Jo-Ann is the Founder & CEO of Rare Birds. She was born and raised in St. Croix, Virgin Islands to parents from St. Kitts and Nevis. She is a global citizen, rooted firmly in her Caribbean identity and proud West Indian. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies from the American University in Washington, D.C. She obtained a Master of Science in Real Estate Investment from Cass Business School in London and a Master of Science in Management in Construction from Kingston University, also located in London.
Her professional and cultural experiences span countries and continents, having lived, worked and been educated in North America, the Caribbean, Europe and Asia. Prior to founding Rare Birds she worked for a decade in various roles in the corporate property and construction industry.
Outside of the corporate world Jo-Ann has worked as a freelance writer and independent consultant to social enterprises-focussed on African & Caribbean cultural and development issues.
She has acted as a mentor, advisor and champion to various global communities, some of which include the United Nations Women (UN Women) Empower Women community based in NYC, the Women’s Economic Forum based in India and StartUp Grind, a global startup community designed to educate, inspire, and connect entrepreneurs.
Jo-Ann is a blockchain enthusiast, currently learning, developing and upskilling in the web 3.0 space. She is a EthGlobal Hack Money Hacker Alumni and a Gitcoin KERNEL Fellow. Jo-Ann, is also the Leader of the Shanghai Codecademy Blockchain Chapter in Shanghai, China.
When she is not building her blockchain technical skills, she is designing and delivering entrepreneurship and technical curriculum for secondary schools, universities and various startup communities around the globe. To date, she has done so in the Caribbean, U.K., India, the Gambia and now, China.
Meeting Jo-Ann and exchanging so many thoughts was extraordinary and made me get things done and see my project grow. Jo-Ann displays very good verbal skills, communicates clearly and concisely. Also, she displays very good listening skills. During a crisis situation I’ve been pleased to find out that Jo-Ann gave really good advice, was objective and focused. I appreciate the fact that she put in a lot of effort in helping me choose the best suiting project for my background and personality. I also appreciate the fact that she was proactive, always asking questions on the status of the project. I thank her very much for her support. I found a true and dedicated mentor in Jo-Ann in just a few months. I really hope that there will be an opportunity for us to work together again on different projects.
Jo-Ann has a personality that shines online and offline. What does that mean? It means her sparkle on her face and charm in her voice attracted me towards her and I wanted to know more about her. My first meeting with her was on Skype as we are both a part of WEF. We had chatted an hour or so before she interviewed me. The calmness in her voice made me feel beautiful. She is a wonderful and humble person to work with and with expertise, she is on her journey to help and empower women like her to find a door to open with or without a key!
I had the pleasure of meeting Jo-Ann at the Women Economic Forum where I attended her session on Emotional Intelligence. She spoke from her heart with charisma, authenticity and experience. I love her work and commend her vision to bring inspiration to entrepreneurs through her platform which creates opportunities for women to learn from each other about life, passion, resilience and the vibrancy of doing what you love. She is full of life and adventure which I admire and I am so proud of her work and very excited to have her as a global partner in my network of global speakers & influencers at Women Empowered Global.
Enthusiasm, passion and having a natural flair for connecting people from all walks of life are just a few of the top traits that come to mind when I think about Jo-Ann. I've had the pleasure of knowing Jo-Ann for the past year during which I have experienced her talent both as a collaborator and entrepreneur, developing key platforms and dynamic networks for women entrepreneurs. Her warmth, creativity and dedication are beyond compare and I am privileged to know such a dedicated supporter for both aspiring and established female entrepreneurs.
Jo-Ann is an amazing woman I met virtually through a common friend. She is highly professional, soft-spoken, intelligent & beautiful person inside-out! She has great a understanding of doing wonderful podcasts, making them a fun and memorable experience for everyone. I am looking forward to more successful innings with Jo-Ann!!
It has been my pleasure to work with Jo-Ann as one of our mentors for UN Women’s Champions for Change programme on the Empower Women platform. As the lead of the “Business Development” group of the programme, I have personally seen Jo-Ann go above and beyond to support her mentees. She has made the process seamless for the mentees. She is a great team leader, effective communicator and champion for everything that her mentees do. Moreover she is passionate about matters related to women's economic empowerment which is evident in all that she does.
