A young Tamworth businessman who started his own company at the age of just 17 has won a top award in recognition of his entrepreneurial spirit.
Kyle Raffo, managing director of Expand Digital, was presented with the Entrepreneur of the Year title at the prestigious Business Networking Awards held at Drayton Manor Park on Saturday, March 5.
It was one of 12 gongs handed out to the cream of the crop of the region’s vast business networking community, with four finalists vying for each accolade.
As a teenager Kyle (now aged 22) was mentored by Dragons’ Den investor Peter Jones at the Peter Jones Enterprise Academy and started his company, Expand Digital, soon after.
Since then the business has grown into a full-scale digital marketing, print, embroidery and design company with offices and vast production facilities on the Tame Valley Industrial Estate in Tamworth.
This year Expand Digital is on track to achieve a £1million turnover for the first time and winning the award has helped get 2016 off to a good start.
A spokesperson for the Peter Jones Enterprise Academy said: “We take great pride in equipping the next generation of entrepreneurs with the skills they need to succeed, so we are delighted to hear of Kyle’s achievements with his business, Expand Digital.
“We wish him the very best of luck in the future and look forward to following his progress.”
Kyle, a member of the FindaBiz networking group, said: “I am honoured to have been chosen for this award as I was up against some very tough competition. It’s a testament to the hard work that has been done and the growth that has been achieved at Expand Digital, but it wouldn’t have been possible without the support of my team members and my thanks must also go to them. We now look forward to taking the company to the next level.”
Almost 200 nominations were submitted across the 12 categories in the fourth Business Networking Awards, covering individual and company-wide success and ranging from trades business of the year to employer of the year. Nominees were asked to provide a supporting statement before the 48 finalists were chosen by a panel of judges to compete for the top honours.
Kyle was up against competition from Jeff Longley of Mr Electric, Ryan Davies of Supreme Cleaning Services and Chris Blunt of brokenStones in the Entrepreneur of the Year category.