A digital marketing expert passionate about business is to help inspire the next generation of business leaders.

Jag Panesar, director of Bradford-based digital agency Xpand, has been appointed to two key roles to help young people achieve their business and career ambitions.

Inspired by his own grandfather’s legacy, Jag will become a mentoring expert on Northern Max Accelerator, which is part of the Ad:Venture Programme, for local pre-start or new-start businesses with growth aspirations.

He will also join the Business Board for Careers Technical Education Partnership, a body which brings industry experts and educational providers together to help young people acquire the skills and experience they need to launch into their chosen career.

Jag’s grandfather Parkash Singh Panesar left India in the 1960s and made his home in the UK, with a young family and no money.

He worked hard and inspired his sons and grandchildren to go on and set up businesses which now employ hundreds of people.

Jag said: “I am passionate about helping young people get a good start in their career, build long-term businesses and fulfil their potential.

“I set up Xpand in 2007 and over that time I’ve built up a great deal of knowledge and experience that I want to pass on. Every new business faces pitfalls and challenges but if I can help steer people around them – or through them – that will be my aim.

“My grandfather’s achievements inspired me to start my own business and he made his mark on the world. If I can help others in some small way too that would be great.”

Jag will work with pre-start businesses or those up to three years old on the Bradford-based Northern Max Accelerator. Those taking part will receive expert mentoring for 10 weeks and, at the end of the process, will have the opportunity to pitch for investment.

As a board member of the CTE Partnership, also Bradford-based, Jag will work with educators and offer industry expertise and strategic guidance to develop curriculum in the sector and support young people across the district. He will also be an ambassador for the partnership’s work with young people.

Jag added: “The Covid-19 pandemic has put the focus back on young people and their futures and we need to help them follow their dreams, be that in business for themselves or pursuing the career they’ve always wanted.

“As the UK recovers after the economic impact of Covid-19 we need lots of new and modern businesses with the ability to grow quickly, helping to restore the country’s finances and provide the new jobs and employment opportunities we need to bounce back.

“Young people will be the driving force of the new economy and they’ve had it tough in 2020 and into 2021. I’m proud to be able to play a part in investing in our young people and helping them to achieve their ambitions.”