When RareBirdsHQ founder Jo-Ann Hamilton invited me to become part of a global community of 'Rare Birds' I was pleasantly surprised. Not least because, we had just started business operations a few months earlier. It was an honour to discover I was now part of a community that were taking flight turning ideas into reality! Being part of a global community of women that encourages, supports and empowers has been an important part of my journey. Jo-Ann has connected me with women in the UK and the Caribbean and I have yet to fully embrace all that is on offer as a 'Rare Bird'. I'm super excited about all that lies ahead with RareBirdsHQ and happy to be a part of it.
I have worked with Jo Ann on a couple of articles and events and have been amazed at her standard of work and inspiring methods. Her enthusiasm for creative and informative writing combined with her love for people makes her a fascinating personality with a never give-up attitude towards life. She never fails to amaze me with her professionalism. She is a highly gifted communicator with an extremely high level of commitment. An entrepreneur, writer, teacher and great human being, Jo-Ann has worked in a wide variety of roles. I wish her the best in all her future endeavours.
Do women need validation of their success from other women? Be it work, be it personal life decisions, be it beauty, be it intellect. I can say from my personal life experiences that women feel completed when they can share good camaraderie with other women who are their counterparts. The world needs woman to woman harmony first, then comes the man to woman relations. I truly admire Jo-Ann’s Rare Bird initiative as it takes us in this direction. I was amazed to meet such highly talented women from all parts of the world, who have so much to offer.
I was introduced to Rare Birds through it’s fearless, vibrant and brilliant Chieftess, JoAnn when I participated in a Kernel Fellowship. From my own experience, I immediately saw the platform would play an important role in linking startups to much-needed resources and support.
Rare Birds reflects JoAnn’s passion for connecting people and building a strong community of entrepreneurs in emerging economies. The quality of entrepreneurs on the podcast has resulted in an incredible virtual library of great insights into the struggles and successes' that can be expected along the entrepreneur’s journey. I am proud to be part of the Rare Birds community and eager to see the next phase unfold.
Jo Ann is a great mentor, I was lucky to have her as my mentor on my UN Empower Women championship 2016-17. She not only recognized what my strengths were within an hour of speaking to her but was also able to identify ways of achieving the exact goals we set for ourselves. I have had various mentors over the last year but none were as good as her in terms of helping me stay productive and get to the end goal with a clear vision.
Besides being a mentor she also used her network to connect me with relevant contacts and help me articulate my pitch better. She is always positive and helps make tasks seem doable. She is highly dynamic and has a passion to help entrepreneurs and develop women. One of the best qualities a mentor should possess which shows their success is their ability to recognise their mentees immediately and she has the knack for that.
Jo-Ann is a very friendly, energetic, result-oriented, smart and lovely mentor. I am very glad to have worked with her. I was very new to the Empower Women concepts and she helped me so much to get into the subject very quickly, she is really a great teacher. Her energy and motivation are always inspiring. She is also very good at communication and team work, I hope we can continue to work together.
Quand Jo-Ann m’a contacté pour m’expliquer qu’elle voulait mettre en place un site web qui permettrait à des entrepreneures de la Grande Caraïbe de mieux se connaître, d’apprendre les unes des autres, j’ai de suite été enthousiasmée. La raison ? Secret Birds Caribbean répondait à des besoins réels concernant le manque d’outils pour que nous, femmes, caribéennes, en action, puissions échanger sur nos problématiques mais aussi sur nos aspirations, nos succès. En tant qu’entrepreneures, nous faisons face à de multiples embûches et il est important d’avoir les bonnes informations, des encouragements pertinents, des modèles accessibles et intéressants.
Jo-Ann a construit une plateforme web via laquelle nous trouvons tout cela, mais elle ne s’est pas arrêtée là. Elle a fait des mises en relation directes par mail, organisé des échanges en direct via Twitter, a créé un podcast. Elle partage énormément de contenus inspirants sur Instagram… Pour ne citer que quelques exemples.
Un travail colossal, pour lequel je la remercie.
Rare Birds is rare. Not just by name but by the access it gives to reliable insight and a growing global network of change-makers and innovators from Ghana to China, from Gambia to the United States.
