Serial social entrepreneur and community activist Jaya Chakrabarti MBE, founder of the award-winning social enterprise TISCreport, has been announced as the new President of Bristol Chamber of Commerce & Initiative - the body that sits at the heart of Business West.
Having served as Vice President for the past seven years, Jaya replaces outgoing President Richard Bonner, who is stepping down after more than three and a half years in the role to Chair West of England’s Local Enterprise Partnership.
Jaya becomes the first female President of Bristol Chamber of Commerce, an organisation founded in 1823, and also the first from a British Asian background to take on this leadership role. She brings a diverse skillset, a wide range of professional experiences and an impressive track record of achievement to one of the largest and most influential Chamber networks in the UK.
Jaya made her name in the creative industries as co-founder of one of Bristol’s leading digital agencies, Nameless, which she set up in 1999. After receiving an MBE in 2014 for services to the creative digital industries and community in Bristol, Jaya set her sights on tackling modern slavery using big data. The resulting platform TISCreport.org (Transparency In Supply Chains Report) – a certified B Corp - started trading in 2016 and is now the world’s largest corporate transparency platform of its kind, tracking some of the largest public and private sector organisations in the world. More recently she has been working on projectvana.org, an afforestation-with-data platform, enabling corporate landowners to take climate action.
Speaking at a meeting of the Bristol Chamber of Commerce & Initiative held at SS Great Britain Jaya told colleagues: “Our Chamber network has grown on the foundations of a strong love and vision for the West of England. I am proud to be part of the West of England Initiative and our network of Chambers. It takes a special sort of business leader to recognise that a sustainably successful business can only thrive where there is social and environmental justice. And we have these leaders in spades.”
Also in attendance was the departing President Richard Bonner who said: “I’m absolutely delighted that Jaya has taken over the reins. Jaya has been an incredibly active member of Bristol Chamber & Initiative over many years. She has fully supported me as President and has really influenced much of what we do as Bristol Chamber & the Initiative.”
Chief Executive of Bristol Chamber of Commerce & Initiative James Durie welcomed the appointment and comments: “Jaya is a true polymath and has been a driving force behind our focus on a range of issues from innovation and climate change to improving local democracy and education & skills. As our region’s businesses and communities emerge out of the pandemic, Jaya will help spearhead our work to rebuild the local economy by putting sustainability, inclusion, fairness and a business-like approach first. She is someone who makes things happen. I look forward to working closely with Jaya in her new role and I think I speak on behalf of our whole businesses community in welcoming and celebrating her appointment.”
In addition to serving as President of Bristol Chamber of Commerce & Initiative (BCCI), Jaya will continue in her voluntary board roles at the Home Office, Department for Culture, Media and Sport, Oasis Academy Brislington Hub Council, University College London and University of Bristol. She also represents BCCI as a director of the newly established CIC Bristol Future Talent Partnership, which is working to make Bristol the fairest and most racially equal place to live and work, with a particular focus on providing talented young people from black and minority ethnic backgrounds with education and employment opportunities.
Jaya lives with her husband Stuart and their two children in South Bristol.