IPSE, the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed, is delighted to announce that Southeast London freelancers Sophie Cross and Claire Hutchings, as well as Funmi Lijadu, West London, Jem Collins, East London, and Northwest London-based Nadine Campbell and Katie Wait, have been shortlisted for the 2021 IPSE Freelancer Awards.
The awards, which first ran in 2013, recognise and celebrate the achievements of the UK’s brightest and best freelancers. Following the postponement of last year’s awards, freelancers were invited to submit applications based on the past two years of freelancing – with a ‘Covid-19 Success Story’ category, new to the awards this year, to celebrate those who have done something amazing to help others during the pandemic.
Nominees are judged on a range of criteria, including the strength of their portfolio, their passion and commitment to freelancing, business acumen, creativity and distinctive offering. Awards categories for the 2021 awards include ‘Outstanding Freelancer’, ‘Young Freelancer’, ‘Freelancing Project’, ‘New Freelancer, ‘Collaboration’, ‘Covid-19 Success Story’ and ‘Wellbeing’. The winners of each category will be announced at an awards ceremony in London on 14th October.
Sophie launched ‘Freelancer Magazine’, an independent, glossy, print-first quarterly magazine for a freelance life less ordinary. It is a magazine dedicated to freelancing that aims to be inspirational without being unrealistically aspirational.
It launched earlier this year and has had tremendous support from the freelance community and, in turn, it exists to lift freelancers, to build their confidence and knowledge, to share stories and connect people, to help them to grow businesses they love, to be ambitious, earn their potential and design their ideal work life.
For Claire, learning on the job has been incredibly exciting and allowed her to grow and flex her business without the constraints of a business plan or objectives. She is proof that success can come from adversity, having been made redundant during the pandemic while on maternity leave. Her business now not only sustains her family, it also provides unprecedented satisfaction to her, because she knows she is delivering value to her clients.
Winning this award would help Claire prove to herself that she made the right decision to go self-employed when times were hard, and would celebrate the work she has achieved with her clients.
Funmi hopes to win this award because of her pursuit of a creative, skills-led practice at a young age. Additionally, she recognises that her efforts are being channelled despite being a student going into her final year at university. This multitasking and self-starter spirit is something that connects her to many other ambitious professionals today.
Jem started Journo Resources from her bedroom and has spent five years growing it into a sustainable social enterprise. She started with no connections or monetary investments, juggling the business alongside other freelancing that paid her bills.
Today, it’s a full-time job, supported by a small team, and they’ve helped almost half a million people in their journalism careers to-date. This isn’t just a freelance business for commercial benefit, it’s an enterprise that helps other journalists and freelancers through its own success and one that hopes to change the face of journalism in the UK.
During the pandemic, Nadine started a business providing free business support to diverse entrepreneurs, despite being out of work herself with a young child at home. She saw so many bright entrepreneurs struggling to scale and grow their new businesses and knew using her knowledge would be the best way to help her community. She started a crowdfund to donate to promising diverse-owned businesses and went on to secure angel investors too.
She supported this with numerous published articles on shopping small and how to support a marginalised community. She now has 3,000 diverse entrepreneurs in her network.
Despite the uncertainty through 2020, Katie was able to adapt traditionally offline businesses for the online world, building awareness, driving traffic, and gaining sales from new audiences on tight budgets. She has created strong working relationships with her clients, and work as a virtual team member to continue their success online, as well as helping to increase their sales offline as the new “normal” begins to unfold.
Sarah Harper, Head of Events at IPSE said: “In the ninth year of the Freelancer Awards, we at IPSE are delighted to be able to showcase the work of so many varied and brilliant freelancers from across the UK.
“Even after this hugely difficult period, we had an extraordinarily large number of applications – and as a result, some truly exceptional finalists.
“In such times, it is more important than ever to celebrate these hard-working, remarkable freelancers who have been doing so much to transform their industries and their communities.”