I first met Jo-Ann via Rare Birds, her networking club for female start-up and business founders. In my experience Jo-Ann is a dynamic, dedicated and motivating person who is passionate about entrepreneurship and creating opportunities for people from all backgrounds and walks of life. As an example when I was first launching my website and promoting myself on social media last year, her blog, newsletter and membership special offers plus her personal support were a regular source of inspiration and encouragement to me. Jo-Ann is also a great connector and promoter; she has put me in touch with several individuals who have proven to be valuable contacts, interviewed me for her newsletter and promoted me on Twitter, all of which have contributed to exposure and growth for my business. If you're a woman starting up a business I definitely recommend checking out Rare Birds and getting in touch with Jo-Ann!
From the day we connected a year ago wherein we spoke for the first time and you invited me to be a guest on your RareBirds Podcast, I knew I had connected with a special person who sounded very sincere, warm and fairly focussed. I am glad my instant impression about you was amplified through our wonderful interactions on your podcast,with a few more adjectives to your personality that included the words vibrant, intelligent, logical and visionary. Today, you are a dear friend who I am delighted to be associated with, for everything you do and envisage. I wish you good luck in all your undertakings ahead and the enhanced vision of Rare Birds, which I think is a wonderful platform for women professionals across the globe.
As an Image Scientist who is on a mission to make a positive difference to the women and youth of the world, I have always believed that women entrepreneurs have the greatest magic wand - Leadership with Love! From nurturing our kids to myriad relationships at all levels, we do a fabulous job with positivism and love. All we need to do as business leaders is, dare to step out of 'the ordinary' and use our wands along with our knowledge, skills and our inherent strengths of care, commitment, courage and resilience. We can be the harbingers of positive change in developing societies for a better socially conditioned and more progressive global world. We women need to reach out and empower other women in whichever way we can, however mundane it may seem, and help in building personalities that ooze with confidence, poise and sustainability. I am happy that Rare Birds will offer an opportunity to women from the developing world to connect and grow with other women and draw inspiration and ideas to enhance their own professional journeys.
I met Jo-Ann at the Women Economic Forum in Delhi earlier this year and the connection was immediate! We interacted at various plenary and parallel sessions and it was amazing how our thoughts and ideas matched on so many levels, and at the same time, allowed us to consider individual ideas and perspectives that we brought to the table. When I heard about the Rare Birds community that Jo-Ann was growing, I was immediately interested in the reach and intention behind the movement. Women could grow exponentially from reading and listening to podcasts of other entrepreneurs and change agents in similar geographies and facing similar challenges. When I was asked to record a podcast for Rare Birds, I was truly honored. Rare Birds gave me the opportunity to share my journey with the world. The entire experience was so natural and easy-flowing, Jo-Ann was a wonderful host, guiding the conversation effortlessly and allowing me to bring my experiences to the table just as easily. I believe Rare Birds has the potential to tap into women at a deeply personal level and allow them to recognize their inner power. Thank you, Jo-Ann, and my best wishes for Rare Birds on its journey ahead!
I thoroughly enjoyed doing the peer-to-peer mentoring, it was good to see that someone else was just as passionate and focussed on making a huge success of their business. Me and my peer mentor got on really well; we set ourselves weekly goals but we were always communicating with each other. Our personalities matched and the advice we gave each other was invaluable! We definitely built a great rapport and I would 100% recommend peer- to-peer mentoring with Rare Birds.
I love the fact that Rare Birds is similar to an oasis. It’s a meeting place of unique minds who are all so deeply involved in the work they do. It’s also extremely progressive! The social money, slack platform, content is all very future-focused and I think the world needs more of that. Jo-Ann is curious by nature. Her mind ticks at a different pace and often her line of questioning indicates that, “Hey, this woman is determined to create a ripple of change across the globe”. I think she offers a very practical perspective to podcasting and community building in general.
