Young entrepreneurs: Kyle Raffo, Expand Digital
The 22 year-old set to turnover £1m this year with his web development and multimedia design business
Name: Kyle Raffo
Company: Expand Digital
Like many young entrepreneurs, Kyle Raffo’s first taste of entrepreneurship was at school, where at age 13 he’d sell sweets and drinks to his peers. At 16, his A level studies were interrupted by a “once in a lifetime opportunity” to take one of 23 places at the Peter Jones Enterprise Academy.
The programme proved fruitful for Raffo, giving him valuable business experience, contacts and even the opportunity to work with Britain’s Got Talent finalists and X Factor stars. It also served as a springboard for his nascent web development and multimedia design company Expand Digital – which had until then counted Mavis at the local Parish Council as its most valued customer.
Raffo initially started the company to improve the poor communication between designers and businesses, by creating a single destination for all their marketing and promotional requirements. In 2012, he decided to expand the business into printing and embroidery on t-shirts, uniforms, promotional material and merchandise.
Expand Digital now designs, manufactures and sells more than 12,500 variations of its product worldwide, deriving revenue from numerous sources including subscription website hosting, licensing software to clients and commission-based referrals.
Six years after launch, Expand Digital has celebrated its 10,000th customer, begun exporting to Europe and is expecting to turnover £1m in 2016. For the future, Raffo wants to cast his net wider and has already invested in three other start-ups including a functional fitness gym, a discount store and a charity fundraising website.
Always looking for the next opportunity, Raffo is keen to learn from the successes and failures of those around him – this is one entrepreneur that’s sure to go far.