Two young entrepreneurs from Leicester have beaten the odds to scoop multiple honours in a national award ceremony for their unique approach to ensuring digital customer loyalty.
Sophie Hainsworth and Jason Nesbitt won two awards at the Retail Systems Awards 2018 for their company LoyalFree, an entirely self-funded project which is rapidly gaining traction across the UK.
LoyalFree won Startup Company of the Year, while Sophie and Jason also bagged an additional award for Outstanding Achievement, an award which saw the pair come up against, and beat, national brands including John Lewis, Cafe Nero and Hilton.
Sophie Hainsworth, Co-Founder of LoyalFree, said “we are delighted and overwhelmed to take home two awards tonight. As a small business it’s so rewarding to see our hard work recognised at such a prestigious event."
2018 marks the 13th year of the national Retail Systems Awards, which recognise technology excellence and innovation within the retail sector. Entries come from both retailers and technology suppliers who are working across areas such as mobile, online, payments, loyalty and personalisation.
Jennifer Thomas, Development Manager at the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) commented on the win saying “we are incredibly pleased to hear this news and celebrate the success of budding entrepreneurs from the East Midlands who are encouraging people to support their local high streets and independent retailers. LoyalFree are quickly expanding across the UK and it’s amazing to see them enjoy this well deserved accolade.”
The company itself is an exciting new venture which is designed to boost high street footfall for businesses in towns and cities throughout the UK. The past 12 months have been an exciting time for the company, seeing them launch in 10 places and hit the front pages of the newspapers.
The entirely self-funded project is an innovative digital loyalty scheme which helps businesses attract new customers via a profile showcasing their offers, reviews, images and more. It pulls together all the vital information for an area, allowing users to benefit from using just one app for the whole of the UK.
LoyalFree has seen massive growth since it was first launched from a coffee table in Edinburgh more than 18 months ago, and in that time the pair have helped more than 500 businesses with their digital presence.
The two have recently joined expanded their work and now work with 7 Business Improvement Districts and Councils across the UK. Lisa Brown, Love Loughborough Manager commented, “As the first BID to join up with LoyalFree we are so proud to see their rapid growth across the U.K. We look forward to even more successes from the impressive pair, in Loughborough and beyond.”