It is indeed a pleasure being part of the Rare Bird Community. I have found it so energizing to be able to share my work/skills in the community, they have included blogs(receiving encouraging comments from readers), twitter chats, business of the month articles ,and a mastermind group. I love the encouragement received from Jo-Ann to really hone in on my skills, and delve into new paradigms. This renewed my confidence, to share. I love the ethos of a collective family, where inclusion is possible no matter what stage of business you’re at, you are never alone. Being able to connect with other women on the business journey and learning what they do with a passion. I also, like that we are able to showcase a multiple of skills that we have..
What can I say about RareBirds except that this phenomenal platform has been so instrumental in taking my business to the next level. Jo-Ann has done a fantastic job with creating a space we can not only learn and grow but connect with others who are on the same journey. Her warm, friendly personality will make you feel at ease, like you're talking to your best girlfriend. This is the atmosphere she continues to create and before long you feel like you are a part of a sisterhood that won't let you fail. This community is the just the thing you need if you're looking for a firm but loving nudge in the right direction towards building your brand.
Jo-Ann was my mentor for the period of being a UN Women Empower Women Champion for Change. Jo-Ann contacted me via mail shortly after my name was assigned to her for mentorship and subsequently scheduled our first meeting, which we had via Whatsapp call. She was very considerate and sacrificial with the timing of meetings (considering the time zone difference in our different locations). She is very professional yet in a very friendly and amiable manner. She answered all my questions and was genuinely interested in my work and aspirations for the championship period. Jo-Ann is also very passionate about the cause of Women Economic Empowerment and her enthusiasm is very inspiring. As a mentor, she is always very helpful, available to answer questions and give guidance. She very promptly followed up when I needed input from the Empower Women focal person and ensured she communicated the status of my request to me promptly. She ensured the members of her team also had some good rapport. She organised group meetings with us individually to discuss our championship projects and followed up to find out if we were on course or needed any help. She also spurred and cheered us on as our projects unfolded. It has been really nice being mentored by Jo-Ann and I look forward to keeping this relationship even beyond the championship period.
Jo-Ann is passionate about empowering women to spread their wings and achieve their potential. She has created an amazing supportive community to help women entrepreneurs at every stage from ideas to established business. She has developed a huge network of like minded specialists willing to share their expertise and experience. Projects Jo-Ann embarks on are always interesting to be involved with.
Jo-Ann is a dynamic, experienced and creative professional with a strong interest in entrepreneurship, start-ups and women's empowerment. Her international career path and extensive network of contacts together with her considerable technical skills give her a wealth of experience to draw on to guide and support both entrepreneurs and companies in their start-ups and business development. I invited Jo-Ann to be part of my Mastermind group for Women Entrepreneurs as her creativity, energy and dedication shine through. She has been a great asset, friendly, cheerful and supportive, generously giving her skills and ideas to help other members and offering a new and productive vision on many challenges.
Thanks to Jo-Ann and Rare Birds I met Sophie Kruijsdijk in Italy, with whom I have enjoyed working very much. I am amazed at how being a part of Rare Birds, gives me the opportunity to connect with other women around the globe, learn about their business and strategies and therefore, enable me to grow and expand. I find this to be a unique experience and I am very happy to be part of this community.
Jo-Ann has amazing passion for helping people succeed in their lives. She is the Founder of Rare Birds which has brought together entrepreneurial women so we can support and learn from each other. I had the pleasure to meet her 3yrs ago and to be her first #RareBird interview. Her energy is boundless, her focus acute, and her smile BIG. She is a wonderful example of a heart led driven business developer. I am proud to know her.
A consistent, future-oriented community: For me RareBirds is not just another online-group of professionals - it's a real value add for my business. Jo-Ann keeps the promise to form a collective that just works and is also a joy to be around with.
Rarebirds platform is a unique platform created to bring entrepreneurs like sunshine to connect with people , learn new skills, technology and ideology and above all know we all have challenges and now we have yet one more wonderful place to find solutions, network and choose better.
The journey of Jo Ann from SecretBirds to Rare Birds has been very interesting. Having started with connecting women entrepreneurs worldwide though her online portal has been phenomenal. Growing further to showcase merchandise and creativity of such entrepreneurs in her new upgraded domain of Rare Birds is indeed rewarding for business women who are seeking global footprints of their work. It has been an honour for me to know Jo Ann as she has not just motivated me by sharing my views and work to her online audience but she has also been a great guidance in connecting me to like minded women who are seeking similar growth and visibility. Thank you Jo Ann for your selfless support and motivation.
