Music tuition is a common experience for children throughout their school years and a lot of those stories are very similar.
Using rented equipment in a one-on-one session with a tutor, prodigy musicians make their way through the seemingly never-ending list of grades and qualifications – the exact experience that Mike Heaps of Room For Music had. That was until he decided to do something about it and revolutionise music teaching for the next generation.
He said: “Room for Music was established about eight years ago now. My goal was to provide an alternative approach to music tuition and specifically contemporary music tuition.
“Rather than one-on-one lessons, which is how most young people learn an instrument, I wanted to focus more around a group workshop style of teaching. I was trying to encourage those kids that were sat in their bedrooms and playing drums or guitar on their own to come together, start a band and get out there gigging and performing as real musicians.”
Experience of an industry can allow an individual to develop a deep understanding of their sector – with that knowledge potentially representing a vital tool when embarking into business.
Take the example of Kieran Lake, who after being involved in the security industry nationally for over 12 years, made the snap decision whilst on holiday to put his wide range of skills to better use and set up his own security company, Octagon Facilities Management.
There, he was determined to employ his depth of knowledge to forge a real name for himself and his business.
Sam Cattell is breathing fresh life into the world of mortgage advice.
Moving away from the traditional, formal connotations that you’d normally associate with mortgages, Sam’s business ‘Mindful Mortgages’ aims to do exactly what the name suggests: provide personal, helpful mortgage advice, mindful of the fact that mortgages go far beyond simply buying a house.
Speaking to the Sir Thomas White Loan Charity borrower, you immediately understand why she does what she does. Having worked as an advisor and director for a mortgage broker in Leicester for 13 years, specialising in mortgages, Sam felt overwhelming satisfaction helping people, families even, achieve their goals. However, dismayed at the market and the way that mortgage advice was provided on the high street, Sam wanted to take that enthusiasm and passion, and provide tailored mortgage advice in a different way.
You often hear incredible stories about how one parallel pathway in life perfectly sets people up for a completely different one. Sir Thomas White Loan Charity business loan borrower Natasha Dulay is a perfect example.
Always creative, Natasha would often spend her spare time putting her creativity in motion. However, away from that, she dedicated her education to developing her studies in business, at one point potentially entering the field of accountancy. That wasn’t to be, as Natasha soon realised, through her passion for jewellery initially, that her desire was to create unique products and showcase them to a target market.
That developed further to crafting unique handbags and clutch bags – and Styles of Soki was born.
What Natasha didn’t realise at the time was that everything she was doing away from being creative was preparing her to turn her creativity into a career.
It is often challenging for start-up companies to make a name for themselves within their chosen industry – as Sir Thomas White Loan Charity borrower Danny Gohil, of marketing business Pencil and Coffee, discovered.
After receiving a quote for over £3,000 from another marketing agency to undertake his promotion, he soon realised that it was simply not viable for him. From there, he had the idea of creating a solution that he, and other start-ups, needed in the form of website design and maintenance at a more affordable price.
He said: “The idea behind what I wanted to do was to be tailored towards smaller businesses, start-ups and companies that don’t have a big budget for a fully-bespoke website.
“I learnt it all myself and we did it all ourselves,” he continued. “People that were working close with us saw what we did, liked what we did and asked us to do it for them. People seemed to like what we do so that’s how it all started off.”
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.
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.
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 addition to helping people across Leicestershire and Rutland start a business from scratch, The Sir Thomas White Loan Charity also makes its interest-free business loans available to people wishing to develop their business; something that borrower Hannah Myatt was able to do.
Provided that the business has been running for four years or less and that an applicant meets the other necessary criteria, the Charity’s investment of up to £20,000 is on offer.
Hannah, a dancer and dance teacher, set up her studio – Skytribe – with the help of a small loan, but later found that additional work was required to bring the premises up to the standards she desired – which is where The Sir Thomas White Loan Charity came in.
A key attraction to starting a business is the opportunity to utilise a talent or passion on a day-to-day basis, creating a career out of something that provides enjoyment and satisfaction.
It is something that fuelled 28-year-old Jen Pyrah, whose gift for fine art has since been transferred to her business Wren & Wilson, which was set up after Jen successfully applied for a business loan from The Sir Thomas White Loan Charity.