Q&A with Steve Pickett-Chair, Business Isle of Man

Featured Blog Image

Steve Pickett joined the Business Isle of Man Non-Executive Board in 2018, at the Agency’s inception, and in August 2022 was announced as the Non-Executive Chair following an open recruitment process.

Business Isle of Man is now seeking new recruits to join its Non-Executive board. We sat down with Steve to gather some insights on his experince being a Non-Executive Board member and the benefits prospective individuals can gain from being part of the Board.


Why did you join the non-executive board for Business Isle of Man, and in your opinion what will a prospective board member gain?

I joined the Business Isle of Man Board in 2018 when it was first created, wanting to use my background and experience in the logistics sector and working closely with local markets to bring ideas and insight to conversations surrounding the development of these sectors.

Being an Agency Board Member gave me a unique opportunity to be an ambassador for the Isle of Man business community and to bring ideas for initiatives, solutions and policies which supported the development of the sectors to the table, based on my own personal experience working within industry.

The setup of the Executive Agencies to have a public/private partnership makes sure that proposals for initiatives are created by people working within industry and have been designed to work practically for businesses. It’s rewarding to be able to think critically about how we can improve the Island, and implement solutions which really work in practice.

I first visited the Isle of Man on business in 1990 and relocated here in 2000. Now married with three children and being part of the local business community, I have developed a real love and appreciation for the Island. It’s good to work with a Board which collectively wants the Island to succeed and to achieve ambitious targets to ensure we are moving in the right direction, not just for our own businesses, but also to build an attractive place for future generations and a preferred location for businesses.

Whilst I initially joined the Business Isle of Man board as the logistics lead given my previous experience, I’ve found it’s given me a valuable insight to be involved in challenges and opportunities which I wouldn’t have usually done, and being able to do that in a room full of experienced and passionate individuals, from both Government and the private sector, is a really great experience.


How much time do you need to dedicate to be a Board Member?

The time commitment as a board member can vary depending on what’s happening. But generally, we meet monthly for an afternoon to review board papers and proposals, and update on issues which are being raised by the wider business community, and discuss how we might approach mitigating them.

In addition, you are able to work closely with the Business Isle of Man team, in particular the Business Development Managers, on external promotion of the sectors and policy developments.

I’ve found that representing Isle of Man business and supporting the BDM’s is very rewarding.  They are a hard working team focused on helping the Island succeed now and in the future. Dedicating a little time to being a board member has helped develop my own skills and knowledge, as despite being busy running my own business, being able to work with a team of experienced people across a diverse business community can make a real difference.


What are the current areas of focus for the business agency?

Business Isle of Man has a diverse remit, covering eight key sectors within the export and domestic markets which include: Construction, Engineering & Manufacturing, Medicinal Cannabis, Cleantech, Logistics, Retail, Food and Drink Export and Built Environment & Regeneration, so there is always lots to cover.

The development of a Medicinal Cannabis sector in the Island is a key priority for the Agency, and there has been a lot of work over the past few years to develop a licencing framework to support the creation of regulations for this sector in the Isle of Man. In June the Gambling Supervision Commission issued the first provisional Medicinal Cannabis for Export licence, which puts us in a great position to now begin planning how we approach leveraging the opportunities for the Island in the Medicinal Cannabis sector, which has the potential to create a number of jobs and increase the Island’s GDP over the next few years.

We are also looking at our export proposition. The Isle of Man is home to a large number of successful export businesses, in particular in the engineering and manufacturing sector. But there are also opportunities in regards to local food and drink production. Looking at the ways we can leverage these will be a key priority, and having experienced board representation in this space will be crucial.

Another key piece of work is the future town regeneration strategies working within the built environment. The Agency is involved in work surrounding the completion of an area plan for the north and west, alongside re-evaluating and introducing effective guidance to help in planning application assessments.


What are you looking for in new board members?

I would encourage anyone who is passionate about developing and improving the Island’s business proposition to come forward and bring their experience and ideas to the board. Ideal candidates would be critical thinkers who are solution driven, and willing to come with new innovative ideas for how we can collectively review and improve the Isle of Man’s business proposition. We also often approach opportunities with an open mind of who may be best to support the project, so individuals not on the Board may also be able to contribute to a particular opportunity which they will have a passion for.


Who should apply to be a board member?

Those who have relevant experience in one or more of the sectors which are overseen by the Business Agency. But equally, I would be keen to see representation from any business person who wants to improve the Island and feels they can bring a unique perspective – and this includes those who may be residing outside the Isle of Man, who are willing to be a spokesperson both locally and internationally.


Business Isle of Man is currently seeking expressions of interest for new board members. To apply click here.


  • Recent Posts