One of Enterprise St Helena’s (ESH) key goals encompasses supporting business development on St Helena, as well as enhancing entrepreneurial skills. As ESH marks its five years of operation, we take a look at businesses we have supported who have developed and sustained their operations over the past few years. This week we focus on the Agriculture and Marine-based tourism sectors by highlighting the business ventures of Into the Blue, owned by Craig Yon and Joshua Brother’s Covered Production owned by Martin and Adrian Joshua.
Into the Blue, a diving and tourism business, commenced in stages as owner Craig opted to acquire the appropriate certified training to offer dive excursions, and to teach diving and related underwater diving specialities.
Craig explained: “I realised that the airport was coming and I needed the relevant qualifications for group dives. I knew marine excursions would become popular as similar activities around the world, and I wanted to have the best knowledge base for St Helena, in addition to building up sufficient equipment to operate my business effectively as a tourism attraction for visitors.” Craig actively promotes his leisure activity and has gained international recognition through a visiting journalist from DIVE magazine.
This mind set, along with ESH’s assistance, allowed Craig the opportunity to train in South Africa to obtain his Dive Master Certification in 2013, an internationally recognised qualification.
The inspiration to teach diving came directly from Mr Graham Sim, Craig explained: “who has pushed many to pursue their passion for diving.” Craig approached ESH for funding to visit Coral Dives at Sodwana Bay (a five star career development centre) and earned an Open Water Scuba Instructor Certification along with specialities – underwater navigation, night diving, deep diving, search and recovery, wreck diving and boat diving. He has also acquired an Emergency First Response Instructor Certificate. Additionally, Craig has secured a Master Scuba Diver Rating from Padi (Professional Association of Diving Instructors).
Craig has received support from the local community who often attend weekly dives. He would like to see an increase in individuals to take up this recreational activity. “There are many out there who have the natural ability and I would suggest to pursue it” Craig advised, “being a diver/diving instructor is something that is sort worldwide, and is a skill in which you can take to many international resorts.” Craig would also like to extend his thanks to ESH for their support.
Launched in 2010, Joshua Brother’s Covered Production (JBCP) was developed to continuously supply the island with local salad related crops. Martin along with his brother Adrian began producing crops through soil methods, however these proved to be unsuccessful and they wished to explore the technology of hydroponics. In 2012 they applied the hydrocultural method with support from the Environmental Natural Resources Directorate (ENRD) and ESH’s predecessor, namely St Helena Development Agency.
Martin explained: “At the time we set up our first unit at Harpers, our aim was to constantly supply the island with tomatoes – making it our specialised crop and we felt this technique, the method of growing plants without soil using mineral nutrient solutions in a water solvent, would keep a constant flow for the island.”
Martin took the opportunity to attend an Agriculture exposure trip to Johannesburg in 2013 – to specifically get an insight into hydroponic crop production. The company has since received support from ENRD and ESH to set up the Guinea Grass unit with hydroponics providing sufficient evidence from produce at Harpers. JBCP also secured funding from ESH for a Nutrient Film Technique (NFT) (a new hydroponic technique introduced on island by the company – wherein a very shallow stream of water containing dissolved nutrients required for plant growth is re-circulated past the bare roots of plants in a watertight gully).
Martin is keen to generate interest in Agriculture especially to those in secondary school – currently he has a work experience student who joined the team.
For the future, Martin wishes to explore additional specialised crops like strawberries. “If there is any advice I would give, it is that business, especially a farming business, is risky; however you have to take that risk to accomplish your business goals whilst there is support available. There are opportunities out there for farming, especially with utilising innovative methods.” ended Martin.
ESH Press Release
1 August 2017
One of Enterprise St Helena’s (ESH) key goals encompasses supporting business development on St Helena, as well as enhancing entrepreneurial skills. As ESH marks its five years of being in operation, we take a look at businesses we have supported who have developed and sustained their operations over the past few years.
This week we focus on Gigabyte IT Solutions owned by Craig Williams and Beauty Sport owned by Noleen Stevens.
Gigabyte IT Solutions has been operating for around three years and was established by Craig Williams. The business offers advice on PC and Laptop repairs, broadband installations and a range of solutions for computer related issues, including troubleshooting common technology problems.
Craig began fixing computers and laptops for family and friends, however this hobby then developed into a full fledged business when an individual suggested to Craig that his hobby could bridge the gap in a non-existing market at that time. “Inspiration to start my business came from the main incentive that I wanted to be my own boss. I saw several businesses that were doing well and expanding and I wanted to join the world of the private sector.” explained Craig.
Currently Gigabyte IT Solutions is a part time business and Craig’s full time employment is also centered around Information Technology, so he spends his entire day working with IT.
As new technology has been introduced on the island, Craig has expanded his services to include repairing mobile phones and also sells a limited variety of electronic devices.