Jo-Ann is a very talented connector and writer. Her expertise in developing networks and platforms for women entrepreneurs is outstanding. She is a strong advocate for advancing women in the world of business and is selfless in these efforts. I am honored to know such a hard working supporter of global women's issues.
I first met Jo-Ann on Twitter when we both were mentioned in a tweet about the inspirational women around the world. Once I followed her, I realized that she is a person with no second in the world! She is very warm and honest, with a very sensitive heart and wise mind. Jo-Ann is my coach, mentor, friend, and a member of my family. When we speak I always feel at ease. She is a professional role model who you would like to know and learn from. I promise you everyone who knows her is lucky!
It’s been a pleasure networking with Jo-Ann Hamilton. I was introduced to RareBirds about two years ago through a mutual connection. I immediately gravitated to Jo-Ann's mission to help women create their visions into reality. There are many women around the global with a business / entrepreneurial mindset. Unfortunately, not everyone has access to the tools/ sources that can aid in the development of a sustainable, scalable business. RareBirds allows like-minded women to connect, communicate and collaborate. I look forward to remaining connected to Jo-Ann and the team. And it’s always a pleasure featuring on the platform. For me it’s always an opportunity for growth, sharing and reflection. Keep up the great work!
Jo-Ann is quite simply one of the most amazing people I've ever met. She is a powerhouse of innovation and creativity, and her drive to help others is unparalleled. I'm so honored to have worked with her as a mentor in the Fabulous Fempreneurship community and to watch her build a mentoring empire for women who are in vulnerable situations. Jo-Ann clearly cares so deeply about others, which is one of her best qualities, along with passion, dedication, and unswerving commitment. She is wildly intelligent as well, bringing a superb attention to detail and research with her to any and all projects. I'm looking forward to a lifetime of collaborations with Jo-Ann, and would wholeheartedly encourage anyone else to do the same!
Jo-Ann is a true social entrepreneur whose unwavering dedication to empowering, encouraging and supporting women and girls using entrepreneurship as the tool is awe-inspiring. She is also a true gem of a person – the rarest of Rare Birds! It isn’t every day that you have the good fortune to meet someone as warm and genuine as Jo-Ann. I was introduced to Jo-Ann by a colleague and we got to know each over the course of several emails. By the time we sat down for our RareBirds podcast interview, I felt like I was shooting the breeze with an old friend.
When I got in touch with Jo-Ann and her wonderful network she immediately gave me the opportunity to share my message with the world. This has increased my visibility a lot and I have even gotten enquiries for my life coaching out of it. Her generosity has lead to me doing a Twitter chat, spreading the news about my organising a meet-up in London and I found my VA through her instinctive connection skills. Jo-Ann is a true leader in flight and a wonderful example when it comes to sharing, supporting and succeeding as a woman entrepreneur.
I met Jo-Ann through her podcast series on New frontiers of African Tech. Jo-Ann to me is summarized as a “Complete Support System’’ because of her amazing willingness and ability to support and encourage people. Within the short time of knowing her, she has helped me form important networks and relationship that has helped my business and my personal development.
Her vision to link African Americans and Caribbean’s in the diaspora to business in their home countries is admirable. Not only does she talk but she walks the talk. Through her rare birds’ community, she has been able to bring entrepreneurs, investors and professionals from all over the world to interact and provide support for each other.
I love her energy, positivity and overall, her big heart. Jo-Ann is tremendous and sometimes I wonder what inspires her.
Jo-Ann is one of the most vibrant personalities I have met in KERNEL. She is an amazing leader, and I strongly believe in the vision of Rarebirds.
When I first came across Rare Birds I was a part-time blogger unsure of exactly where I wanted to take my “brand”. Fast forward 6 months, I now have a clearer vision of exactly where I want to be and how I wish to position myself and my brand in my specific market. I signed up to the peer mentoring just so I could communicate with someone who was somewhat in the same position as I was. It’s always refreshing to meet strangers who don’t have a biased opinion on what you want to do in life – and visa versa. When I was partnered with my peer mentor it was like I’d known her for years. We had so much in common that our weekly catch ups easily felt like I was speaking to a long lost friend. We were quite good at keeping each other up to date with our progress and we had excellent communication which is why I think the partnership worked as well as it did. I got a lot of ideas from my mentor and we bounced off of each other quite well (so much so that we still keep in touch). The mentoring really helped me to structure my work and become much more pro-active – I have definitely made progress in these past 6-8 weeks!
