The Yay!Starter team

A London-based digital marketing agency has won a national business award after offering its services for free to support its clients during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Established in 2016, Yay!Starter specialises in marketing for businesses in the e-learning, fintech and ecommerce sectors.

During the first lockdown, the business faced closure due to falling revenues as its clients struggled with their own drop in demand. In a bid to keep operating during lockdown and support clients until they were back on their feet, co-owners, Yana Lapitskaya and Jessy Conflon offered their services free of charge.

Now, Putney-based Yay!Starter Marketing has managed to triple its number of clients, double its staff and has plans to hire two more people next month.  The company’s turnover has doubled over the past year and by exporting to Europe it hopes to reach £1million revenue within the next two years.

Yay!Starter has been named a winner in the Lloyds Bank Small Business of 2021 awards, which celebrate the small and local firms across the UK. The business was selected in recognition of how it managed to adapt and stay afloat while supporting its customers.

The prize is a business mentoring session with Steven Bartlett, founder of Social Chain and a new start of the BBC’s Dragon’s Den. Bartlett will share advice on technology adoption suggest ideas to help Yay!Starter.

Yana Lapitskaya, Managing Director of Yay!Starter Marketing, said: “When the pandemic hit our first thought was:, How can we support other businesses during this difficult time? Offering our services for free was a huge gamble, but we’ve come out stronger from it, both in terms of new clients and the relationships we’ve grown.

“Our mission is to enable and accelerate the growth of ambitious businesses by using the latest digital and growth marketing strategies and techniques.

“We have a strong vision and our goal to reach £1million in revenue is just the start. We also plan to set up in Europe, adding more prestigious work to our portfolio, and continue to push for international recognition.”

Gareth Oakley, managing director of business banking at Lloyds Bank, said: “Yana and Jessy have gone above and beyond to help others over the past 18 months. They are truly deserving of this award.

“Yay!Starter Marketing is a prime example of a business that has shown resilience during this time and has found a way of strengthening relationships while also facing challenging times. Yana and Jessy’s attitude towards supporting other firms – both large and small – is reason alone why they are so deserving of this award.”