Welsh accountants are Start-Up-Stars

October 25, 2010

banking

A pair of female entrepreneurs who set up Mazuma, an accountancy service aimed at sole traders and micro-businesses, have won the top prize at this year’s prestigious HSBC Start Up Stars Awards.

Lucy Cohen and Sophie Hughes, both 27, set up the business in their spare room after realising there was a gap in the market for suitable and affordable accountants who could serve smaller businesses and sole traders. They hoped that the business could “shake up” the accounting industry and make bookkeeping easy and accessible for small business. And their hard work was rewarded when they scooped the top prize – and £30,000 – at the gala event, held at the Dorchester hotel in London’s Park Lane.

Mazuma currently employs 49 people, 19 of which work from a central hub in South Wales, with another 30 based in franchised offices over the UK.

Huw Morgan, HSBC’s head of business banking said: “Lucy and Sophie’s story is a perfect demonstration of two entrepreneurs with a great idea, who then carried it through to create an impressive brand. It is also a great example of a small business carving out its own market niche with a service designed to help other small businesses succeed.”

Lucy Cohen said: “Many sole traders are great at what they do – but not brilliant when it comes to handling day-to-day paperwork. People aren’t expected to do their own plumbing – so why shouldn’t they have access to an accountant? This service allows them to concentrate on what they’re good at, leaving the number-crunching to us.

“There is a huge potential market for Mazuma’s services and we aim to become the largest single provider of compliance work to small businesses, sole traders and the self-employed throughout the UK.”

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