IPSE launches Freelancer Awards 2015

Thursday 20 August 2015

The Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE) has announced the 2015 Freelancer Awards, which are designed to celebrate excellence across a wide range of sectors.

IPSE said: “We want to reward individuals who have shown ambition, inspiration and aspiration and who truly represent the talent, work ethic and success found in the UK’s self-employed population.”

Contractors who feel they meet these criteria are able to nominate themselves on the organisation’s website before September 1st. The categories under which entries can be posted are Inspire or Aspire.

Aspire is especially for entrepreneurs under the age of 23, and will make up five of the finalists. Inspire is for all freelancers who are able to showcase the skills and hard work that are necessary to make contracting a success. Ten people from this category will be put forward for the final round of judging.

Once expert judges have drawn up the shortlist, the final 15 will have the opportunity to pitch their business to the panel on October 15th, ahead of a decision being made.

This year’s judges have been named as Dawn Whiteley (National Enterprise Network), Kevin McCallum (FreeAgent), and Rebecca Shipham (Ships and Pigs Ltd), James Collings (Chairman of IPSE) and Jim Cassidy (Prima Communications and Media).

The judging criteria will include a candidate’s experience of freelancing, innovation and creativity, as well as ambition and future potential, although this list is not exhaustive.

The awards ceremony will be held on November 12th to mark National Freelancing Day at the Hospital Club in Covent Garden, London. Aside from the opportunity to celebrate the best that contracting has to offer, the event will also be a valuable networking opportunity across all sectors where freelancers flourish.

For those who are successful, there are a number of prizes on offer. These include free work and meeting spaces, along with business advice, accounting services and a cash prize of up to £5,000.

This can be a real boost for an ambitious freelancer, as the case of Ms Shipman shows. Not only a judge this year, she won the IPSE Freelancer Award in 2014, and has used her prize money to launch Creative Briefs. This is an organisation that provides talks and education for students about the benefits of being self-employed.

She also says that the prestige of an IPSE Award has helped to increase demand for her services.

The awards are part of a series of outreach events designed to increase awareness about self-employment in the build-up to National Freelancers’ Day.

By Victoria McDonnell

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