Itchy Pig, the Sheffield-based record label, is heading for expansion after launching a publishing company, artists agency and PR company.
The label is the brainchild of Lee Powell, who decided to create his own job after being made redundant in 2010 and spending a year struggling to find work in an extremely difficult job market.
Lee approached The Prince’s Trust, which specialises in helping young people to start their own businesses and has aided 80,000 young entrepreneurs since it was founded 30 years ago.
“I applied for several jobs while unemployed, sometimes not hearing back from people at all,” says Lee.
“I wasn’t claiming benefits so I urgently needed support when I contacted The Prince’s Trust.”
He went on a four-day enterprise course run by The trust and then put together a business plan for an independent record label that would help new bands struggling to get known.
The trust looked at the plan, saw Lee had potential and gave him a £3,500 loan, which he used to create a website and to fund Itchy Pig’s first major and highly successful digital record release.
“Having their backing really gave me a kick start,” says Lee. “Today I am my own boss and the owner of a string of successful businesses.”
Itchy Pig record label has gone from strength to strength, releasing music from genres ranging from hip hop to dance and house.
Earlier this month, the label became the first to get its brand to the top of Mount Everest, when Matt Parkes, a close friend of Lee’s, took its flag on an expedition.
Lee also recently launched his publishing company, IP Publishing; an artist agency, Itchy Artists and a PR company, Just Good Music PR.
Lee says the new ventures have already attracted some well known clients and his business is continuing to grow.
“I have a very clear vision on what I want to achieve with these and have some very big plans for the future,” says Lee. “It’s just a matter of building the right team along the way who understand the plans among my jittery mind. With a great team behind you anything is possible.”