Kyle Raffo registered his multimedia design business six years ago, when he was just 16 years old, and it now employs 12 people and is on track for a £1.2m annual turnover.
Kyle got started in business when he stumbled across a National Enterprise Academy event at his college, with the chance to pitch a business idea and qualify for a year’s coaching from Dragon’s Den entrepreneur Peter Jones.
He was one of only 23 young people to be awarded a place and his company’s first big break was handling the social media for Britain’s Got Talent.
Since then the firm has diversified into printing, websites, corporate design and promotional items and clothing for a wide range of clients.
Now Kyle is set to launch a second business with the help of the Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership’s Growth Hub and the Let’s Do Mentoring Scheme run by Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce, one of the Growth Hub’s partners.
Kyle said: “I have found it incredibly helpful to have a mentor who really understands business to bounce ideas off.
“A mentor can challenge you, get you to sort your ideas out and prompt you to think about things you might not have considered before.
“Richard can look at the business from an outside perspective and offer impartial support and feedback that is only a phone call or an email away.”
Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership chairman David Frost CBE said: “Expand Digital’s success is a great example of the drive and entrepreneurial spirit of our region, which is creating more and better jobs and helping our communities to thrive.
“We are delighted that our Growth Hub has been able to help and advise Kyle on his business journey and we wish him every success for the future. He is an excellent role model for anyone aiming to start out in business.”