"By working with others in these difficult times we can join forces to help retailers survive. "
A multi award-winning entrepreneur has joined the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) board to add her vast retail experience.
Jess Jeetley, who was brought up in Coventry and attended Kings High School in Warwick, was awarded the MBE for Services to Entrepreneurship after launching her internet fashion website for petite women, Jeetly.com and for her work mentoring startups.
The 39-year-old won the Best Fast Tech Start-up of the Year in 2014 and was presented with the Entrepreneur of the Year trophy at the London Asian Business Awards three years later while she also earned the National Business Mother of the Year title from NatWest.
Jess was named among Britain’s 101 Rising Women in Tech by Businesscloud and in the 35 under 35 by Management Today.
She is also a working group lead of the government’s newly-formed Artificial Intelligence Council and was chair of the steering committee of the International Women in Business Organisation from 2012-2017.
Jess is the latest member of the board of directors at the CWLEP, which last year was identified as one of the top three LEPs in England for its strategy, delivery and governance.
“I am delighted to have joined a high-performing progressive board which believes in actions not words and I look forward to supporting the CWLEP in achieving the ambitious goals it has set for the next few years,” she said.
“I will be adding value to the board by representing the retail sector with my seven years’ experience of running a retail business as well as supporting retail businesses in Coventry and Warwickshire by facilitating partnerships and helping with funding opportunities.
“These are extremely difficult times for retailers to stay in business during a pandemic and I want to help give them a voice.
“My expertise is in developing digital strategies and preparing teams to work with Artificial Intelligence. I don’t believe in silos because there are huge opportunities in the UK for businesses across regions to explore for mutual benefit.”
She said it is important more than ever due to the coronavirus to keep teams trained to collaborate digitally, operate remotely and stay connected with business networks.
Jess added: “By working with others in these difficult times we can join forces to help retailers survive.
“I’m looking forward to working with the LEP and the wider region for the greater development of the area and to improve the economy not just in Coventry and Warwickshire but throughout the West Midlands.”
Nick Abell, interim chair of the CWLEP, said Jess’s acumen would be a valuable addition to the board.
“Retail is undoubtedly going through a tough time right now and Jess’s experience in this sector will prove invaluable in helping the CWLEP to provide support to these businesses when they need it the most due to the coronavirus,” he said.
“Jess has provided entrepreneurial leadership throughout her career and will have a big contribution to make in ensuring the CWLEP continues to play a major part in driving the area’s economy forward.”