Jo James Chief Executive of Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce

I joined the Chamber more than 20 years ago as an administrator and have performed virtually every role in the business. It’s fair to say that a lot has changed over the years.

The Chamber was a town based membership organisation formed in the 1900’s but over the years we have become more involved in the business landscape of Kent & Medway and now work with partners from the UK and abroad to ensure Kent & Medway businesses have the best opportunities available.

These changes have meant that my role as Chief Exec is broader, more challenging and more varied than it has ever been.  Moreover, the recent economic hardships have meant I spend a lot more time working with the Government and local policy makers to ensure the right support is given to business.

To influence policy I use a number of forums and sit on the board of the Southeast Local Enterprise Partnership, the Business Advisory Board and the Kent & Medway Economic Partnership to name but a few.

In addition to my representation work, I take an active role in the leading and managing our team of 18 staff who operate from our Ashford and Medway offices.  They in turn look after more than 1500 members, run 160 events each year, support businesses to trade internationally, provide start up advice to more than 1000 entrepreneurs and ensure all the businesses in Kent & Medway know what publicly funded support is available to them.

To sum up my role, I would say I was a Leader, Diplomat, Manager, Politician and Host with the ability to magic 25hrs out of every day.

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