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The successful company started with just £3800 – Dragonfly Productions


In 2005, a 24 year old man received a  £3800 business start-up loan from the Prince’s Trust, and vowed to build a successful company.

Charlie Southall, founder and Creative Director of the thriving video company Dragonfly Productions, is certainly not your archetypal big-wig media type. The transformation from a young tear away youth to a successful business entrepreneur young man has by no-means been an easy one. However, it just goes to show with gritted determination and unwavering self-belief still goes a long way.

Charlie is the type of person young people struggling in today’s tough economic climate should aim to emulate. After a life-changing brush with the law in his teens, Charlie decided to get his life on track by enrolling in a media course at the university in Portsmouth. His student years were idyllic ,and he developed a love of making films.

However, once he graduated Charlie, like so many of today’s graduates, he became disillusioned; he had to move back home to live with his mum and found it virtually impossible to find work related to his degree. He began to feel as if the time and effort he put into his education had been a waste of time, then he realized he had to make something good happen himself instead of waiting for some good opportunity to fall from the sky.

He decided to move to Brighton to search for employment opportunities, but ended up signing-on after a fruitless job-hunt. Charlie was down, but he wasn’t out. He soon discovered the Prince’s Trust and consequently applied for a loan to set-up a video production company.

Charlie, with nothing more than a small loan and a can-do attitude, founded Dragonfly Video Productions, and he’s never looked back since, in his own words “At that point it was the most amount of money I ever had and even with no commercial experience whatsoever, I just knew I could and would turn it into a business.”

Virgin, The NHS and Pepsi

Amazingly, in its first year, Dragonfly Productions won contracts with the likes of Virgin, The NHS and Pepsi.

Charlie believes the Prince’s Trust’s loan and self-determination are the two biggest factors that led to the company’s success.  He says “you’ve just got to get out there and make things happen for yourself.”

However, Charlie is quick not to take sole credit for Dragonfly’s success; Charlie believes a lot of the success of Dragonfly is down to the fact that he hires a lot of young, fresh talent who are just starting out in their careers.

He frequently hires young people that have just graduated. “I work with a huge number of freelancers now, and a lot of them are just starting out in their careers,” he explains. “It’s a win-win situation: I get the enthusiasm and passion of budding young creative and they get their first opportunity, right on the doorstep of their university.”

It also seems that, at least for Charlie, once you start a business it gives you a taste for more. Charlie recently expanded Dragonfly Productions into Asia, and helped his partner launch a cleaning company in Brighton. He shivers at the thought of early retirement and is keen to keep growing his business while working on new ideas.

Charlie’s video production company gave employment to over 60 individuals in 2012, ranging from actors and writers to animators, creatives and camera operators. Dragonfly is currently recruiting creative talent. If you would like to apply to work with one of the most innovative, forward-thinking video production companies in the UK you can follow these links;


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