Jess Jones is a Speaker, MC & Entrepreneur
In 2004, Jess Jones captured a business idea in her always-handy notebook that would see her bring together groups of entrepreneurs through education and events to support one another on the roller coaster that is business ownership. And a decade later, she founded Soar Collective.
A country girl at heart, Jess grew up in an East Gippsland town with a population of just 4,000 where her parents ran their own retail business. Jess witnessed the struggles and lack of resources they, and many others, experienced while attempting to run a small business in regional Victoria and felt there should be something better. These firsthand experiences at a young age, along with her passionate advocacy for gender equality, instilled a fierce determination in Jess to challenge the norm and change how women in regional places operated businesses.
Recognising that a comfortable, open environment where women can be brutally honest with each other and identify collaborative opportunities was essential in the changing times of the business networking industry, Jess launched Soar Collective in May 2014. She’d had enough of watching women put on a brave face when meeting one another, and competing for who was the busiest, and understood that women, particularly in regional areas, lacked a support group where it was ok to share the struggles of business and admit when things were tough.
Since launching the first event in Mornington, Victoria, Soar Collective has grown to 5 locations, and hosted the inaugural Regional Businesswomen’s Day on February 6th, 2017.
Not interested in slowing down, in May 2017 Jess, her team, and a film crew set off on the Rise for Regional road trip, travelling over 2000 kilometres in 5 days across Australia to bring awareness to and share the stories of regional business women. They held 5 free events and interviewed 22 successful women along the way, capturing everything on film to create the RISE documentary, which premiered in October 2017.
Jess sold Soar Collective late 2017 and is currently working on her first book. A self-confessed optimist; an encounter with Jess Jones will always have you feeling motivated, empowered and ready to move mountains.