After winning the Accelerator of the Year Award at the Yorkshire Financial Awards 2021, the team at Wosskow Brown Foundation tell unLTD more about the foundation

Hosted by comedian Lucy Porter, 18 awards were handed out at the Yorkshire Financial Awards 2021 to various companies all around the Yorkshire region.

Jim Lawson, director of the Wosskow Brown Foundation, said: “We are absolutely honoured and delighted the Wosskow Brown Foundation were given the first award Lucy gave out that night, the Accelerator of the Year Award!

“To win this award, the Wosskow Brown Foundation came up against other amazing nominees including Barclays Eagle Labs, Sheffield Hallam University’s Hallam i-Lab, and NatWest Accelerator.

“We would also like to highlight the really valuable work the other nominees in our category do in helping businesses to grow and scale, acknowledging all the other business accelerators in the region.

“When we launched the Wosskow Brown Foundation in 2014, our main purpose was to help regenerate our local economy and through the vision of Ian Brown and fellow partners of Wosskow Brown Solicitors, we have been able to help more than 1,000 businesses.

“Finally, we must thank our unsung heroes, the many entrepreneurs and professionals in the region who responded to our rally call and have engaged and supported all we do.”

Private Sector Initiative

The Foundation is a private sector initiative from the partners at South Yorkshire law firm, Wosskow Brown. It was set up as a response to the Government’s call for the private sector to help regenerate the local economy, after a £3bn Gross Added Value gap was identified in the region, as well as 70,000 too few jobs and 6,000 too few businesses.

“The WB100 programme was launched to offer useful support for businesses, sports clubs, charities, and social enterprises,” says Jim. “We delivered workshops to upskill SME owners in everything from cashflow management to social media, from winning business to recruitment.

“To support this, we set up a pro bono mentoring programme which brought together local professionals and experienced entrepreneurs with founders of start-ups and scale-ups. We must thank these entrepreneurs for their kindness, giving up their time to mentor new business owners with workshops, supporting the aims of the Wosskow Brown Foundation. The willingness to help others is really an admirable characteristic of the people in this region.”

Free Office Space

“The Foundation has also offered a year of free office space to businesses finding their feet, which included free phones, Wi-Fi, and mentoring, using the space available at our head office of Wosskow Brown in East Sheffield,” added Jim.

“In the five years to November 2019, we had helped, engaged, or otherwise assisted more than 900 organisations in the Sheffield City Region. In just the past three years, we have made almost 600 B2B introductions for companies looking to engage with business specialists in a wide range of sectors. Therefore, we have become widely known as a ‘connector’ organisation.”