Supporting regional businesswomen
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womeninfocus

Regional businesses are set to boom in coming years if Jess Jones has her way.

Jess Jones and Soar Collective, recent Stevie Award winner, are working their way around Australia developing, coaching and nurturing women in businesses’ capability.

Most recently she has launched a Rise for Regional campaign, encouraging women in business to get a leg up, and benefit from Soar Collective’s networks and publicity.

“Soar Collective is all about unlocking the capability in communities beyond the city; we are committed to tapping the economic benefits that women can and do contribute” said Jess.

With over 8.8 million Australians living in regional areas there is an increasing need to develop services and networks that metropolitan neighbours enjoy.

“When you look at the start up trends in tech, you will notice that the majority of the women are metro-located, which really isn’t a surprise given the access to resources, funding and family services. But our cities are bursting at the seams, and we have an opportunity to energise and mobilise the regional workforce. I know that the capability is there because I see it every day across our events and workshops”

Jess believes that a cultural shift is needed to empower women in non-metro, rural and country towns.

“Changing old habits and mindsets can be a slow process but I’m ready to take it on. I want to see regional businesses actively seeking out women in their communities, developing collaborations and projects, challenging the traditional networks that they have relied on for eons.”

The Soar Collective, founded in 2014, is a thriving community that was established as a way for Jess to meet people in business when she initially made the sea-change from St Kilda to the Mornington Peninsula.

“I love the lifestyle here on the Peninsula, the beach and the people in the community, but one thing that I’m not willing to compromise is my passion for business.”

As an avid Richard Branson fan, Jess has built a community aligned to that of Mr Branson’s values. Soar Collective is about bringing fun into the workplace and believing in your ability.

“So many people take business too seriously, I want to connect with people that feel passionate about their work, and that make me feel inspired when I open my laptop each day – Soar Collective is just that. It’s a group of women who really love what they do and are willing to share their skills and expertise.”

Jess believes that through this sharing, collaborations pop up and businesses prosper. “I’m incredibly proud of the generosity of our members. Since we started, I’ve seen hundreds of collaborations within the collective; we have built prosperous businesses with the community behind them.”

Jess believes that mobilising a workforce is the whole community’s responsibility; encouraging partners and family members to recognise that the women in their lives have aspirations to fulfil is key to this objective.

She may not be launching rockets to the moon just yet like her idol Richard Branson, but Soar Collective is at the launch pad, ready to bring together driven and passionate women in unchartered regional areas over the next two years.

“I believe that the future of regional business is safe in the hands of the many women who we work with every day and I believe in women who believe in themselves.”

To follow the Soar Collective journey as they pursue authentic collaboration and business growth, visit soarcollective.com