

EBike-Gibraltar adapted swiftly to the lockdown: the business lost the bulk of its market, which was tourism, almost overnight, but has grown customer interest among the general population. In addition to this, the business has the potential to have a much wider impact on Gibraltar through its contribution as an environmentally sound form of transport. The judges also felt that the business exhibited great potential for growth including international growth.

The Business Innovation Awards have now been offered by the GFSB for a number of years and never fail to highlight an impressive degree of creative thinking, innovation and business acumen that thrives in Gibraltar. The range of businesses entering the competition was broad as can be seen from the shortlist: a distillery, an electric bicycle retailer, a hairdressing salon, a business administration service, a rent guarantor scheme, and a time-saving app, all impressing the judges with the various ways they found to bring innovation to Gibraltar. “The judges look for innovation in different forms and apply a range of criteria to all the applicants,” Eran explained. The criteria used included items such as whether the business is based on a new concept or is bringing a new product or service to Gibraltar, and the use, development and application of technology, among other attributes. “The quality of the applicants, as has been the case in previous years, has been very good,” says Eran, “and that is testament to the good business environment we have in Gibraltar, as well as indicating that there is great scope for growing and developing Gibraltar’s businesses well beyond the pandemic. In Gibraltar, we have all the right ingredients to foster businesses, to incubate and accelerate them, to join global business innovators and be part of the cutting edge of the business world. Our flexibility, our supportive environment, our compact size makes Gibraltar an ideal place to test-drive new ideas.”

Eran, along with the panel of judges, offers congratulations to all the winner and the runners up, and thanks all the business that took part, saying, “I hope that entrepreneurship and innovation continues to flourish on the Rock,”

Business Innovation Awards 2020 finalists:

EBike-Gibraltar

Winner of the Business Innovation Award, EBike-Gibraltar provides a practical solution to a genuine problem experienced daily in Gibraltar: the volume of vehicular traffic on our limited road network. EBike-Gibraltar provides its electric bikes for sale or for rent, which gives customers a chance to either enjoy them for a day for leisure or test them out before committing to purchase. In recent weeks, the customer base has expanded to other businesses, in particular local delivery businesses, and to government departments. Stuart Hedley, founder of the business, said of the Business Innovation Awards: “The award process has given us the opportunity to reflect on the direction of the business and how important innovation is to our success. “

Queue Wisely

Joint runner up, Queue Wisely, built its own bespoke algorithm to create an app that gathers user generated data to predict queue times. This was initially aimed at helping users save time queuing at the border. The developers have also added useful features like live flight APIs to avoid the traffic jams caused by runway closures and has taken advantage of swift and JavaScript technology to allow users to receive real-time notifications when queue times have reduced. With potential to grow into international markets, Queue Wisely founder emphasises the importance of putting the customer first: “Our priority is and always will be to ensure our users save time and spend it Wisely.”

Ezylet

Joint runner up, Ezylet, aimed to use the Awards to highlight the innovative product that they offer the Gibraltar market. An online letting agency aimed mainly at the UK market, Ezylet also provides a rent guarantor service to Gibraltar’s many students who rent property in the UK. Until Ezylet set up the service, there were no other companies offering this, putting them at the forefront of innovation by offering a seamless, fully online solution to landlords and tenants who require a guarantor. Company Director, Emma Foy, says: “These awards highlight the importance of innovation within a business.”

Mayfair on Main

Shortlisted for this year’s Award, Mayfair on Main’s owner, Sarah Carreras, says they wanted to “change the perception of hair dressing from being a mundane role to being an artistic and inspirational one and a route which many would want to pursue as a career.” The business has been innovative from the start, bringing to Gibraltar a luxury salon experience with first class customer service, session styling, hair art collections and Gibraltar’s first Hair Academy which is working with Government and offering internationally recognised City and Guilds qualifications in Gibraltar’s schools and will soon be offering technical courses through the college and privately. Sarah adds: “Persistence is the key to seeing innovations through in business and therefore ensuring success.”

Costa Admin Solutions

Costa Admin Solutions (CAS) is a solution-driven business with customer focus at its core. Aimed at providing bespoke admin support to other small businesses, Costa Admin Solutions provides a suite of services that are fundamental to the smooth functioning of all businesses, large or small, start-up or ongoing. Able to provide a broad range of activities to all business sectors such as payroll, social media marketing, general administration and bookkeeping among many, CAS has innovation as the foundation block of everything they do. “We know that for many businesses, great ideas often fail through lack of time, money, and people-power,” Lizette Costa, CAS founder, explains, “we share our expertise and our people – employees that we train and empower with the right skills – with local businesses to help them succeed. After all, we are all part of the same community: if they thrive, we all thrive.”

Spirit of the Rock

Based at George’s Lane in the heart of Gibraltar’s Old Town, Spirit of the Rock is Gibraltar’s only gin distillery. Not only does Spirit of the Rock distil an award winning craft gin, but they also engage fully with customers through their increasingly popular distillery tours and historically-linked gin tasting events. The business also has an eco-friendly approach and offers refunds on bottles and caps, recycles waste and avoids single-use plastics as much as possible. The gin is the only premium product made in Gibraltar and is sold to the public through shops, restaurants, hotels and online, which has resulted in the business steadily gaining an overseas market.

COVID-19 webpage

By | News

Due to the amount of information being released each day the GFSB felt it was best to set up a dedicated COVID-19 webpage to keep all our members up to date. As was done with our BREXIT page information will be posted on regular intervals on the webpage ensuring all our members have one place to come to find out information on the pandemic.

CELAC Update

By | News

As you may know over the weekend the GFSB were involved with two meetings of the Covid Emergency Liaison and Advisory Committee (CELAC) with the Chief Minister.

Subsequently, the Chief Minister made some announcements on measures to support employers and employees during the crisis.

The practical details of which are still in the process of being finalised. As soon as the details are finalised and made public we will communicate them to our membership.

We understand your frustrations and concerns and are working hard to get them resolved. Please bear with us as we try to represent you all as best we can.

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TESTIMONIALS

We have been members of the GFSB for several years now and find it a valuable membership for our business. Getting to use the training room facilities and all that they provide there is a great help for us in our business. The admin team are always very friendly and helpful to us if we have any questions. We particularly like the regular breakfast meetings and the speed networking events which allow us to meet other members and learn valuable information.

Brenda CubyBC Training

We have found the GFSB to be a very useful resource for obtaining local business advice, as well as networking opportunities. They have been instrumental in helping us to shape our business.

Paul JenningsRock IT

The GFSB networking events are of tremendous value to our business development strategy, having opened doors and provided very interesting leads from local companies, who have in turn shown a strong demand for our services. They have helped us both grow and further promote our local business and services to a wider corporate audience.

Brendan GoltElitech

“We are a new local business still in our first year of trading. We joined the GFSB following a recommendation from another member and we are very pleased that we did. It offers great value for money, the staff are friendly and helpful and the events they have organised thus far have provided excellent networking opportunities as well as helping us to gain valuable insight into various local industries.”

Jake JulianCityGuide
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