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.
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.
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.
Identifying a career direction isn’t always straightforward. For many, it takes time and life experience to realise exactly what it is you wish to do.
It’s an added benefit to continuing studies beyond undergraduate level; something that Sir Thomas White Loan Charity education loan borrower Greg Curtis can identify with.
Greg, from Oadby, knew what interested him and the kind of area he wanted to work in, but didn’t have a specific job role or specialist field in mind.
“I always had an interest in property and construction, but I did not know what direction I wanted to go in when applying for UCAS,” explains Greg. “There was such a breadth of curses on offer in a very diverse industry and it felt intimidating, as I did not want to pick the wrong career path. I wanted to explore different options and gain more experience of the industry, as well as develop a broader range of skills generally.”
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 case of turning a negative situation into an opportunity motivated Dildar Sandhu to launch his business, The Stottie Shop in Hinckley.
The culinary entrepreneur used to play hockey at county level – before he had the misfortune of breaking his leg doing so. This meant he had to take six-months out from work, giving him plenty of spare time to fill. Some people might have done nothing but sit at home and curse their bad luck. Not Dildar.
Back in 2004 Matt Pantling turned his love for DJing into a business as he started up Dancefloor DJs.
His business offers a professional and talented DJ and mobile disco set-up with music to suit anyone’s taste, helping to create truly unforgettable events.
Bossa is Leicester’s first Café Bar – a unique all-day venue where you can go for a coffee in the morning, have a light lunch during the day and then enjoy a few beers or cocktails at night.
Inspired by European culture, particularly Italy and Spain where these sorts of establishments aren’t so rare, Gareth Hazard reopened Bossa as a Café Bar 18 months ago with help from The Sir Thomas White Loan Charity.
Mrs Bee’s Kitchen provides high-quality catering services across Leicestershire and Northamptonshire, and is one of the many successful businesses that the Sir Thomas White Loan Charity has helped to get up and running.
Mother-of-two Donna Bee is the brains behind the operation and reveals what inspired her to start her own company, how the Charity helped her along the way and how beneficial being her own boss has been for her family.