The Business Improvement District is inviting expressions of interest in the Project Head role. The Project Head role will provide leadership and day-to-day management of the BID Company, working in association with relevant agencies and service providers. The postholder will ensure that the BID Business Plan is delivered in a professional, accountable and cost-effective manner.
Twenty four representatives from a variety of different small businesses in Gibraltar took part in a speed networking event hosted by the GFSB on Wednesday 17th November 2021. The popular local event that occurs twice a year was hosted at the Sala Restaurant of the Sunborn Hotel and the guests were able to enjoy a breakfast of pastries, fresh juices, tea and coffee whilst discussing their various business ventures.
After the initial introductions, attendees of the event had the opportunity to converse with each other for three minutes at a time, allowing everyone to be able to introduce themselves and their businesses to a wide variety of different people across different industries. There was also an opportunity to exchange business cards before moving on to the next table to meet the next person.
The event’s organiser, Stuart Byrne reflected on the success of the event, stating that “our speed networking event is designed to help our members’ branch out and network with new people and learn about their businesses.” He then went onto describe the variety of different businesses in attendance, explaining the unique mix of attendees that really allow the event to thrive and be lucrative for all involved, “some are start-ups and don’t have those essential pre-existing connections, some have come from other nations and need to build those relationships with people who know the Gibraltar market and some are locals who just want to branch out and find out about the other local and global businesses based within Gibraltar.”
When asked why he believed the event encourages a lot of attendees to come back each time, he mentioned that “the event has great food and drink and is always fun and enjoyable for all involved. It takes place two times a year and is a great opportunity to meet a variety of different people and find out about lots of other businesses in a short space of time, without this event it would have taken people a long time to make those same connections.”
Once the speed networking part of the event had concluded, there was then the opportunity for people to network further if they wished, allowing the opportunity to deepen those connections formed during the initial meeting. The event also allows for the prospect of business collaboration having had the chance to get to know each of the different businesses and their representatives, the final portion of the event allows the attendees to reflect on potential gaps within their own business operations and areas where collaboration could be pertinent to future success.
Some of the attendees include representatives from industries such as accountancy, insurance and sustainability.
After the event, I asked some of the regular attendees why they decided to come back to the GFSB speed networking event each time. Carmel Khalilian, the founder and director of The GreenCode which helps organisations to conduct business operations based on environmental policy, said that she returns to the event each time because it’s “a great space for inspiring innovation,” and when asked what she believed the core purpose of the event was, she stated that “it’s about bringing together different experts.”
She went onto talk about the fact that each time in attendance at the event brings something new to her business and new people to meet, “it’s so cool to have seen more new faces, it’s a pleasant surprise. It’s fun to get to know lots of people in a short period of time. It works well for new businesses and helps you to see how your networks can connect in different ways. It’s also great that it allows smaller businesses to reach out of the Gibraltar bubble and meet global companies.”
Similarly, representatives from the Beacon Press agreed that “3 minutes is the right amount of time to build connections and make an impression. It was great to see so many new faces attending the event this time.”
As well as attendees experienced in speed networking, Wednesday’s event also attracted a number of people new to the event, with the majority stating that it is their first time coming to a GFSB event with the pandemic stopping people from meeting in person. They believed that as new businesses setting up in Gibraltar, being able to connect with people face to face has been invaluable.
David Oxley, a HR consultant at Oxley HR services was a first time speed networking attendee and stated that “being able to connect with so many other people within business has been so valuable” for him. He also said that he believes events such as the GFSB speed networking “helps to get people out of their shell.”
The event was very well received by all who attended and attendees spent the last of the time networking and socialising with people that they had enjoyed meeting in the three minute timeframe. No two speed networking events are the same and there are always new people to form connections with.
The GFSB is happy to announce the opening of applications for next years (2022) GFSB Business Innovation Award sponsored by Gibtelecom. The online application form can be found on our website at the following link Award Application Form and needs to be submitted before Monday 31st January 2022.
Recent winners have included Crucial Compliance, EBike Gibraltar, Hempassion and Buytickets.gi who all demonstrated how businesses in Gibraltar are agile and great at innovating to succeed.This year we believe we will see just as many or more innovative businesses apply due to the challenges of COVID and BREXIT and how well local businesses have adapted to these. We look forward to seeing what great ideas existing and new businesses have come up with.
We are also very happy to continue our partnership with Gibtelecom, the sponsor of this award since its inception, who will be giving the winner an amazing prize of £2,000 worth of IT and communications equipment.
Danny Hook, Enterprise Director at Gibtelecom, said “We are proud to have been the GFSB’s Innovation Award partner for many years. Each year we are impressed with how local small businesses adapt and come up with creative solutions to push their businesses to the next level, as well as with how they’ve developed different technologies and processes to help them succeed in their business ventures. It is a great platform to showcase some of the local business talents, which there is plenty of in Gibraltar.”
Eran Shay GFSB Board member and one of the judges said “Innovation is the lifeblood of business and as Steve Jobs once said ‘Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower’. The GFSB strives to help businesses succeed and there is no better way to do it than by promoting innovation. So if your place is amongst leaders, make sure to enter the Business Innovation Awards.”
