Two young entrepreneurs from Leicester have brought home 2 prestigious awards in Leicester this week, for their unique approach to digital customer loyalty.

Sophie Hainsworth and Jason Nesbitt won two awards for their company LoyalFree, an entirely self-funded project which is rapidly gaining traction across the UK.

LoyalFree won the ‘Business Improvement Through Technology’ category at the East Midlands Chamber Awards, whilst Co-Founder Sophie was crowned ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ at the Leicester Mercury Women in Business Awards this week. 

Sophie Hainsworth, Co-Founder of LoyalFree, said It is such an honour to receive formal recognition for our hard work supporting the local high streets with digital technology. This comes at an incredibly exciting time for LoyalFree as we expand our business into London and look for staff to join our team.

Gillian Hunter, Manager of LATi, comment on Sophie’s award was: “These awards are a fabulous recognition of remarkable entrepreneurship. Starting their unique venture in Loughborough, they now have a client base across the UK and a bevy of well-deserved awards.

LATi has a knack for spotting exceptional talent. Not that it was too har to spot in this case. The entrepreneurial and dynamic duo came to LATi’s attention in early 2017. By October of the same year LoyalFree were exhibiting with Love Loughborough at the Innovation inCharnwood 2017 event – the award-winning Leicester Business Festival event – which was organised by LATi in partnership with inCharnwood.

By December 2017, LoyalFree were asked to deliver a pre-dinner talk at the LATi winter social to inspire a room-full of local business leaders. “The entire company is just the two of us, and we’re slightly mad – in all the right ways”, Sophie remarked at the time. Their talk went down a storm with the audience. And, to think the enterprise had only been going a little over a year by this time.

Visitors to Innovation in Charnwood 2018 : Discover A New Generation of Innovation will get to meet Sophie and Jason, who were invited by the LLEP to exhibit on the LLEP Start-Up Opportunity Zone.

“The Innovation in Charnwood Showcase 2018
is focused on showcasing an exceptional new generation of
business talent in Charnwood – and LoyalFree epitomise this.”

Jennifer Thomas, Development Manager at the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) also commented on the company’s win saying: “I am so pleased to see a very well deserving local small business recognised again for their great work, it’s all paying dividends now.”

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 12 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 tourism 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 600 individual businesses with their digital presence.

The two have recently joined expanded their work and now work with 10 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.”

“The Loughborough business community can be rightly proud
of their association with this entrepreneurial duo,
who are destined for great things.” 


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