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Josephine Fairley left school at the age of sixteen, having only completed her O Levels, and embarked on a career in publishing. In 1979 she became Britain's youngest magazine editor at the age of 23 when she took the top job at Look Now magazine. She then edited Honey magazine before moving into entrepreneurship.
In 1991 Jo co-founded Green & Blacks with her husband, creating one of the first ethical chocolate brands in the world. The organic chocolate brand became the first in the UK to have the Fairtrade label. Renowned for offering a quality and ethical product - Green & Blacks was voted 15th in a list of the Top 20 world chocolate brands by OOLA in 2018 and as 'the UK's coolest food brand' in a Coolbrands survey. The brand is now worth nearly £100 million per year.
With the major success of Green & Blacks, Jo branched out in 2005 to open the award-winning organic bakery, Judges Bakery which alongside Green & Blacks won a WorldAware and Soil Association Award.
Balancing both business' with co-authoring the Beauty Bible series and public speaking roles - Jo became one of the most widely recognised business leaders in the UK. In 2014 she co-founded The Perfume Society, the first 'appreciation society' for fragrance lovers and continues her work as editor of the Jasmine Award-winning online publication today.
Jo has been brought on board to judge at many award ceremonies, including the YOU/Clarins Dynamisante Woman of the Year Awards, the HSBC Business Thinking Awards, the RSPCA Good Business Awards, and she has spoken for blue-chip corporations and organisations at events for the likes of RBC Wealth, Accenture, Santander, Grant Thorton, Ben & Jerry's, Barclays, Bloomberg and Credit Agricole. She has also spoken to leading British universities including Teesside University and the University of Central Lancashire (UCLAN).
Many awards have been bestowed on Jo personally, and she holds an Honorary Doctorate in Business Studies from Kingston University and The Shackleton Medal for leadership and citizenship from The Scottish Royal Geographical Society.
Speaking on an array of topics, Jo's inspirational speeches feature details of her own journey coupled with her extensive expertise dealing with business growth, SMEs, international trade, fair trade and more. Whether you wish for Jo Fairley to chair a conference, deliver a Q&A or offer a motivational speech - she is a perfect choice to engage all delegates, students and professors.
"She had an action-packed day at the College, speaking with local hospitality employers at a lunch, inspiring our current students at two workshops and motivating our award winners to believe in their ideas and ambitions at our annual awards ceremony in the evening. Jo’s experiences and achievements were shared so well with all audiences, everyone enjoyed their time with her. Her talks were from real experiences, sharing real problems and real solutions. Her friendly nature and positive attitude were a great example to all who attended, and her easy going personality made managing all three events an easy task. I would certainly recommend Jo to other organisations who are looking for a ‘down-to-earth’, inspirational and motivational speaker. Jo was a pleasure to host and I would welcome her back to the College again.” Kate – Marketing Officer, City College Plymouth
“Jo’s story and presentation was incredible and well received by the attendees of the event. Everyone was fully engaged as she shared her real experiences with the audience providing an inspirational and valuable insight into her business and business practices. Jo has a very friendly and down to earth demeanour and was extremely generous with her time throughout her talk and at the Q&A session. After the event Jo graciously spoke to all those who wanted to chat directly with her. Jo’s positive attitude to business is a shining example to entrepreneurs.” – Avril – Brilliant Red Ltd
“Jo met the brief and event objectives 100%. She handled everything with the up-most professionalism and her comments were enlightening.” Jergens Naturals
“Josephine Fairley spoke at our Chairman’s Annual Business Dinner on the 15th March 2013. Jo was absolutely fantastic, her talk was so inspirational and completely fitted our audience of 160 business delegates. Jo’s story gripped the crowd by being both honest and funny, holding everyone’s full attention for 40minutes. Jo also communicated well in lead up to the event ensuring that she had an understanding of the audience that would be present as well as providing me with contact details, making my role as an event manages that little bit easier. On the evening and shortly after the event, I received an abundance of compliments from delegates all praising Jo’s talk so once again, thank you.” Suzanne – Plymouth Chamber or Commerce & Industry
“I just wanted to pass on that Jo Fairley was absolutely brilliant! The learners benefited a great deal from these talks.” Jayne – Newcastle-under-Lyme College
“It was wonderful that Josephine Fairly could speak at our first ‘An Evening with Women in Business’ event. Her openness and honesty about her business development provided everyone with plenty of food for thought to add value and help grow their own businesses.”Clarie – Smith Partnership
“I have received such positive feedback from across the company about how insightful, entertaining, and engaging your talk was. The fact that you tailored your story, which is equally inspiring on its own, to also reflect on insights into ATG was the perfect fit for the day. With of course the very generous added bonus of a bit of chocolate for everyone!” Olivia – Ambassador Theatre Group
“An absolute pleasure to work with and hugely engaging with the guests in sharing her story and inspiring others. Really looking forward to working with Jo again.” Elisabeth – Wilson Hartnell PR (Organisers of Allied Irish Bank event ‘Backing a Sustainable Future’).
“Jo was the perfect speaker for our International Women’s Day Business Breakfast. Thought-provoking, inspirational, insightful and engaging, we’ve had really great feedback from our clients. A pleasure to work with and an ideal speaker for our audience of entrepreneurs and business people. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend her.” Julie – PR & Marketing Officer – BE Offices.
“Jo’s story and presentation was incredible and well received by the attendees of the event. Everyone was fully engaged as she shared her real experiences with the audience providing an inspirational and valuable insight into her business and business practices. Jo has a very friendly and down to earth demeanour and was extremely generous with her time throughout her talk and at the Q&A session. After the event, Jo graciously spoke to all those who wanted to chat directly with her. Jo’s positive attitude to business is a shining example to entrepreneurs.” Avril – Brilliant Red Ltd
“Jo delivered an engaging and interesting account of Green and Blacks’ which drew in the audience. Her thoughts and lessons learnt from the business was very insightful especially from the perspective of a women in business. We thoroughly enjoyed her talk (especially the chocolate!) and recommend her highly.” Sacha – Hargreaves Lansdown
“Jo is an inspiring entrepreneur, a resilient and creative businesswoman, and a self-confessed chocoholic. As the co-founder of one of the world’s most well-loved confectionary brands, Jo Fairley offers hugely valuable insight into the world of international trade and growing a business overseas. As part of our Trade Horizons Roadshow events, Jo hit the brief to a very high standard, taking care to ensure that her presentation was structured around the customer experience which we had designed. It was clear that the audience left inspired by Jo’s story. Jo also made a point of allowing ample time for her Q+A – something often overlooked – this also included a chocolate prize for the best question!” Jim – Business West
“We were delighted to have Jo Fairley share her business story, experience, and business advice at our annual conference. Jo met her ‘Think Different’ brief perfectly giving an entertaining, high energy, engaging, motivational, thought provoking, and behaviour changing presentation. Her powerful message was delivered with humour but sprinkled with excellent take away business tips and advice (and delicious chocolate) for our delegates to enjoy. I can highly recommend Jo for any event.” – John SightCare Group
“Jo was a huge success at the event on Friday – everybody loved her and her speech was inspirational and relevant. Thanks for all your help, it’s been great working with you.” – Be Bold PR
“Jo Fairley is a phenomenal story-teller. Our audience was dazzled by her wit and extraordinary knowledge of branding and organic businesses.” Alex – IPO
If you need any advice or guidance, or if you have a question about Jo Fairley or any of the business speakers on our website, don’t hesitate to give a member of the management team a call on 0203 793 40 42 or send us a message via [email protected].