Recruitment & HR

A Leeds entrepreneur has topped TechRound’s 29Under29 list.

Georgina Fairhall, founder and CEO of WAC, leads the 2023 list of Europe’s most innovative companies and initiatives founded by people under the age of 29.

The annual list was judged by Kat Wellum-Kent (Fractional Finance), Namrata Sandhu (Vaayu), and Kimberley Waldron (SkyParlour).

In 2020, one week before a national lockdown, WAC was launched after Fairhall chose to step away from a potential law career in order to champion low-paid workers. 

With years of experience working in hospitality, Fairhall encountered the same problem in every job – she wasn’t getting paid correctly. Hours would frequently be missed, breaks wouldn’t happen, and she was routinely expected to work beyond her finish time to support the team.

“It’s truly affirming to be chosen as one of the most innovative companies across the UK and Europe, not only as a female founder but also representing the North of England,” said Fairhall. “I hope this shows investors the potential the North has to offer when it comes to high-growth scaleups with the capability for unicorn status. 

“I’m immensely proud to be part of the growing tech community in the North after launching WAC in Leeds, especially as I was encouraged to move to London at the beginning of my journey.”

Revealing North East & Tees Valley Startups 2.0

Since WAC’s launch, Fairhall has raised close to £1 million through angel investment.

WAC app enables workers from all sectors to track their hours, add their rota and get live payslip estimates, including deductions such as tax.  The all-inclusive solution is initiating change for a workforce in need of support and users are even using the app to claim back wages after discrepancies in pay. 

The app is free to use and available to download from the App Store and Google Play store.

Fairhall added: “This recognition comes at a fantastic time for WAC as we’re seeking investment to further scale the business and generate substantial annual revenue. 

“I’m unbelievably proud to have created a solution for the underpayment epidemic which is unfairly targeting the lowest earners.”

North East hailed as ‘perfect location’ for tech startups