After eighteen months of hard work and meticulous planning, IPSE held its first ever Policy Conference. We were joined by leading figures in the worlds of politics and business, from across the political spectrum and from a wide range of industries. It was a resounding success and a proud moment for IPSE and the entire self-employed community.
The Prime Minister opened the day with a video message, celebrating the record number of people who have “set up on their own, turned their living rooms into workshops, their kitchens into offices, their bedrooms into stockrooms and become their own boss”. Getting the message across about the value self-employment brings to the UK is one of IPSE’s key tasks, so it was fantastic to see this way of working being recognised at the very highest level.
Minister for Small Business Anna Soubry delivered the keynote speech, highlighting the importance of the Small Business Commissioner naming and shaming clients who pay late, the value of freelancing to the economy (now £109 billion, according to new IPSE research) and the need to better prepare young people for the world of self-employment. These are all fundamental issues for IPSE.
Feedback from the attendees has been incredibly positive, and we’ve built new links with key policymakers and experts in self-employment. We made headlines in national newspapers and waves across social media, trending on Twitter throughout the day. It really was a day to remember.
The event wouldn’t have been possible without our friends at Intuit QuickBooks, and they’re deserving of special thanks.
In short, it is a great time to be a freelancer, but we won’t rest on our laurels. The next important date in the freelancing calendar is National Freelancers’ Day 2016, which is in just a few weeks’ time. Now in its eighth year, the event will give freelancers the opportunity to gain practical skills with interactive workshops, including one-to-one advice sessions with IPSE’s trusted affiliates, and of course, the IPSE-QA Freelancer of the Year Awards.
Once again we’ve selected fifteen incredible finalists, five aged 23 and under and ten more experienced freelancers. They range from journalists to embroiderers and engineers to translators. Each has a real passion for this way of working and it’s sure to be an interesting evening. Freelancing is clearly going from strength to strength and it’s a privilege to be part of such a vibrant section of our economy.