Barrie Stephen, founder and director of the Barrie Stephen Hair Group and Patron of The Sir Thomas White Loan Charity, has been named as a finalist for the prestigious Director of the Year – Small Medium Business award at the 2019 East Midlands Institute of Directors Awards.
The award-winning salon owner, one of Leicestershire’s most recognised hairdressers, has been shortlisted by an independent panel of judges for the Institute of Directors annual search to find the top business leaders within the East Midlands.
In our latest blog, Sir Thomas White Loan Charity Trustee, Anne Whitlock, provides an insight into one of the main roles held by the Trustees; annual visits to business borrowers and/or their respective businesses…
As a Trustee of The Sir Thomas White Loan Charity, you have a few regular commitments, one of which is to visit our business loan borrowers. Immediately, you may think that it’s to check up and ensure the funding provided by the charity is put to good use and, in part, you’d be right. However, for us it is so much more than that. It’s a great opportunity to chat to borrowers to see how their business is going and to hear about plans for the future.
Recently, I had the pleasure of meeting Tom Flowers, who borrowed from the charity in 2016 to establish his cricket coaching business. Living close by, I took the opportunity to being the third Trustee to visit him since he took out his loan.
Knowledge and experience; two beneficial factors when starting your own business and assets that Shiraz Sidat possessed ahead of establishing his company, Speedel.
A Sameday business critical delivery service, Speedel provides bespoke solutions for its client base on a 24-7, 365-day-a-year basis. With the help of an interest-free loan from The Sir Thomas White Loan Charity, Shiraz was able to get Speedel off the ground and is now keen to share his experiences of starting a business with fellow aspiring entrepreneurs.
The 31-year-old, from North Evington, is to be one of the key speakers at The Sir Thomas White Loan Charity’s forthcoming Leicester Business Festival event, entitled Challenges and Triumphs of Business Start-Up, providing insight into his personal challenges.
In today’s digital age, where so much time is spent online, the importance of a strong, digital presence is key to the success of any business. For many companies, online marketing is placed at the top of the priority list.
That’s part of the reason why, after receiving an interest-free business loan from The Sir Thomas White Loan Charity, Leicester-based digital marketing agency Anuncia has developed into a successful, fast-growing business with an extensive client portfolio.
The specialist PPC (pay-per-click) agency helps businesses to achieve impactful digital marketing results, in addition to ensuring small and mid-sized UK charities benefit from Google’s Ad Grant, as Founder Oscar Ford explains further.
Sat on Rio de Janeiro’s beautiful Copacabana beach during a gap year in South America, whilst taking in the stunning scenery that southern Brazil has to offer, James Wormington couldn’t help but think how magical experiences like these are often better when shared.
With that thought came an idea; a brainwave which not only grew legs, but began running, taking James on another adventure: into the world of business.
With a detailed plan in place and funding secured from The Sir Thomas White Loan Charity’s interest-free business loan, which is available to the value of £20,000, James was able to establish Travamigos – an app that allows solo travellers to connect with groups of likeminded adventurers heading for the same destination; making travel simple, safe and enjoyable for all.
Everybody has a talent, but not everybody has a platform to express it. Some are denied opportunities; others have their paths drawn out for them. Some don’t seize their chance when it arrives.
But through The Sir Thomas White Loan Charity’s interest-free business loans, which are available to the value of £20,000, creative, skilled and driven people are afforded an opportunity to combine their passion with a career and immerse themselves within an industry they adore. Most importantly, they’re given a chance; a stage on which to shine.
That’s certainly been the case for University of Westminster graduate Emily Sowden, who borrowed from The Sir Thomas White Loan Charity in December 2017 and has since opened up her own studio where she works as a self-employed, freelance design consultant and art director.
A beauty salon that benefited from a Sir Thomas White Loan Charity business loan has been named East Midlands Beauty Salon of the Year, in a prestigious series of awards which recognise the beauty industry within Great Britain.
Sophie Élise Beauty Boutique, located in Melton Mowbray, beat three other finalists to the title. In addition, Sophie Élise was named runner-up in the Salon Retailer of the Year category; a national accolade.
Everybody at the Sir Thomas White Loan Charity would like to wish the best of luck to Faye Hooper and Becky Owens, who will this weekend be heading to Hampton Court Palace to participate in The Handmade Fair, following a special invitation by event organisers.
Over the years, The Sir Thomas White Loan Charity has assisted the start-up of many businesses, each with their own inspirational story behind them. However, in the case of business borrower Melissa March, her story is one that continues to inspire.
Melissa’s loan was used to establish Learning for the Fourth Age (L4A), which has become established as an award-winning charity. L4A provides learning opportunities to older people receiving care, either in care settings – such as care homes or nursing homes, or with individuals in their own homes.
Billions of pounds are spent each year across the hair and beauty industry in the UK, meaning there’s a lot of competition amongst salon owners. But William Wheelwright, who set up his own hairdressers in Oakham with help from the Sir Thomas White Loan Charity, doesn’t see this as a bad thing – just an opportunity to try different things to set his business apart from the rest.
He has developed a variety of innovative offers to help attract new custom, including the opportunity for men to pay an upfront annual cost for their haircuts, and says that getting people through the door is one of the most daunting parts of starting a business.