Soar Collective's focus is on building an engaged and supportive community of businesswomen who by sharing their successes and failures, can learn from and empower each other.
In May 2014, founder Jess Jones (above) saw the need to create a comfortable, open environment allowing the women attending to be brutally honest with each other as well as identifying collaborative opportunities. She'd had enough of attending events where guests seemed to be competing for a prize for who was the busiest. Jess realised that there was something lacking in the regional businesswomen's networking market and was frustrated at the current offer not quite resonating with her. The first Soar Collective event was held in Mornington, Victoria and has grown to 3 locations with 6 more to be launched in 2017.
Jess encourages attendees at their unique After Dark events to have a ‘no bull approach’ when talking to other women. She says ‘it’s absolutely ok to say “I’ve had a really rough day” or “things aren’t working at the moment and I want to fix it, but don't know how.” The need for authenticity is imperative at the Soar Collective events as the founder explains ‘if you’re not being genuine about who you are and where your business is really at, how can you expect to truly connect with anyone and identify opportunities for improvement?’ This makes for a refreshingly honest conversation amongst members and attracts speakers who want to share their real business story, not just their successes.
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. 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.
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 so long.”
Jess is passionate about celebrating and empowering regional businesswomen of calibre and believes there's a lack of events, funding, support and awareness around businesswomen in non-metropolitan areas of Australia. Jess wants these incredible women to be seen and heard by the business and general community.
Career Crush, January 2017
Women in Focus, October 2016
Mornington Peninsula Leader, August 2016
The Courier, July 2016
Western Port Newspaper, May 2016
Women's Business Society, May 2016
Entrepreneur Podcast Network, April 2016
Mornington Peninsula Magazine, April 2016
Taking Care of Business Radio Show , March 2016
Mornington Peninsula Magazine, February 2016
Mornington Peninsula Magazine, December 2015
EH Magazine November 3rd 2015
Herald Sun November 4th & Mornington Peninsula Leader November 3rd 2015
Mornington Peninsula Leader Newspaper October 27th
Business Times September 4th 2015
Mornington Peninsula Magazine September 3rd 2015
Mornington Peninsula Leader Newspaper June 23rd 2015
Women in Focus April 29th 2015
Business Times April 8th 2015
Mornington Peninsula Magazine April 7th 2015
Social Concepts Consulting March 16th 2015
Social Concepts Consulting February 22nd 2015
Woman.com.au January 18th 2015
Big Picture Stuff January 5th 2015
The Women Who December 8th 2014
Woman.com.au November 5th 2014
Business Times October 14th 2014