Debbie Wosskow OBE

Founder and CEO of Love Home Swap, co-founder of AllBright and chairman of Sharing Economy UK

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Debbie Wosskow OBE is recognised as one of the most prominent serial entrepreneurs in the UK, known for successfully launching and scaling businesses in the areas of digital disruption, the sharing economy and female empowerment.

She is the founder and CEO at Love Home Swap, the sharing economy website that she launched in 2011. The company has 100,000+ properties listed in more than 150 countries and is hailed as one of the fastest growing digital technology companies in London.

Wosskow is also the co-founder and chairperson of AllBright, a unique UK funding platform designed to provide the support and finance needed for female-led businesses to launch and scale. Wosskow, along with her co-founder Anna Jones (ex-CEO at Hearst), aims to close the gender-based funding gap that currently prevents many women from launching and succeeding with their business ideas. A long-standing investor herself, Wosskow has personally backed a number of female-led businesses.

Wosskow is the chairman of Sharing Economy UK (SEUK), sits on the Mayor of London’s Business Advisory Board, and is also a Trustee of the Hampstead Theatre.

Hailing from a family of female entrepreneurs, Wosskow’s entrepreneurial journey started at the age of 25 when she launched her first company called Mantra, a marketing consultancy, which she later sold to Loewy Group in 2009.

With the Startups Awards entry deadline drawing near, we spoke to Wosskow about her involvement with the Startups Awards and what she’ll be looking for at the judging day…

Why are you looking forward to judging the Startups Awards?

It’s an absolute privilege to be a judge for the Startups Awards 2017, alongside such a talented group of other judges.

As a founder myself, I know how important getting awards are when you’re starting out: as both motivation for you and your team and it also provides credibility for your business.

What are you looking for from start-up businesses?

Every business is different, but for me what I look for is a founder who is utterly compelling and confident when talking about their business and product. I need to truly believe in them. They need to know their numbers and have a clear plan on how they are going to get from A to B.

What is great about business in Britain?

The entrepreneur scene is thriving across the UK. We have exemplary hubs in London as well as in Manchester in Media City. Government support is also helping by making funding simpler, particularly at seed level e.g. EIS / SEIS.

We are also not as regulated here in the UK compared to some other European countries, which makes it easier for those starting out.

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