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Nominations are open for the IoD Jersey Director of the Year Awards, celebrating the Island’s most inspiring and successful leaders. Sponsored by Appleby Jersey, the awards feature ten categories from small and family organisations, directors who excel in equality, diversity and inclusion, to leaders of large firms. In the first in a series of articles, Natasha Egré, chair of IoD Jersey, shines a light on the start-up and small-business award categories

JERSEY has been known for its innovation throughout history, whether that’s developing its dairy, potato and finance industries or its digital start-ups, such as World Pay, which began in the Island.

Leaders of start-ups need a particular skill set. They are not risk-averse, and they tend to be highly driven, often having spotted an opportunity in an industry in which they are already working.

The 2022 winner of the Start-up Director of the Year Award, Rob McCombie, was no exception. As chief executive of TCA Digital, in just 18 months he had led the business to become a leading software provider for insider list automation, helping companies to automate their regulatory requirements. Rob had previously worked in the finance industry.

So, what do the judges look for when considering start-up leaders? They want to see what market opportunity the start-up is addressing, how it is capitalising on that, and how its up to first three years of trading have gone.

This includes looking at whether initial targets and KPIs have been met, the strategy for growth and continued innovation and, critically, the skillset of the leader themselves.

IoD chair Natasha Egré

This includes their understanding of key challenges, customers and the competitive landscape, as well as a recognition of the importance of good corporate governance/ company culture.

For small-business leaders in companies that have been trading for more than three years, the Small – Medium Business Award might be the right choice. This award is designed to celebrate those directors working in a business that employs fewer than 250 employees and has an annual turnover of less than £10 million.

SMEs are essential to our Island and form the majority of business structures, with around 82% of our companies employing fewer than 20 staff each. This award will go to the business that can show outstanding initiative, boldness and imagination in enterprise and sustainability, as well as sound management practice, good corporate governance and commercial success.

SMEs are not only critical to employment and economic activity, but they also provide diversity and innovation. They increase competition in an industry and marketplace, and reflect the culture of the Island, often investing back into their own community.

Their size can also make them flexible, allowing them to adapt to changes in the marketplace, or customer needs, far faster than larger organisations.

Last year the SME business award was given to Chris Le Masurier, from Jersey Oyster Co. While Chris is a third-generation oyster farmer, under his leadership the business developed to become the largest oyster grower in the British Isles, despite the setbacks of the pandemic and Brexit.

Do you know a start-up or small business leader who you think is worthy of nomination? Winning an award such as the IoD Director of the Year Award isn’t just recognition for the leader themselves. It increases visibility for them and for the business, enhancing credibility, and profile. It also recognises the team behind the award winner because, as we all know, a leader is only as good as their team.

The ten award categories are:

  • Director of the Year – Large Business (over £10 million turnover)

  • Director of the Year – SME Business (under £10 million turnover)

  • Family Business Director of the Year

  • Start-up Director of the Year

  • Third Sector Director of the Year

  • Public Sector Director of the Year

  • Young Director of the Year

  • Director of the Year – Equality, Diversity & Inclusion

  • Director of the Year – Sustainability

  • Non-Executive Director of the Year

Nominations close on Friday 30 June. It only takes two minutes to nominate someone online and nominations can remain anonymous if you choose. To nominate someone for an award visit: forms.office.com/e/C8TbBTDfKf or visit iod.je/dotya. The gala awards dinner will take place on Thursday 19 October at the Royal Jersey Showground.

Did you know?

  • Each entry is reviewed by at least two judges, usually a third, who have wide experience, and they take huge care to ensure that no judge is conflicted when marking an entry.

Top tips to applicants from Kevin Keen, chair of the judges

  • ‘The main mistake applicants who have not already been nominated make is not to answer the questions asked on the entry portal. It sounds obvious but it happens a lot. Also, if the question asks applicants to specifically address the IOD competencies, then, to get a good score, that is what the applicant needs to do.’

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