Jess Jones Founder of The Soar Collective
The quintessential networker; Jess Jones is a driven and passionate entrepreneur who thrives on connecting and supporting Australia’s businesswomen beyond the city. As the Founder of businesswomen’s community Soar Collective, and as The Start Up Business Coach and Speaker, she has transformed the way business owners network with each other.
Jess grew up in East Gippsland, living most of her school years in a town with a population of 4000. No stranger to regional living, she watched her own parents attempt to run a successful business in a small country town and saw how theirs and many others, fell victim to a lack of resources and support.
Prior to launching the Soar Collective, her second business venture, Jess had worked in the hospitality and events industry for over 17 years but was passionate about entrepreneurship from her early 20s. In management roles for 9 years, she grew her business management, team building and customer service experience while working for brands including Sanity Music, Smith’s Kodak Express, Boost Juice, Laurent Patisserie, The Espy and finally through managing Westpac Group’s corporate events contract in Melbourne before going out on her own.
In 2013; she launched 2nd Avenue Events, a wedding and event planning and styling company. A few months after a move to the Mornington Peninsula, in May 2014 Jess decided to launch the Soar Collective with a specific mission to empower and inspire businesswomen beyond the city through authentic networking events and practical workshops. After realising she’d found her purpose and passion in life and her love for connecting and supporting business owners was what made her jump out of bed each day, she decided to focus on Soar Collective and sold 2nd Avenue Events in 2015.
What inspired Jess to launch the Soar Collective was the need to create a comfortable and open environment that allowed women to come together and be brutally honest as well as giving them the opportunity to identify collaborative opportunities. Through Soar Collective, Jess has developed a unique networking concept that fuses development with networking opportunities. Each Soar Collective event is meticulously crafted by Jess ensuring relevant and insightful sessions for all members and attendees.
‘The community of incredible women who make up the Soar Collective are the reason I jump out of bed every day. I feel extremely grateful to be able to work with them, socialise with those who come to our events and see the referrals and collaborations which have happened since we started just over 2 years ago. To watch so many women and their businesses grow because of the connections and support our group has provided them, is a very special thing.’
In 2015, Jess launched The Start Up Business Coach to be able to offer a service to women who are in the start phase of their business or about to launch. Jess is also an engaging and inspirational speaker.
As all business owners do, Jess has faced a few challenges along the way. ‘There’s sacrifices you have to make. You lose time with family and friends but a big part of why I’m doing what I do is to create an amazing future for my family and I. It’s also really tough giving up a full time salary. It still takes a bit of getting used to as I was working full time in running corporate events before I started my first business venture. It’s frustrating not being able to financially contribute to my family in the way that I used to, but I know this is only temporary.’
Jess is passionate about celebrating and empowering regional businesswomen of calibre and is frustrated with the lack of events, funding, support and awareness around businesswomen in non-metropolitan areas of Australia. She is on a mission to prove that these women are the future of regional economy and she’ll let nothing get in her way.
1. To quote Lisa Messenger ‘have an unwavering belief in yourself and the rest will follow.’ If you don’t back yourself, no one else will.
2. Be prepared to make sacrifices.
3. Be authentic and consistent.
We hope you are enjoying our Enterprising Entrepreneur series.
From those in heels
Lisa & Jo