A Science to Growing Businesses

Economic Development | Insights

NOTE: This article was originally published on Page 8 of the Guernsey Press
Global Entrepreneurship Week 2021 supplement.

To mark Global Entrepreneurship Week, Charles Mindenhall, co-founder of Blenheim Chalcot, the UK’s largest venture builder, reflects on what he believes it takes to build successful businesses.

Many factors affect whether a business will succeed, including a certain degree of luck. That said, at Blenheim Chalcot, we’ve spent over 20 years building more than 40 businesses through creating an environment that supports our ventures to scale. This has proven to be a real differentiator in increasing their likelihood of success.

The Bailiwick is in the process of home-growing its own business-building ecosystem and, through our work with the Digital Greenhouse over the last two years, we have seen how the local innovation hub is creating a similarly supportive, innovative and increasingly digital business environment for Islanders.

Developing and honing digital and entrepreneurial skillsets

Developing agile people and cultivating agile mindsets are the core of Blenheim Chalcot’s business-building ethos and we ensure that learning and development are embedded across our businesses. It is vital now more than ever to ensure your workforce is constantly developing skillsets that look ahead and grow with the times. It’s imperative to encourage people to think differently and creatively and to take risks, as new ideas rarely come from ‘business as usual’. 

Right now, some fully funded upskilling opportunities are available to Islanders. From digital leadership and digital marketing courses to formal apprenticeship qualifications where employees train to become fully-qualified data analysts, there are game-changing initiatives available that could move the dial on Guernsey’s future digital capability.

Video: Introduction to the Digital Marketing Apprenticeship with Avado Learning.
This Digital Greenhouse webinar provides an overview of the Digital Marketing Apprenticeship, one of three digital apprenticeships currently on offer through the SMART Guernsey Programme. Find out more and apply for the 2022 cohort on the Digital Greenhouse website.

Fostering a culture of connection, collaboration, and learning

Learning from each other (and one another’s mistakes) is hugely valuable, and diversity of thought within teams is critical. We ensure there are frequent opportunities for our businesses to knowledge-share but also be challenged by people with different perspectives. 

Online communities like Guernsey’s Learning Hub and in-person events, such as those driven by the Digital Greenhouse, allow Islanders access to exceptional networks, learning content and thought-leadership. By coming together to learn, problem-solve, collaborate and challenge we can build better, more successful businesses

Cultivating opportunities, disrupting markets and launching ventures

Blenheim Chalcot’s venture building approach is to transform industries by identifying high growth sectors, typically undergoing some market, technology or regulatory discontinuity. We build scalable platforms that satisfy real customer needs, combining our resources and our network’s expertise to give entrepreneurs an ‘unfair advantage’ to supercharge their business growth. 

Guernsey is progressively identifying and capitalising on its biggest opportunity areas (e.g. within Fintech), and entrepreneurs in all sectors are being extended a similarly ‘unfair advantage’ through activities being run through the Digital Greenhouse. This includes the Guernsey Mentoring Programme which matches entrepreneurs with business mentors on-island and across the Blenheim Chalcot network.

We are excited to be supporting the Bailiwick with initiatives aimed at helping to build a strong, future-proofed entrepreneurial ecosystem. Blenheim Chalcot initiatives are available to businesses and individuals based in the Bailiwick through our partnership with the Digital Greenhouse. Initiatives are fully funded through the SMART Guernsey Partnership, in which Agilisys reinvest a percentage of their revenue to support Guernsey's Economic Development goals. 

Find out how to start-up and/or scale your businesses by visiting digitalgreenhouse.gg

Charles Mindenhall

Charles Mindenhall is Co-Founder of Blenheim Chalcot, the UK’s leading digital venture builder. Blenheim Chalcot traces its roots back to netdecisions which Charles and his business partner Manoj Badale founded back in 1998. 

Charles was appointed Chair of OnSide Youth Zones in 2020, after serving as a Trustee for several years, and he also chairs Future Youth Zone. Charles is also a trustee of the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and Mental Health Innovations.  Charles has an MA in Philosophy and Psychology from Christ Church, Oxford University, and was formerly at Monitor Company.