Jo Burston

Jo Burston is the founder and CEO of Job Capital a company she grew from nothing to $40M in less than 5 years with a team of 12, co-founder and director of Phronesis.Academy and founder of the entrepreneurial movement Inspiring Rare Birds.

Rare Birds works to promote opportunity for women in entrepreneurship and has a global vision to have one million women in its community by 2020. The business is partnered with Phronesis.Academy to provide a blended learning environment to teach the skills and mindset of entrepreneurship to children and adults.

Jo collaborated with Phronesis.Academy co-founder Dr Richard Seymour, from the University of Sydney Business School, to develop its first program startup.business. The program is being taught in selected secondary schools and is on track to be rolled out nationally.

Sharing entrepreneurial journeys is one of Rare Birds’ core offerings and Jo has so far published three books – Brilliant BusinessKids, Australia’s 50 Influential Women Entrepreneurs and #IFSHECANICAN. Brilliant BusinessKids is her most recent publication, having launched in August, 2016, and is a comic book showcasing the real-life stories of 12 children – many of whom have global enterprises. The book can read as a standalone publication or as the course book for startup.business.

Jo has been recognised as one of Australia’s top entrepreneurs for the past six years and is a leading authority on global women’s entrepreneurship, entrepreneurship as a whole, and SMB markets. She was recently invited by Microsoft to address 45,000 delegates at its Worldwide Partner Conference in Toronto and has also delivered a summer course on entrepreneurship at Oxford University, in the United Kingdom.

Jo is a global ambassador for Microsoft, a 2015 regional Oceania ambassador for the UN recognised Women’s Entrepreneurship Day and is on the boards of:

  • University of Sydney Business School.
  • University of Sydney Innovation and Entrepreneur Advisory Group.
  • Victorian Government startup and innovation initiative - LaunchVIC.

She is also on the global board of Women's Network and is a global ambassador for innovative accounting software Xero.

Jo is an active mentor for fast growth entrepreneurs and is passionate about encouraging young Australians to endeavour to find out exactly who it is that they want to become, and create their own jobs to achieve this.

Jo has been invited to speak at events for Google, Microsoft (WPC and APC) Dropbox, Xero, EY, National Achievers Congress, CPA, Women's Agenda/General Assembly, Are you Ok?, Cancer Council, UTS, Sydney University, Entrepreneurs Organisation (EO), the G20YEA Summit, Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

She was also invited to speak on world's first inflight Tech Talk in collaboration with TEDxSydney and Qantas, and participated in government-level discussions about funding for women in STEM and Entrepreneurship.

Jo personally attended a roundtable by invitation from The Prime Minister and the top 20 heads of entrepreneurship and innovation in Australia across academia, industry and government, which resulted in the release of Australia's Innovation paper in 2015.

In additional, she has advised the State Government (SMB Minister, Minister for Women and Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade). Most recently, Jo has joined the Board of Directors for the LaunchVIC initiative, a $60 million body designed by the Victorian Government to accelerate startups.

Her philanthropic interests include R U OK?, Can Too, Project Futures, and School of Life Foundation. Jo has a special interest in education and Fiji and has recently started the RakiRaki Schools Donor Initiative.

Timeline of Achievements

2016 - Invited by Indonesian Consul General of Northern Territory to launch Rare Birds in Indonesia
2016 - Speaker at Microsoft Australian Partner Conference
2016 - Speaker at Microsoft World Partner Conference
2016 - World first inflight Tech Talk TEDxSydney in partnership with Qantas
2016 - LaunchVic State Government Board
2016 - Board of Entrepreneurs Organisation Sydney
2016 - Australia’s top 30 women entrepreneurs
2016 - Global Advisory Board member of WomensNetwork
2015 - NSW State Government roundtable for women entrepreneurs
2015 - Prime Minister's Innovation Round table
2015 - Board of Entrepreneurs Organisation Sydney
2015 - Sydney University Bus School Advisory group
2015 - Oceania Ambassador WED
2014 - Invited delegate for G20 YEA Summit Sydney
2014 - Smart Company Australia Top 30 Female Ent
2014 - Shoestring Top 50 Females under 40
2014 - Board of Entrepreneurs Organisation Sydney
2013 - Australia's top 30 Female Entrepreneurs #19
2013 - Board of Entrepreneurs Organisation Sydney
2012 - Board Of Entrepreneurs Organisation Sydney
2012 - Winner Pearcy Award ITC Industry
2012 - EY Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist
2012 - BRW Fast100 #23
2011 - BRW Fast100 #13
2011 - SmartCompany Smart50 #8
2011 - BRW Fast Starters  #17 of 100
2011 - StartupSmart #1 Winner fastest company in Aust
2011 - Australia’s Top Female Entrepreneurs #34
2010 - Finalist MyBusiness Awards - Small Business Category
2010 - Job Capital launches Melbourne Office
2010 - BRW Fast 100  #6 of 100
2010 - BRW Invite to Exclusive "Fast Club"
2010 - SmartCompany Smart 50 #8
2009 - Winner ‘Best Services Start Up Australia
2009 - SmartCompany Startup #8 of 50

TASCristy Houghton