Jo Fairley is one of the UK’s leading female entrepreneurs, authors, and a highly-acclaimed motivational speaker
This spring, we are celebrating female role models with the launch of West Women of the Year 2018 – a campaign to honour women who have the drive, passion and determination needed to make waves, both in the business world and in their communities.
If there’s a woman who knows about passion and determination, it’s serial entrepreneur Josephine Fairley.
Jo Fairley is no ordinary businesswoman. Her list of achievements over the past three decades is extensive.
She is best known for creating the iconic Green & Black’s brand in 1991, which she ran with her husband until it was bought by Cadbury’s in 2005.
When she first tasted a sample of the dark chocolate her husband Craig had created from cocoa beans sent from a supplier, she thought it was the most delicious chocolate she had ever tasted.
But it was her experience as a journalist and her nose for a good story that told her organic chocolate would be a big seller.
Now a $100 million a year brand, Green and Black’s was the first-ever product to carry the UK Fair-trade mark; and for the past nine years, it has retained the title of ‘coolest food brand’ in Britain.
Jo is also author of a series best-selling books on health and beauty and is a regular columnist, feature-writer and journalist for the world’s leading magazines.
She regularly features in The Times, The Mail on Sunday’s YOU Magazine, and as a ‘Wonder Woman’ business guru for Telegraph Woman Online.
Alongside her own ventures, which have included an organic bakery and natural food store, and a nine-room wellbeing centre in her home town of Hastings, Jo is hotly in demand as a brand consultant.
Most recently, she created and launched The Perfume Society, which works with the fragrance industry seeking to improve individuals’ sense of smell in a pleasurable and engaging way.
But incredibly, Jo never set out to be an entreprenuer, or even a journalist.
She worked her way up in the industry from the very bottom, starting out as a secretary in the features department of a new magazine called Woman’s World.
At the age of 23, she became the youngest magazine editor in the country – editing the teen magazine Look Now.
In recognition of her work, Jo has received many awards for her own enterprise, including WorldAware Award and many Soil Association Awards (both for Green & Black’s and Judges Bakery). She has also received an Honorary Doctorate in Business Studies from Kingston University, and The Shackleton Medal for leadership and citizenship, from The Scottish Royal Geographical Society.
West Women of the Year Awards 2018
We are excited to announce that award-winning author and entrepreneur Jo Fairley will be a key note speaker at the West Women of the Year Awards 2018, in association with Bank of Ireland.
Jo, who co-wrote the bestselling book series The Beauty Bible, will give an insight into how to create, launch and grow a brand. Along with husband Craig Sams, she started Green & Black’s with just £20,000 of her savings, and has grown it into a multi-million pound global brand in less than 20 years.
Jo is a highly-acclaimed motivational speaker, sharing the inspirational story of Green & Black’s and sharing her business insights with audiences from financial institutions to FTSE 100 companies, universities and more across the UK, Europe, the Middle East and USA.
She said: “When I was building Green & Black’s, I never regretted taking time out to hear an inspirational speaker – and I truly love being able to do that for others, now.”
West Women of the Year 2018 is an opportunity to recognise and celebrate the achievements of the most outstanding women in the region.
The annual event has been inspiring women of all backgrounds for more than 10 years and continues to shine a light on their extraordinary achievements, through unrivalled media coverage and an annual awards evening.
This year, we are celebrating 100 years of women’s suffrage, with a definitive list of the 100 Most Influential Women in the West, curated by our readers, sponsors and guest judges.
The awards on April 12, at which the top 100 will be celebrated, will honour everyone from female apprentices to chief executives, and those women who are making a difference in their workplaces and communities.
Proudly sponsored by Bank of Ireland, the West Women of the Year celebration brings together women from all walks of life, each handpicked for their achievements and contribution to society across Bristol, Bath and Gloucestershire.
The awards will take place at Passenger Shed in Bristol, and promise to be a truly momentous occasion.
“In a world which often celebrates ‘celebrity’, these awards set themselves apart by honouring real achievement and diversity,” said Sarah Pullen, Managing Director of Trinity Mirror South West.
“This event is one of the highlights in our awards calendar as it is a chance for women in our communities to come together and honour those making a difference.
“In the past decade, the awards have gone from strength to strength, so much so, we have re-launched the event to celebrate women across the whole of the West who deserve recognition.”
The event is being staged as a partnership between Trinity Mirror’s titles across the South West region, including the Bristol Post, Bath Chronicle, Western Daily Press, Gloucester Citizen and Gloucestershire Echo newspapers.
Entries are now open, and we want to hear from the inspiring, dedicated and high achieving women doing great things in our region.
To learn more about the event and to nominate an inspiring woman, http://westwomenoftheyear.co.uk/.
Sponsor Profile: Bank of Ireland
Bank of Ireland UK is delighted to be the headline sponsors of the 2018 West Woman of the Year.
This will be our second recognition event as part of our partnership with the Trinity Mirror Group, following on from the very successful Bristol Post Gold Star Awards in 2017.
Partnership is a distinctive characteristic of our business through the relationships we have built with our customers, our partners, like the Post Office and the AA, and our intermediary mortgage partners.
We have a long association with Bristol and the surrounding area, especially through our association with the Bristol & West Building Society. This local heritage means we have close links with the community which have developed and grown over the years.
As a major employer in the South West, we are committed to creating an inclusive and diverse place to work where our colleagues can be themselves and perform to their full potential. We believe this is fundamental to creating a more innovative and higher performing company for the future – one that enables our customers, colleagues and communities to thrive.
That’s why we feel the West Women of the Year is so important, as it showcases excellent examples of those who have a proven track record of outstanding management and leadership in the business sector, either as an employee or as an entrepreneur – and who will undoubtedly set great examples to everyone who aspires to follow in their footsteps.