We are delighted to be one of only three shortlisted companies for this year’s Bill Green Award for Entrepreneurial Spirit, run by YBG on behalf of the Guernsey Chamber of Commerce. We are now awaiting the judges’ final decision which will be announced at the YBG summer ball on 17 June.
Bill Green himself had entrepreneurial spirit in his blood. A much loved Guernseyman, always with a twinkle in his eye, he lived through various stages of the island’s economic growth as Guernsey evolved from depending on granite export to tomato growing, flower production and more recently its growth as a successful international finance sector.
Bill’s own earliest business venture was during the occupation when he spotted an opportunity when the Germans requisitioned all the local cars and motorcycles. With bicycles soon becoming the primary mode of transport he set up a success operation, selling and servicing bikes (in Smith Street would you believe) and then – for a small fee - offered a ‘bike park’ facility at the shop where customers could leave their bicycles in safe keeping while they went about their business.
Post war, Bill became an active member of Guernsey Chamber of Commerce, playing his part in re-building the island. He was elected Chamber president in 1963 and during his tenure he championed developing better relations with other chambers, supporting his belief that more could be achieved commercially through establishing strong bonds with other like-minded jurisdictions.
Bill believed that the definition of luck was the ability to recognise opportunities – something which he seemed to have an intrinsic ability to do and today he would undoubtedly given Dragons’ Den a run for its money.
We feel a personal connection with Bill because, even though we never met him, we have discovered that Justin’s father’s first bike was purchased from Bill’s Smith Street shop by his own parents as a reward for passing the 11 plus!
This award was established after Bill’s death by his daughter Maggie – herself a successful business woman – to commemorate his long and successful life. It is given each year to a pioneering organisation in the island that is making its mark on the local business scene with a fresh direction or project.
We are all looking forward to the 17 June – our team will be out in force – and we are all really proud to have made it to this stage. We wish the other two shortlisted companies (CT Plus Guernsey Limited and Dorfmeister Studios) the best of luck and, whatever the outcome we will be raising a glass to Bill on the night.