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Green & Black’s founder visits Cumbria

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THE coronavirus pandemic could mark the end of the regular five-day office week, according to one of Britain’s most successful businesswomen.

Jo Fairley, co-founder of organic chocolate brand Fairtrade Green & Black’s and a series of other successful businesses, will speak at the Innovation Showcase at Energus, Workington, later this month.

She believes that working from home at least some of the time, a necessity during lockdown, can and should become the norm for many.

She said, “It annoys me when I hear people talking about everyone coming back to the office. My teams have always worked remotely.

“When I was at Green & Black, we employed two single mothers in key roles that would have found it impossible to work in an office full time.

“If an employee prefers to spend three days a week working from home, consider that. This person is not going to let you down.

Jo poured almost every penny she had – including the £ 20,000 from the sale of her house – to start Green & Black’s with her future husband Craig Sams in 1991. Despite this, she does not see herself as a risk. taker.

Surprisingly perhaps for someone who is often described as a “serial entrepreneur,” none of his ventures have failed.

Jo said: “There is an advantage to being the first. I’m not interested in looking at what someone else is doing and saying, “I want some of that”.

Like many successful businessmen, she was not an academic. She left school at 16 with six O levels, considered a failure by the teacher of her career.

She went to secretarial college and started working in a teen magazine where they saw her potential. At 23, she became Britain’s youngest magazine editor.

Today, she advocates for vocational qualifications and believes that schools should do more to equip young people with life skills.

She said: “Young people need to know how to navigate the world. Schools should encourage them to use their brains creatively. There is too little of that.

You can hear Jo talk about innovation, the importance of branding and how companies can embrace change at the Energus Innovation Showcase on Wednesday, September 29. The event takes place from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Free entry. To reserve a place, go to: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/energus-innovation-showcase-event-tickets-166937507579?aff=Generalsale