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Financing, investment and government support
Does the government provide any incentives or support programmes to promote fintech innovation in your jurisdiction (eg, tax incentives, grants and regulatory sandboxes)?
Jersey has adopted a regulatory regime for virtual currency which exempts start-ups involved in virtual currency exchange from paying fees to the Jersey Financial Services Commission (JFSC) for regulation, until they reach a turnover threshold of £150,000 per annum. While these businesses must still register with the JFSC and comply with Jersey's anti-money laundering legislation, innovation within these parameters is facilitated with reduced regulatory costs.
A new sandbox is proposed for fintech business more widely, but the exact parameters are not yet known.
Digital Jersey runs a work permission scheme aimed at bridging the talent gap for the skills that are most needed to support Jersey's digital economy. These skills may be technical or business-related, but must be growth enablers to talent-starved businesses. Working permissions are targeted at roles that will contribute towards the growth and development of the local digital sector, but most importantly those skills that are otherwise unavailable in the local talent pool. Digital Jersey's evaluation of applications is based on business growth and training, candidate skills, availability of skills locally, productivity and innovation.
Digital Jersey also runs the Start-up Jersey initiative for entrepreneurs within the European Economic Area (EEA). Up to two EEA citizens can submit a business plan to Digital Jersey and, if the plan is approved, both individuals will be issued with housing and working rights in Jersey. The enterprise must be engaged in research, development and innovation and must be early seed, pre-launch, pre-revenue, newly incorporated or operating for less than two years, or early stage (operating between two and three years) with fast growth potential. Salary or dividends of less than £65,000 per full-time equivalent per annum (or no previously distributed profits) is also a requirement.
Digital Jersey has also set up a hub in Jersey which provides a co-working space and tools for young businesses to grow and develop their ideas. This is used by many different businesses, from small fintech start-ups to more established digital firms.
The Jersey Innovation Fund (which is under review) may potentially be available to provide working capital to entrepreneurs, start-ups and established organisations that want to bring new and innovative products or services to the market.
Has the government concluded any international cooperation agreements to promote and facilitate the cross-border expansion of fintech businesses?
Financing and investment
What private financing and investment schemes are available and commonly used for fintech start-ups in your jurisdiction?
Private financing and investment may be available from local angel investors and high-net-worth individuals.
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