Mitchel White, Managing Director at Reward
Adopted Mancunian Mitchel started his marketing agency Reward, formerly LeftMedia, at 21, growing it to become recognised as a leader in the manufacturing marketing sector. Now 25, he has started a new coworking concept startup FlexTable – connecting startups with under-utilised commercial spaces.
“Moving to Manchester when I was 18 without a job was the best decision I’ve ever made.”
What’s your most significant accomplishment to date?
Growing an agency in a competitive space over the past four years, overcoming the challenge of being diagnosed with HIV and being able to continue to grow the business and start a new business this year despite the diagnosis.
Who/what inspires you?
Manchester has a lot of entrepreneurs but I’d say I’m inspired by people who have achieved something in business from absolutely nothing. Starting with an idea and growing into a business that gives back to the city – Sam Jones at TunaFish is the perfect example of someone who’s doing this.
How has living/working in Manchester helped you achieve your goals?
I moved from Wolverhampton, known as being near Birmingham and being promoted to the Premier League this season – there wasn’t much going on. Moving to Manchester when I was 18 without a job was the best decision I’ve ever made.
There are lots of reasons why Manchester has helped me achieve my goals mainly:
*Meeting amazing people who are happy to help you in any way they can
*Events – you could go to a business event every night a week if you wanted to, giving you the chance to meet other people in the same boat as you
*Startup and business support from organisations like the Business Growth Hub isn’t as easily accessible in other cities
What advice would you give to your 16-year-old self?
Don’t give up on education.
I was raped aged 15 which kind of put a spanner in the works in my education (I was on track to go to Oxford). I’d say stick it out. I’d say the same to anyone who is in education and wondering what to do next.
I’d also say do more reading on business – we can learn a lot from people who’ve done it before.
What are your business goals for 2018?
My business goals are to grow my agency to help support local jobs and to grow my new coworking start-up to be the largest coworking brand in terms of member numbers in Manchester.
Where do you see yourself in twenty years’ time?
I’ll try and avoid the cliché of being on a beach somewhere but I’d say freedom is my number one goal in life, so in 20 years time, I’d like to have the freedom to choose when to work and who to work with. I’d also like to be helping young business talent in realising their ambitions with advice and support.
AMAGAZINE Manchester’s 30 Under 30 is back, read more here