Joanne Hession

Joanne has a lifetime experience of Entrepreneurship, helping individuals and organisations to achieve their business ambitions.  She is the founder and Managing Director of The Entrepreneurs AcademyQED The Accreditation Experts and her newest venture, The Business School GPS.

A portfolio entrepreneur, Joanne is a recognised leader in training and business development in Ireland, where she acts as a government advisor, with good reason. Joanne’s business, The Entrepreneurs Academy, has trained over 30,000  entrepreneurs towards success over 19 years. As the leading government supplier, in the last 3 years alone The Entrepreneurs Academy trained over 400 long-term job seekers to start their own business in addition to training over 8,000 people on their start-up journey.

Joanne is the leading expert in the adoption of entrepreneurial leadership attributes for corporates. In simple terms, she takes all the good bits of entrepreneurship –  attitude to money, agility, belief systems and understanding of leadership – then, she shares it with big business positively impacting every person in the organisation.

Beyond Ireland, Joanne has a reputation as a trusted advisor to University Business Schools. Her company QED The Accreditation Experts works with Business Schools in 16 countries enabling them to achieve various accreditation awards.  She sits on a number of European University Advisory Boards and has recently been appointed to the International Advisory Board of the American University in the Emirates, Dubai.

Together with her team, Joanne is leading the expansion of The Global Institute for Experienced Entrepreneurship (www.experieneurship.com) in the UK and Ireland, unleashing the potential of Senior entrepreneurs worldwide.  At the other end of the spectrum, Joanne is on the Board of Bizworld, a non-profit organization to ignite entrepreneurship in the minds of primary school children.

Joanne has had a long-term interest in supporting female entrepreneurs. She was selected as one of 15 Irish female mentors to assist new female entrepreneurs for the European Commission. In 2007, leveraging her knowledge and network, Joanne convened and continues to facilitate a closed peer board of successful entrepreneurial women who collectively turn over in excess of €400m annually. Known as ‘The Board You Can’t Afford’, they continue to meet quarterly with tangible positive impact.

Hession is an elected Council Member of Dublin Chamber of Commerce and has recently been invited to join the Board, providing a voice in the Chamber for SMES and micro-enterprises.  She is an Advisory Board Member of the University of Hertfordshire Business School in the UK and Chairs Advisory Boards for a number of start-up and established companies.  She has recently stepped down from the Board of the British Irish Chamber due to other Board commitments.

A frequent keynote speaker at international conferences and in business, Joanne is also co-author of #1 best selling book “Don’t Get A Job, Build A Business”. She is listed as one of the top 100 All-Island Business Women by Irish Entrepreneur and was a finalist in the Women Mean Business Entrepreneur of The Year Awards (2016) and also the Image Entrepreneur of the Year Awards.  Joanne is a recognised media commentator on entrepreneurship.  For example, she has spoken on RTE The Business with Richard Curran and also joined Bobby Kerr as an expert panel member on Newstalk’s ‘Down To Business Show’ for the eight episodes of AIB’s Getting Started Series.

Joanne holds a Bachelor of Commerce Degree from University College Dublin, specialising in Finance, and a Master of Business Studies Degree in Management from the Michael Smurfit Graduate School of Business, University College Dublin.  Joanne holds a certificate in Training from NUI Maynooth (1st Class Hons) and is a Certified Leadership Trainer, Speaker and Coach with The John Maxwell Team. Joanne’s business joined forces with The John Maxwell Team in 2016 and as a recently appointed Executive Director she is championing leadership initiatives for the business, education, non-profit and government sectors in Ireland.