Business Link backs teen entrepreneur

“For me, the secret of ‘making it’, is to just go for it, and don’t let anything stop you,” says Lewis Bankes-Hughes, the 14-year-old entrepreneur Business Link is sponsoring by paying for his membership to the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).

The Oxfordshire teenager enters the record books by becoming the Federation’s youngest member ever.

Thirteen months ago, Lewis created a graphic and website design business known as ‘Fluffy Duster’ in Somerton, North Oxfordshire and has already worked with over twenty companies and individuals since start-up.

His growing portfolio includes brochures for international conferences, banner ads for UK and foreign websites, website design for individuals and UK-based companies, and posters for local events.

“I’ve always been interested in design and decided to start my own business in order to take it to the next level. Fluffy Duster is there to help start up businesses and individuals, who need good graphics and websites but can’t afford massive design bills and don’t have the time or expertise to do it themselves” explained Lewis.

“I can’t thank Business Link enough for all their support and encouragement.”

Jim Sims, business development director of the local Business Link said: “I first heard about Lewis via another project of ours called ‘The Pitch’, which aims to help young entrepreneurs attain investment for their new business ideas. At the time, although Lewis impressed the panel of judges he was too young to participate in the project, which is aimed at 14-19 year olds. However, having spoken to Lewis, it was clear that he could derive significant benefits from joining the FSB, so we chose to support his membership.”

Business Link operates across Milton Keynes, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire offering impartial advice, support and guidance to start, maintain and grow businesses locally.

Barry Wheatley, chair Of the Oxfordshire branch of the FSB commented: "We are lucky to have such a pro-active and supportive Business Link here in Oxfordshire and want to thank them for supporting the FSB membership of Lewis and his business - Fluffy Duster. “

“It’s great to see entrepreneurship being fostered and blossoming in someone so young - the future of Britain's economy lies in the hands of entrepreneurs like Lewis. Small businesses already employ the majority of the private sector workforce and it has been predicted that 80% of the growth in employment in Europe will come from small businesses.”

Lewis, a pupil at Bloxham School in North Oxfordshire, has won a Design & Technology scholarship and also created the school's magazine, Bloxlife,

Lewis’ ambition is to create and build a successful and respected design company before going to university in four years time to study architecture, and one day establish his own architectural design firm.

The entrepreneur is currently offering a special promotion from his website, which invites all visitors to have any size poster they want designed by Fluffy Duster for about £50.


15th September 2006

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