For future plans, Craig envisages opening a computer shop: “I want to open an electronics shop similar to those in the UK, in addition to having a repair facility within the outlet.” When asking about giving future advice to entrepreneurs, he offers some business advice: “Don’t rush into setting up a small business, but build your ideas over
Beauty Spot is located at the ESH Business Park at Ladder Hill. Noleen Stevens has operated her hair salon from the premises since 2012.
Noleen speaks of her previous experience: “I have been cutting hair since I was 16 years old. It began with family and friends, but it grew to visiting clients.”
Noleen is self taught and has developed her skills by watching others, reading books and also watching DVD’s. She wishes to gain some training in the UK, which would allow her to learn new techniques, gaining a national vocation certificate and experience in a salon.
The push to develop her business into a salon came when Noleen covered for a salon owner at the Market and she very much enjoyed the experience. The business now features the sale of cosmetic and hair products and Noleen hopes to develop her business further by offering beauty treatments.
Both businesses would like to recruit an additional member of staff, specifically targeting school leavers, to pass on their knowledge to future entrepreneurs.
ESH Press Release
25 July 2017
Enterprise St Helena (ESH) launched its second annual report at the Princess Royal Community Care Complex at Ladder Hill on 21st June 2017. The official launch to mark this occasion was presented by Her Excellency the Governor, Lisa Phillips, in the presence of the organisations Board and subcommittee members, the team and other stakeholders who have contributed to the positive performance of the organisation. The event included a presentation on the benefits of being represented at international travel and trade shows earlier this year. Awards and certificates were also presented, and various speeches and announcements were made.
Since 2013, ESH has delivered Phase One of the Department for International Development (DFID) Project. This project supported economic development activities and capital investment relating to developing the private sector. Within the project timeframe, ESH has delivered crucial outcomes which demonstrate the improvement made and the ultimate impact on economic development.
Hon. Lawson Henry, Chairman of the Board of Directors commented on progress and performance, “Despite the many challenges, Enterprise St Helena (ESH) has remained focused and has delivered a solid overall performance not only for the financial year 2016/17 but also over the first phase of the ESH project which commenced in 2013. Looking back, it has been a year of steady progress and achievement. We now look to 2017 with confidence, there is, however, no room for complacency as we approach the eve of air access with weekly commercial flights, it is critical that we continue to receive support from our partners during the transitional period.”
Lawson declared, “I am pleased to announce today that following endorsement from elected members, that St Helena Government and ESH in collaboration with the National Amateur Sports Association, (NASAS), a new project to develop a multi purpose Sports Ground and associated facilities at Bottom Woods which will commence shortly.”
Dr Niall O’Keeffe, Chief Executive of Economic Development stated, “At Enterprise St Helena we continue to challenge ourselves about how best we can support St Helena. In partnership with DFID and SHG, we constantly strive to reach out and offer support, whether advisory or financial, to the various sectors on the island and we continue to increase our promotion of St Helena as a Tourism and Investment opportunity. There are many good examples of our work outlined in this publication and evidence of our impact on the island but for us economic development can only be deemed successful when it benefits greater numbers and the quality of life has been enhanced for all in our community.”
Governor Lisa Phillips announced, “A consortium of St. Helena partners (Enterprise St Helena, St Helena Government, St Helena Community College & St Helena National Trust) in collaboration with the South Atlantic Environmental Research Institute (SAERI) are organising the islands first environmental conference, ‘Our natural Capital: what is the value of St. Helena’s natural environment?’ it is envisaged that the event will take place at the end of January 2018.
The report includes case studies of two partners in development, SHAPE and St Kebabee’s respectively. Key highlights for 2016/17 can be seen in the opposite schematic.
A copy of the 2016/17 Annual Report can be collected from either the ESH Head Office at Ladder Hill or the Tourist Office in Jamestown. The report can also be found on the organisations website www.investinsthelena.com.
ESH Press Release
21 June 2017
Bertrand’s Cottage, situated near the Longwood Green, is a Hospitality upskilling establishment that offers restaurant and accommodation facilities. The restaurant is open for dinner from Wednesday’s to Friday’s from 19:00 – 22:00, with last orders at 21:00, as well as being open to offer Sunday Lunches with two sittings at 12:00 and 15:00. The menu is designed and developed by the young St Helenian team that work and train at this facility, and primarily base their menu on the availability of local ingredients. The menu is advertised via all of Enterprise St Helena’s (ESH) social media platforms which include ESH, St Helena Tourism and Bertrand’s Cottage Facebook and Twitter pages, as well as being advertised via the local media.
The team at Bertrand’s also offer freshly baked assorted rolls through the Cottage and filled rolls through Longwood Supermarket on Wednesdays.
Bertrand’s Cottage was built in 1816 and was previously the home to Napoleon’s General Count HenriGatien Bertrand and his family . This Grade 1 listed building was restored to its current state by ESH to provide a hospitality upskilling facility that offers restaurant and accommodation facilities, is available for catering and hosting private events, and is able to create menus to meet a range of catering requirements.
