Over 70 local business women took the opportunity to dine with Josephine Fairley, the co-founder of the Green & Black’s chocolate empire, at the first ever ‘An Evening with Women in Business’ event on Thursday 6th October at Hoar Cross Hall Spa Hotel.
Josephine shared her inspiring business story revealing the highlights and challenges of launching the world’s first FAIR TRADE product and her approach to business that she believes led to growing a £100million global brand.
The award winning journalist and serial entrepreneur Josephine said: “From always having a deep ‘green’ streak in me from the age of thirteen and then meeting my husband Craig Sams, founder of Whole Earth Foods – I think I was always destined to be involved in an ethical business.
“My personal inspiration in business was Anita Roddick, of the Body Shop, as I admired her drive to show the world that you could ‘do good’ through doing business, and I felt that I could potentially change the world, one square of chocolate at time!
“I thoroughly enjoyed speaking to the ladies at the Women in Business event. I have learnt so much on my journey that I like to do what I can to inspire and encourage people to grow their businesses.
“From the start of my business to the current day I have abided by my three pillars of success; having an ethical product I loved, creating a distinctive brand identity and using public relations to drive awareness and get people talking. In my experience there has always been a strong element of following your gut instinct and what you believe is a great product or service.”
Since its launch Green & Black’s has had a tremendous, positive impact on the cocoa farming communities in Central America and helped farmers to build a sustainable product for future generations.
Women in Business partner and chairman, Claire Twells, Partner at Smith Partnership Solicitors said: “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. We hope this new annual event will become the ‘must attend’ evening networking event for ladies in the business calendar.”
The Women in Business partners were also delighted to raise £300 on the night with a raffle for their new charity for 2016 – Every Cloud, who raise money to buy special gifts for people who are undergoing breast Cancer treatment. Special thanks must go to Jo Fairley, Hoar Cross Hall Spa Hotel, Burton & District Chamber of Commerce, Smith Partnership Solicitors, Stella and Dot (Derby) and Stratstone Derby MINI for donating special raffle prizes.
The partners would also like to thank Derby High School for allowing two pupils to play the saxophone during the welcome drinks reception and attend the event: Beth Kemp and Isabelle Yee.
An Evening with Women in Business event builds on the success of the Women in Business networking programme launched by Burton & District Chamber of Commerce, FCM Associates, Smith Partnership Solicitors and Hoar Cross Hall Spa Hotel nearly three years ago.