Rewarding the entrepreneurs starting out with big ambitions

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Jersey needs innovation to keep ahead, and that can be found not only in established businesses which invest in it, but in the entrepreneurs who launch start-ups.

Many people forget that the $43 billion business WorldPay originally launched in Jersey, and we have plenty of other home-grown successes such as Feelunique, which is now one of Europe’s leading online beauty retailers.

Celebrating the success of founding directors in the start-up sector is one highlight of the IoD Jersey Director of the Year awards.

It’s so encouraging for our judging team to look through the achievements of those entrepreneurs who are building the Worldpays and Feeluniques of the future.

These businesses aren’t just employing local people and contributing to the Jersey economy, they are ambassadors for the Island as they expand their organisations globally.

The last time we ran the start-up category, in 2019, the winner was the founder of a local organisation which is already making waves both on and off the Island – Tom Hacquoil, chief executive of Pinpoint.

Pinpoint is a talent-acquisition software developed by a local team. Tom not only won the Jersey award but went on to be shortlisted and win the UK national Director of the Year Award for start-ups.

Tom said that winning the award meant a great deal to him for two main reasons.

‘Personally, it was an honour to receive public recognition for the hard work and sacrifice it takes to start something from nothing – the early days are extremely challenging and fairly isolating as a founder, so a public pat-on-the-back from a respectable panel of judges was very much appreciated!,’ he said.

‘As a business, winning the award was very validating in the eyes of our prospects, customers, and our team. Selling your wares as a start-up is often difficult (unless you sell to other startups / consumers), and the endorsement of the IoD judging panel certainly helped build confidence in our product, our brand and our business as a whole.’

Tom is now one of this year’s judges and will have the honour of helping choose who follows him in the start-up category winners list. You don’t have to have global ambitions with your business. This category is looking at the market opportunity identified by entrepreneurs, the model to capitalise on it and how it has been executed within the first three years of trading.

The judges will look at how initial targets and KPIs have been met or exceeded, the vision for growth, innovation and the leader’s understanding of key challenges, customers and the competitive landscape, as well as a recognition of the importance of good corporate governance and company culture.

This is just one category in this year’s awards, sponsored by Appleby. We want to celebrate leaders in all fields, whether you’re an established business, NED, third-sector director or a young director. Entry is free and you do not have to be a member of IoD Jersey to enter.

The full list of categories:

lLarge business

lSME business

lFamily business


lThird sector

lPublic sector


lEquality, diversity and inclusion



We have an excellent panel of judges, some of Jersey’s finest directors and former directors from a range of business sectors and backgrounds.

The panel will be chaired by Kevin Keen, who will be joined by John Henwood, Brendan McMahon, Dr Lesley Dickie, Kate Wright, Kristina Le Feuvre and Tom Hacquoil.

We also hope to celebrate our 2021 Award winners at a black-tie ceremony at the Royal Yacht on Friday 17 September. Tickets for this dinner can be purchased on Eventbrite.

lYou have until Friday 11 June to get your nominations in by clicking on ‘Awards’ on the website.

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