I have been fortunate enough to have known Jo-Ann for some time now, way before she embarked on her RareBirds mission. I knew from back then that she had the potential to not only pursue her own dreams but to enrich other women along the way. She works incredibly hard to connect with women from all corners of the globe to empower them. I love that she truly believes in all of the women she has reached through her podcasts and beyond.
RareBirds aims to connect women entrepreneurs to emerging markets but it is not just any woman. It is about the woman who has a deeper passion to impact their communities and those of the people they interact with. I shared my story and vision to equip the African child with digital literacy skills to be able to harness online opportunities and elevate them to compete on a global platform. When I shared this on the podcast, I could immediately feel impact. They say the best thing you can do about your dream is to wake up each morning and do something about it. I am forever grateful to RareBirds for affirming my dream and effort to see impact in the technology space in Africa for our children and for amplifying my voice to the world. I am pleased to share Jo-Ann’s dream of creating a community of like minded women which can nurture that evolving process.
My experience with RareBirds has been awesome. Jo-Ann has not only helped to shine light on what I do but create connections with other fantastic women. RareBirds is a powerful network I am ecstatic to be a part of it. I am forever grateful to be a part of this awesome network.
I was introduced to Jo-Ann by a lovely mutual friend in the world of entrepreneurship. From the outset Jo- Ann’s positive vibrations shone through and I was intrigued by the idea of Rare Birds. She was interested in finding out about me and my business and how she could possibly support me via Rare Birds. After getting a great feel for Rare Birds, I decided to accept her kind offer of joining one of the nest meetings which was great! Here, I was able to meet a handful of lovely and inspirational individuals, including other female entrepreneurs. I then decided to Join Rare Birds. Since then, Jo-Ann and I have been in contact often, shared ideas and she has given me the opportunity to feature as a November Rare Bird on her website. I thoroughly enjoyed the whole process of the interview and have had great feedback. Not only is Jo-Ann a great person to work with and to have on your team, she is highly passionate about her visions, bubbly, inspiring and her great aura is one of a kind! Through her I am connecting with great people.
Jo-Ann and RareBirds has been an oasis for women from all over the world and, all walks of life. The synergised way in which women are connected is so seamless, professional and fruitful as each woman will gain altitude and fly to new heights. Thank you RareBirds for your support, connections and your caring ethos; I would definitely continue to support and encourage others to join this network and journey as it is truly 'the place to be'.
RareBirds is a simple yet diverse platform which highlights the works of women across the globe. Its founder Jo-Ann is dedicated and a human development specialist who has created a virtual environment where female professionals can highlight their work, network and forge new alliances for capacity building. It is truly a rare opportunity for women and supporters of women's advancement.
I love RareBirds because I find it is a place where you will find women entrepreneurs from various fields of work. Rare Birds is a place where women can share their stories, which many entrepreneurs can relate to and learn from. I particularly like that it doesn’t focus on a particular group of women entrepreneurs. I really like that it gives women access to be able to write and rewrite their stories. This helps the readers and followers to be updated on some stories and experiences. I am very pleased to be a Rare Bird.
Jo-Ann is a great source of inspiration and always gave me great entrepreneur advice. Through RareBirds podcast and articles, I have been able to learn a lot about business and also educate myself about actual social issues. Furthermore, representation matters a lot to me and the possibility to discover portraits of women and men from the Caribbean and all over the world encouraged me to take the leap and speak my message to the world by launching my project!
Rare Birds has shown me the importance of networking. My very first podcast appearance was on the rare birds podcast platform. This was the catalyst for me in starting my own podcast! It was there I understood the importance of sharing my expertise with others.
Jo-Ann had a vision of bringing the start ups together, bringing experts together, to support each other, and it’s worked tremendously for me and I’m certain to countless others
Thank you for all that you’ve done and continue to do!