A 21-YEAR-OLD who left university early to run his own business is doing work for major clients such as Nike.

Will Ferreira is managing director of UNBXD, a creative agency that helps brands develop an identity and engage with their target market on social media.

The business, previously based at West Parley, has moved to THIS Workspace, the new shared office concept in the Daily Echo building at Bournemouth’s Richmond Hill. With funding from Virgin StartUp, it employs six full-time staff as well as freelances.

He and business partner Will Niven set up the business in 2015, when they were still at university.

Last September, they won the opportunity to work with Nike. “We were picked for a social media campaign and we tripled their objective, which was that they wanted to reach a certain number of people in the thousands,” he said.

“We tripled their goal and we reached them in 72 hours. Their target was to reach a third of that in four weeks.”

Mr Ferreira said of his own background: “School didn’t really work for me. I was from an expat family so I grew up in Asia and Europe.

“I was lucky enough to go to boarding school but it didn’t pay its way. I didn’t get the grades and dropped out of school at 17, after AS levels.”

He had a much better time studying media at Weymouth College, which “didn’t feel like school”.

He went on to Brighton Film School, but spent an increasing amount of his time working doing work outside the course. “I wanted to be a film producer so I knew I was very good at developing a concept and managing people and bringing it together. I was getting more and more work outside film school,” he said.

He set up UNBXD with Mr Niven, who was studying visual communications at Arts University Bournemouth. “I finished my second year and packed my bags and moved back to Bournemouth in June 2016,” he said.

He was keen to make the move from West Parley to Bournemouth town centre. “We felt we needed to be in the creative buzz of Bournemouth and be in the centre of things,” he said.

He said the move to THIS Workspace had already seen staff “inspired to do more”. And he said being alongside other companies in the same sector was an opportunity rather than a risk.

“We see it as being a retail store next to other retail stores. At the end of the day, I think it’s more beneficial for businesses to be together and be able to communicate together and work together than it would be to be in different offices,” he added.

He said the youth of his team was a selling point in helping brands appeal to millennials.

“One thing we’re trying to do with clients is be very personable with them, communicate as though we’re friends,” he added.

But he said building a presence on social media was not all about numbers of followers.

“If a business has 5,000 followers but all those followers like, share and communicate with their posts and marketing, that’s a reach of 5,000 people.

“If you’ve got a business that has a million followers on social media but only 5,000 like and share the business, that smaller business is doing better.”