A former Paralympic swimmer who set up a company to design and manufacture prosthetic leg covers after he lost his own leg in a cycling accident has won the national Entrepreneurial Spirit Award for 2020 at the Great British Entrepreneur Awards.
Mark Williams, founder of LIMB-art, won the award at this week’s virtual National Final and builds on the same title he won for Wales at the regional final in September.
National winners were crowned from a group of 135 founders of 110 businesses who were successful at the regional finals. The Covid-19 pandemic forced the National Final online for the first time.
LIMB-art is a British design and manufacturing company based in the heart of North Wales dedicated to producing ‘the world’s coolest prosthetic leg covers’.
Founded in 2018, by former Paralympic swimmer and medallist, Mark Williams, LIMB-art was born out of a desire to help other prosthetic users raise their confidence, be proud of what they have and very simply, but equally importantly, have fun showing off whilst doing so.
Limb Art has been supported by the Business Wales Accelerated Growth Programme (AGP) – which provides targeted support to ambitious growing businesses – since 2018. The business has received mentoring, marketing and PR support through the programme.
Now in its eighth year, the Great British Entrepreneur Awards in partnership with Starling Bank celebrate the hard work and inspiring stories of entrepreneurs in the UK, rather than the business’ balance sheet.
Mark said: “I am absolutely overjoyed to win one of the most prestigious awards in the UK and so proud of our LIMB-art business which started out as a solution for my body image issues but grew into a business that now helps amputees all over the world gain confidence and stand proud.
“This award really helps us spread the word and will drive our expansion into other countries throughout 2021.”
Francesca James, founder of the Great British Entrepreneur Awards, said: “I want to send my warmest congratulations to Mark. He has an incredibly inspiring story and while the standard of competition this year has been fierce, he is the perfect embodiment of entrepreneurial spirit. He has taken his own adversity and turned it into something truly positive for so many people with passion and determination.”
Speaking to the finalists, Anne Boden, founder and CEO of Starling Bank, said: “I have to thank all of you finalists for all the hard work you have put in to get where you are today. As the CEO of Starling Bank, I’m so so proud that Starling Bank is sponsoring these Awards because entrepreneurship is something really special.
“The virus has caused much heartache, but I’m encouraged by the perseverance and determination of you, as entrepreneurs, to do your best to get through this.”
LIMB-art is on a mission to give prosthetic legs a better shape – traditionally offered on the NHS and which resemble ‘poles’ – as well as allowing the wearer to express their personality.
LIMB-art’s covers are a completely customisable accessory, lightweight and easy to fit and they are suitable for all users of above and below knee prostheses.
The covers not only give the wearer a full leg shape and restore balance to their silhouette, they also boost their confidence and allow them to show their personality because the brand offer a whole range of colours and designs.
One of its ambassadors is Darren Greenfield, currently the World’s Strongest Disabled Man and a LIMB-art fan.