It had all the spectacle of the real show, minus fire-breathing judges. And that didn’t dampen the spirits of the four up-and-coming independent professionals who fronted a distinguished Dragons’ Den panel at the IPSE policy conference. The four participants, all self-employed professionals aged from 19 to 35, were given four minutes to pitch their next product, service or idea to help improve self-employment.
The Dragons’ Choice – winner of £500 Katy Carlisle, founder of Money Inbox app
Money Inbox is an app that helps freelancers to be more proactive by planning and tracking their income goals. The app is purposely designed to help self-employed people meet financial targets by setting definite, likely and possible projections each month.
There’s no need to set up complex spreadsheet formulas, and it works offline too. The Dragons praised Katy for her thorough research, sharp presentation skills and the app’s general usefulness for freelancers. Search for ‘Money Inbox’ on Facebook.
The People’s Choice – winner of £500 Anthony Mellor, founder of Absolute Fitness Apparel
Absolute Fitness Apparel is a fitness clothing brand founded in south-west London in 2017. The business’s mission statement is to: “Create high quality, affordable and innovative active wear to athletes which in turn will promote a healthy wellbeing.”
What sets Absolute Fitness apart is its model of community and client engagement, which places at the centre of its business the promotion of healthy well-being. Anthony was able to convince the audience that it was a viable model for other self-employed professionals, and it earned him the people’s choice award.
Jem Collins, founder of Journo Resources
Jem didn’t create the online support community Journo Resources just to help her in her freelance career – she did it to improve the freelance industry as a whole.
Journo Resources provides a toolkit for budding freelance journalists to empower them to get a better deal in the media. It also seeks to dispel the secrecy around the industry with a range of common sense tools, which are regularly updated and free to access online.
Nina Dee Rattenbury, founder and director of Nina Dee
Nina has been freelancing as a creative consultant for the best part of a decade. After much trial and error and success, she now wants to help other creatives, freelancers and start-ups reach their full potential through a creative leadership programme.
Currently in the early development and research stages, the programme seeks to harness and distill creative practices, and pass on this knowledge to help others expand their creative minds in an effective way.