Online talent marketplace, The Work Crowd, was named Overall Winner and its founder, Alice Weightman, was named Entrepreneur of the Year, at the FSB London Business Awards 2016, which recognise enterprise and innovation in the Capital.
The Work Crowd was named the Overall Winner and described as “a standout application” by judges, who said: “we can see this business going on to do great things in the coming years.” Alice was described as “Revolutionary – has shown entrepreneurial spirt since the age of 23. Saw a gap in the market and grasped the opportunity.”
Launched in September 2015, The Work Crowd is an online platform that connects small businesses with expert freelancers to provide cost-effective marketing, communications and PR support. The business was recognised for its role in transforming and simplifying the traditional freelance recruitment model, providing small businesses with direct access to freelance expertise without a recruitment fee, while giving freelancers an online marketing tool through which to win and manage projects.
With the PR and creative industry worth £76.5 billion in the UK alone, and predictions that 60% of its workers will be independent by 2020, The Work Crowd has its sight set on this growing marketplace. The business has already seen strong demand and growth to date, recently celebrating £1m worth of projects fulfilled through the platform, and with a community of over 1,400 freelancers and 325 clients developed in less than a year.
The Work Crowd founder and CEO, Alice Weightman, is a serial entrepreneur, having founded Hanson Search – now an award-winning executive search and headhunting firm – in 2002, when she was just 27. Alice was inspired to launch The Work Crowd after noticing that talented people were leaving the marketing and communications industry in search of better work-life balance, while startups and agencies were looking for more agility in their workforce.
Alice Weightman commented: “We are delighted to have won both of these FSB London Business Awards, including the Overall Winner award. It’s always hard to get a business off the ground, never mind whilst running another. I owe it to our incredible team and loyal community of freelancers and clients, who believed in our vision before we had any projects on the platform – so a big thank you to them.
“It is also great to see an all-female founding team recognised in this way. I’m a great supporter of female talent and I know how important positive role models are in encouraging women into business generally and especially the technology industries, areas where women are extremely under-represented at the top.
“Also a huge thank you to the Federation of Small Businesses, which does such a good job of supporting young enterprises and making sure London is open for business. This is only the beginning for The Work Crowd – our goal is to change the face of marketing, communications and PR, giving small businesses access to cost-effective and professional support, powered by an online army of expert freelancers. I’m incredibly excited about our growth plans for the future.”
Steve Warwick, Regional Chairman and Head Judge, FSB, commented: “We were thrilled with the quality and quantity of entrants this year, by far our biggest to date. To win any category was an achievement, to win overall took a real success story.”