Barrie Stephen, one of Leicestershire’s most renowned business owners, has become the first-ever patron of The Sir Thomas White Loan Charity.
Now based at Friars Mill in Leicester city centre, the charity provided Barrie with one of its interest-free business loans 23 years ago to help him establish his first salon, which became the platform for continued growth, as Barrie Stephen Hair established itself as a household name across the county.
Today the owner of five salons across Leicestershire, in addition to Barrie Stephen Hair’s dual-brand, B-Styled, Barrie Stephen’s success in the business world, in addition to the hair and beauty industry, has been well-documented over the years. The Leicester native is now recognised as one of the leading hair designers in the country and been the recipient of a plethora of business and industry accolades, including Leicestershire Businessman of the Year. The salon group has also been named Best UK Local Salon on two occasions for its work within the community.
Sir Thomas White Loan Charity Ambassador Lee Tomes has benefited from both forms of interest-free investment available from the charity.
Having initially engaged with the charity to take out an education loan to fund his postgraduate study in London, Lee – having returned to Leicester following his studies – set up Orange Fox Studios.
The video production agency, based in Phoenix Square in Leicester’s city centre, thrived. However, Lee wanted to be able to offer clients an enhanced service and product. As a side note, Lee also wanted to be able to focus on being able to work on projects that enabled him to utilise his creativity and skillset to the fullest. In order to deliver all of that, he required additional investment.
Passion, hard work and determination – three attributes that are unquestionably key to succeeding in any chosen field. However, the measure of those attributes is something that can often go unseen by anybody other than the person embarking on their individual journey.
In the case of Sir Thomas White Loan Charity education loan borrower Denisa Gannon, the level of passion, hard work and unrivalled determination required to succeed arguably exceeds that of others.
Originally from the Czech Republic, Denisa has Roma origins, with Roma an ethnic minority in her home country. Despite having been able to benefit from education not usually afforded to Roma children in the Czech Republic, employment opportunities weren’t available to a Roma single parent and led to Denisa moving to the United Kingdom in 2006.
Whilst many will pinpoint achieving a perfect work/life balance as a key reason behind becoming self-employed, there’s another common reason why many look to become their own boss; to do something they’re passionate about for a living.
That was exactly the reason why Léna Walker got in touch with The Sir Thomas White Loan Charity – to allow her the chance to produce something that she has been passionate about since she was a child. Music.
Fast forward four years, and Léna, who performs under the stage name Leyley, has released one album and, having been spotted by an international producer, has recorded new music as part of a group, Kimi’s Paradise.
With an innovative idea, a strong knowledge of the subject matter and the drive to make it happen, Simon Long had everything in place to make his start-up succeed.
With the help of an interest-free business loan from The Sir Thomas White Loan Charity, funding wasn’t a problem either.
However, when his initial business partner’s abrupt departure from the project left him needing to start from scratch, Simon’s passion and determination was put to the test; a test that with perseverance and desire, he passed with flying colours.
As soon as he graduated from the University of Warwick, Yusuf Docrat knew he wanted to continue his studies.
Completing an undergraduate degree in chemical biology, 33-year-old Yusuf, from Leicester, took on his first role within the food industry, working within a quality control laboratory. However, after circumstances saw professional development come to a halt, Yusuf took the opportunity to return to his studies – getting in touch with The Sir Thomas White Loan Charity to aid the financial implications of enrolling on a postgraduate course.
Continued study and the subsequent qualifications obtained as a result can be crucial in achieving a career goal, which is why The Sir Thomas White Loan Charity is incredibly proud to help young people across Leicestershire on their way to accomplishing those goals.
Jordan Cope is a wonderful example of somebody working within their dream job, thanks in part to the qualification he was able to obtain courtesy of one of the Charity’s interest-free education loans. These loans, which are now available to the value of £10,000, ensure that borrowers are able to gain vital funding so as to study anywhere in the world.
27-year-old Jordan, originally from Coalville but now based in Ashby-de-la-Zouch, knew from an early stage of his studies that he wanted to go into teaching.
Have you ever felt restricted in your job; unable to find fulfilment in what you’re doing despite working within your chosen industry? It’s a common issue that acts as motivation for many to become their own boss, so as to maximise their potential and obtain that all-important job satisfaction.
It’s one of the key reasons many people get in touch with The Sir Thomas White Loan Charity to apply for one of our interest-free business loans of up to £20,000.
Hannah Croft was one of many people unable to feel that her job gave her the satisfaction she hoped for or expected. That was until she created her own job.
In order to prepare for a challenging career within the legal sector, postgraduate study is a prerequisite, with any individual targeting a career as a solicitor required to complete the Legal Practice Course.
Thanks in part of an interest-free education loan from The Sir Thomas White Loan Charity, Jessica Bass was able to enrol on the Legal Practice Course in her pursuit of a legal career. Born and raised in South Leicestershire, Jessica studied law at the University of Leicester.
Each business has a story behind it. Some are complicated, whilst some others may be pretty straightforward. However, the one thing that all business stories will have in common is that they are driven by individuals; a personal account of how drive, determination and planning overcame challenges, trials and tribulations.
Sometimes an individual can emerge from a business story more inspirational than the business itself. De Montfort University Global MBA student Jane Hearst is a perfect example.
The 24-year-old joint-winner of the university’s 2018 Pitch2Win competition, which The Sir Thomas White Loan Charity proudly sponsors, was forced to overcome personal challenges before she could even focus on creating her business idea; a business idea which in itself is deeply personal to Jane.
Jane is the CEO of The Curious Observer, whose primary service is called Glimpse. Glimpse uses film production as a way of providing individuals with a life guidance service, culminating in a shoot and shareable product. The result is a form of narrative therapy, which Jane herself admits proved to be personally beneficial.