Graduate launches new business website following celebrity investment

Pictured are Gareth Craven and former Apprentice star Raj Dhonota


Recent Leeds Trinity University graduate Gareth Craven has launched a new website for his business following a large cash injection from a celebrity investor.

Gareth, who graduated with a degree in business studies just six months ago, launched the new web platform for his business ‘Hire an Artist’, at the Trinity Alumni Business Network, after receiving a £50,000 investment from former Apprentice star Raj Dhonota.

The new high performance website has a much more user-friendly interface and has increased the safety and simplicity of the payment process for his clients. Gareth believes it will take his business to the next level and is excited about the year ahead. He said:

“The new design has all been about the customer experience and I’m delighted with the end product. The process for our clients now is so much smoother and easier, and it just feels so much more professional now. I’m just really excited about the success we can achieve over the next few months with this new platform.”

As well as acquiring a full-time digital marketer, Gareth will also get to work closely with Raj over the next 12 months; a prospect that Gareth is excited about, not only for the development of his business but also for his personal development as an entrepreneur.

Since appearing on the first series of the BBC’s Apprentice in 2005, Raj has gone on to become one of the biggest individual start-up investors in the UK, with an approximate investment of £3million to date. He currently works with over 60 of the brightest start-ups in the country and was keen to have Gareth and his art commissioning business as part of his impressive portfolio.     

“Gareth is a very bright entrepreneur and at his young age, his aptitude for business, combined with enthusiasm for his idea, really made investing in it an easy decision,” said Raj.

“The art world can be intimidating and is a market in need of disruption. Hire an Artist is taking a fresh new approach to commissioning artwork by empowering people to be able to turn their own unique ideas into artwork and eliminating a potential third party.”

Gareth developed Hire an Artist during his second year at Leeds Trinity and it has since gone from strength to strength. After completing a six month programme within the world’s largest business accelerator ‘Entrepreneurial Spark’, Gareth picked up a number of small business awards and presented at some major UK business networks in 2016. He also made the final of The Pitch; Britain’s biggest small business competition – making it through hundreds of entrants to reach the final 15.

With the new investment and Raj’s expertise on board, Gareth is determined to achieve even bigger things.

“To have someone of Raj’s stature involved in the business is just unbelievable, and the knowledge and expertise he possess will be invaluable to me over the course of the next year,” Gareth added.

“Having the belief of someone like Raj has given me immense confidence and has made me even more driven to make Hire an Artist a success.

“Since leaving university it’s been a whirlwind. The support I received from Leeds Trinity’s Business lecturers and the Enterprise Centre were vital during the development of my idea and transforming it into a successful business and now I hope things continue to get bigger and bigger for me.”

Gareth’s website can be viewed at

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