Not only does this facility offer training to its team and apprentices, hospitality courses for the general public are also offered covering a range of hospitality skills.
To make a booking please contact telephone 25200 or email Bertrandscottage@helanta.co.sh.
In keeping with ESH’s aim to support and develop the private sector on the island ESH is currently seeking expressions of interest from the private sector for Bertrand’s Cottage.
ESH Press Release
27 June 2017
The St Helena Innovation Board is pleased to announce that St Helena has been successful in securing an Overseas Countries and Territories of the European Union Association (OCTA) Innovation Grant of EUR 148,607.00 (approximately £130,000.00).
After a series of meetings, the board which is made up various community & private sector representatives namely Dr Niall O’Keeffe, Cherie Dillon, Dr Corinda Essex , Councillor Gavin Ellick, Liz Idan-Johnson, Colin Anthony, Paul Cherrett, Anne Dillon, Martin Joshua, Kerry Yon, Trevor Graham, Justine Green and Ian Rummery generated a range of innovation ideas that was felt would benefit St Helena, each of which was investigated to determine the feasibility and cost. Following this process it was determined that the Anaerobic Bio-digester was the most feasible choice.
The St Helena Innovation Board submitted an application to OCTA Innovation last year for a Anaerobic Bio-Digester for St Helena. An Anaerobic Bio-Digester is a piece of plant which converts organic waste into fertiliser and bio-gas which can be used as an alternative source of renewable energy. A consultant is also due on island before the end of the year to carry out research into the best model for St Helena.
Janice Panton, the chairperson of the TSI Project Steering Group (PSC) said “OCTA congratulate St Helena on the endorsement of their pilot project. This project is a perfect example of what OCTA aims to achieve with EU support that is to make a visible contribution to the sustainable development of each of the OCTs. The process was at times difficult and required cooperation and determination on all sides OCTA, the St. Helena Innovation Manager and the support of their St Helena UK representative and OCTA Innovation team.”
Niall O’Keeffe commented “This announcement is particularly pleasing as it is potentially a game changer for environmental waste management on St Helena and also because of the collaborative nature of the project. Apart from the Board there was significant support and input from Kedell Worboys, Dax Richards, Robert Midwinter, Derek Henry and Mike Durnford, elected members along with Milan and his team at OCTA Innovation in Brussels.
There is much work left to be done to bring this project to fruition by a number of stakeholders but it will be an exciting challenge.”
14 June 2017
Cruise International Magazine will be hosting their annual Cruise Awards in September 2017. St Helena has been shortlisted in the Cruise Experience Category for ‘Best Destinations (World)’, and the RMS St Helena has been shortlisted in the Cruise Line Category for ‘Best for Adventure’. This is the second time the RMS St Helena has been shortlisted for this category, the first was for the 2014 awards. This is the first time St Helena has been shortlisted as a destination.
Cruise International is the UK’s only independent guide to cruise travel, a cruise magazine dedicated to helping both the cruise holiday enthusiast and first-timers alike to enjoy the best that cruising has to offer. The magazine has a readership of 80,000 and their website receives 10,599 page views. St Helena has been advertising with Cruise International Magazine since 2003.
The current RMS St Helena has served her community for 27 years and is due to go offline in 2018. St Helena Tourism encourages the public to vote for her and for our island.
The voting page can be found:
Closing date, 18 August.
ESH Press Release
14 June 2017
PREFERRED BIDDER ANNOUNCED
SHG is pleased to announce that SA Airlink has been chosen as the preferred bidder for the provision of a scheduled commercial air service to St Helena.
SA Airlink is a privately owned airline registered in South Africa. It is a franchisee to South African Airways. SA Airlink is a member of the International Air Transport Association (“IATA”) and as such is IATA Operational Safety Audit (“IOSA”) accredited. SA Airlink is a well-established airline operating on a scheduled network with domestic and regional passenger and cargo services.
SHG will now enter into a period of contractual negotiations with SA Airlink. It is anticipated that a formal announcement will be made in the coming weeks on completion of negotiations and contract signing. It is at this point SHG will be able to confirm details such as the commencement date, frequency, aircraft type, the international hub and connecting airports.
Details on the cost of fares and sales distribution will be released shortly after contract signing.
The public are asked to be patient during this period of negotiation after which all of the details outlined above will be publicised.
Adrian Gardiner, founder and Chairman of Mantis Collection and Erik Venter, CEO of Comair Limited, got together with Christopher Trott, British Consul General, to record a video to mark the announcement of St Helena’s hotel and airline operators to St Helehistoric.
St Helena Hotel Development Ltd (SHHD) is pleased to announce that following its recent competitive procurement exercise, Mantis has been selected as the preferred operator to manage the 32-room hotel to be created at 123 Main Street out of three historic buildings in St Helena’s capital, Jamestown. Read More