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GFSB celebrates local entrepreneurship

GFSB Award 07-03-2018 (Photo John Bugeja) to the winner of the Business Innovation Awards 2017/18 Jordan Lopez

Jordan Lopez was yesterday presented with this year’s Gibraltar Federation of Small Businesses Innovation Award for his online ticket purchasing website.

The annual award celebrates local entrepreneurship with seven businesses applying for this year’s competition.

Mr Lopez’ business is an online ticket purchasing website predominately for local events, with plans to move into the tourism sector.

The judging panel comprised of GFSB and Gibtelecom representatives Eran Shay, Stephen Reyes and Lianne Azzopardi decided on this year’s winner.

The prize was sponsored by Gibtelecom with £2,000 worth of IT and telecommunications equipment awarded to Mr Lopez.

The website has so far sold some 30,000 tickets in less than three years, equalling the population of Gibraltar.

Mr Lopez told the Chronicle it was “great” to be awarded this prize for his business that has been in the works for a number of years.

“Local service does not need to be an inferior service, and I think people confuse that,” Mr Lopez said.

“I think we exemplify how a local service can really make a business grow because people know who you are and trust you. We are very safe we work with World Pay which is one of the biggest companies in the world for online transactions.”

Mr Lopez laughed as he said he started the business thinking it would be a lot less work, but quickly realised that every event would need a different system to cater to their requests.

“Over the years the event page has kept on growing and right now we have 13 events in total,” Mr Lopez said.

He added the fact it is a small business means customers have a more personal experience and can call someone in Gibraltar if they have any issues rather than ringing a call centre in a different country.

GFSB Chairman Julian Byrne said it was great to see new businesses emerge with “bold and different” ideas.

The judging panel added that they were very impressed with the entries, especially with how Mr Lopez created his own business instead of using a model from international ticket selling website.

“This proves innovation is rife and very much alive in Gibraltar,” Mr Reyes said.

“All the entries seem to be growing and successful businesses that are all attracting a good market in their field.”

The judges remarked how Mr Lopez had created a customised product that is ideal for Gibraltar and could become a platform for other small businesses to sell tickets to their events on this platform.

“I think it was interesting to hear that there are quite a few challenges and there is much more behind the website including mapping of the venues and seating,” Mr Shay said.

The business also aims to begin selling tickets for UEFA matches and events for tourists.

The judging panel recognised that there is an opportunity for to expand and grow.

Representing Gibtelecom Ms Azzopardi said the company is keen to support home grown businesses.

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