IPSE Awards 2017

IPSE Awards 2017 highlights


The IPSE awards celebrate the best freelance talent the UK has to offer. In 2017 we hosted our biggest and best event yet. A packed crowd entered Kings place to find out who would be crowned Inspire Freelancer of the Year for established freelancers, and the winner of the Aspire Award for young freelancer.

In 2017, three new categories were awarded:  University of the Year for the educational institution doing most to promote self-employment for its student population; Co-workingspace of the Year to recognise the most supportive environment for freelancers to work in; and Ambassador of the Year for an individual who has done the most to nurture freelancing in their community.

Inspire Award for Freelancer of the Year (winner): Luke Nicholson, Communication & Accent Coach. www.improveyouraccent.co.uk

Luke Nicholson

Using the skills he picked up both training as an actor and studying languages at university, Luke set up a business and began trading in late 2012. Since then he has personally coached people from over 65 different countries and from a wide range of backgrounds. He finds it extremely rewarding to see the positive change this has on his clients’ daily lives.

As well as teaching one-to-one lessons in his central London office and via Skype, Luke offers a range of free learning resources on his website, including pronunciation games and videos. He has also designed and created the only interactive vowel and consonant charts available for the contemporary British English accent.

In 2016 Luke launched his self-study Online English Pronunciation Course, which contains over 80 videos, 550 native-speaker audio recordings and 350 worksheets. The course is tailored to the student’s native language to prioritise what they need to learn. With this course anyone, anywhere in the world, can now access the tools to improve their English communication skills.

Luke has identified a niche market, which few are exploiting, and has created a business that ideally serves that market. The business is growing both in its number of clients and the services it offers.

Aspire Award for Young Freelancer of the Year (winner): Nisha Haq, Photographer, www.nishahaqphotography.com

Hailing from Southampton, Nisha is a photographer specialising in weddings, special occasions, engagement shoots, headshots, portrait and lifestyle sessions, as well as a range of other commercial functions.

Nisha’s passion lies in photographing people and showcasing who they are through her natural, colourful and relaxed style. She tailors her work to individuals to offer a personal service, including handmade packages.

Nisha studied BA (Hons) Photography at Southampton Solent University, and soon recognised that freelancing might be way of working for the career she had chosen. She therefore studied additional business courses and applied for business start-up grants for young entrepreneurs.

As well as photography, she also creates websites, business marketing assets, logo design branding and videos.

Nisha is also keen to share her knowledge by acting as mentor. She has already not only given work experience to three young female photographers and videographers, but also spoken at her university about photography and branding for businesses. Inspiring others is key to Nisha’s philosophy.

Meet the rest of the Aspire and Inspire Finalists below


In a first for this year’s awards ceremony, Katy Carlisle’s Freelance Folk was crowned IPSE’s Ambassador of the Year, Work.Life in Camden was awarded the Co-working Space of the Year and Middlesex University the University Partner of the Year Award.