In 2018 the GFSB commissioned a study of Main Street and its surrounding area to ascertain if there was anything that could be done to help businesses. This was an important exercise to know where the high street was and where it could go. The Main Street Review highlighted a number of things that could be done to improve the whole area for both locals and tourists. The best mechanism for this type of change was with the forming of a Business Improvement District (BID) which have proved very successful in the UK and USA.
The GFSB agreed that a BID would be a great way to move forward, to accomplish some of the findings/recommendations the Main St Review proposed, and spoke to Mosaic Partnership one of the UK’s leading BID implementing firms. Once a budget and plan was put together, the GFSB approached Government to help fund it, which they did. This gave the project the momentum it needed to get started. The Government then later committed to matching pound for pound the contributions made by retail and leisure.
Fast forward past COVID and all the other challenges, to last week, where Isola’s gave the all-important announcement that the BID vote had been successful with over 60% majority voting in favour.
The GFSB is very proud of this initiative and all the work that has been going on behind the scenes for nearly three years to get to this point. Now it is no longer a GFSB project but becomes its very own entity. We truly believe that the BID will propel Main Street and the surrounding area forward.
Congratulations to the BID team, and thanks to the Government for their support.
The GFSB will continue to support the BID and any other initiatives it feels will benefit GFSB members and Gibraltar PLC.
GFSB Chairperson Julian Byrne said “When I took on the responsibility of Chairperson I had a clear goal in mind, and that was to do all I could to improve business for our members. One of the first tasks was to tackle the city centre, so we commissioned the Main Street review. This was supposed to be a one year project, but it was clear from the findings that more was needed and that the BID would be the way forward. The GFSB has been hard at work behind the scenes to get the BID to a point where it runs itself. It is great to see the strong BID team and how they are moving the project forward, and how many businesses are backing the BID. We are also grateful for the Government’s support.
Overall a great success for the GFSB, the BID and Gibraltar!”
Gibraltar Federation of Small Businesses launches podcast
The Gibraltar Federation of Small Businesses will launch a six-part series of podcasts on Tuesday 21st September.
Aimed at small business owners and the wider community, listeners can expect an insightful interview with a different business leader each week. Each show will be different and will include anecdotes, tips as well as some lesser-known information about the individuals and companies featured. As is the case with all GFSB initiatives, this podcast aims to add value and shine a light on Gibraltar’s independent businesses and entrepreneurs too.
Speaking about the upcoming series, Chairman of the GFSB, Julian Byrne said “We are always looking for new ways to engage with our members and the business community in Gibraltar. Sharing important information, providing helpful tips and guidance on business lessons others have learnt is a big part of what the GFSB does. Our social media platforms, website and Intouch magazine reach a wide range of people and businesses, these podcasts will help to expand our reach.
In keeping with the times, we felt it was a good time to launch a new way to engage with our members via the GFSB Business Podcast. Our hope is that members will enjoy the podcasts and that this new platform will grow from strength to strength. We wish to thank the Gibraltar International Bank for their sponsorship and David for all his hard work.”
The first series of the GFSB Business Podcast is supported by the Gibraltar International Bank and features interviews with senior leaders at the Bassadone Automotive Group, MH Bland, Eroski Gibraltar and more. The podcast series will be hosted by David Revagliatte. David has been a freelance writer for the GFSB’s Intouch Magazine for the last three years and has in-depth knowledge of Gibraltar’s business community. He said, “I am super excited to be working with the GFSB on these podcasts. Those tuning in can expect a personal take on local business, learn lots about the companies they have heard of and discover new businesses too.”
Gibraltar International Bank actively supports the community through its work with local charities and public service projects. Speaking about its collaboration with the GFSB, its Chief Business Officer, David Bruce said, “We think the series of GFSB Podcasts is an excellent initiative to create new ways of connecting the business community. We are delighted to be involved in such an innovative approach.”
The GFSB Business Podcast is available on the GFSB website www.gfsb.gi and Spotify, iTunes and Google Podcasts as from next Tuesday 21st September and a new episode will be released every Tuesday for six weeks.
You may have now received a “Notice of Ballot” letter from Isolas, who will be conducting the month-long, independent postal ballot for the BID Business Plan. Ballot papers will be sent out at the beginning of September, and you’ll have up till 5pm on 29th September to return these to Isolas and have your say on whether you’d like the 5-year BID project to go ahead.
For any questions, more information on the BID Business Plan, how the BID will benefit your business, what your business’ annual BID levy will be or for anything else, please reply to this email or get in touch with BID Project Manager, Jade Edinburgh, on firstname.lastname@example.org
Climate change is now the biggest challenge of our generation and understanding its potential impacts as well as building capacity to cope with these is of fundamental importance. Understanding the challenges and rising to meet them requires cooperation and collaboration by all citizens. Your feedback is valued and therefore ask you to take a moment to fill in the questionnaire through the following link https://survey.alchemer.eu/s3/90363241/Gibraltar-VRA-Consultation-Questionnaire-2021-Sector-Actors