Monday, October 21, 2013

News: Support from UKSE highlights growing Rotherham businesses of different styles

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UK Steel Enterprise is continuing to support business growth in Rotherham with Robert Sommerville from Whiston, the latest to secure funding to help start up his own enterprise.

After years of working for other salons in Rotherham and rising to become a salon manager Robert felt his creative flair was becoming restricted. He took the decision to start his own business, Six60, and is now renting space at Simply Beauty, the beauty salon on Bawtry Road in Wickersley. Robert applied for a grant from UK Steel Enterprise's Kickstart Fund to help get him trading.

Robert said: "I felt like I had reached the end of the line in terms of what I could achieve working for others. My real aim is to create a salon that becomes a training academy for other young hairstylists in Rotherham. I've already taken on one member of staff and hope that by this time next year I'll be in my own dedicated premises with a growing team."

UK Steel Enterprise has set aside finance from its Kickstart Fund to target young entrepreneurs in Rotherham. Applicants based in the borough can get support from Rotherham Investment & Development Office to help them find work premises, sometimes with discounted rental rates. Rotherham Youth Enterprise (RYE) works alongside UK Steel Enterprise to help applicants with business planning and mentoring through the early stages of running a new business.

UK Steel Enterprise has helped over 200 people start a business in Rotherham since 2009. They come from a wide range of sectors including retailers, a tattoo artist, a chiropractor and fishing bait specialists.

Robert won a scholarship with L'Oreal last year, which took him all over Europe to study and learn about different cutting styles. His connection with the world famous brand has been a big bonus for the young entrepreneur. "I used the grant to build up a stock of L'Oreal products, being supported by such a high profile brand gives me credibility. Without the grant from UK Steel I would not have been able to do that or pay for the training I'm undertaking to become an NVQ trainer and assessor; so it really made a massive difference to me," says Robert.

Robert is studying with In Touch Care at Crystal Peaks for his NVQ qualifications that will eventually lead to him being able to teach and assess others that want a career in hairdressing.

UK Steel Enterprise is a wholly owned subsidiary of Tata Steel. Its Kickstart Fund provides grants of up to £500 to start-up businesses to purchase essential equipment and or services that can get them trading. Its main investment fund provides business finance in amounts from £25,000 up to £750,000 to companies in South Yorkshire and other areas affected by changes in the steel industry.

Allan Wood, regional executive for UK Steel Enterprise said: "The Kickstart Fund is designed for new businesses with the potential to create wealth in Rotherham and forms part of the UK Steel Enterprise ethos of supporting businesses that make a positive impact on the local economy by creating jobs. Robert has already taken on one employee and we hope he goes on to create many jobs while helping other people to launch their own careers and obtain the qualifications they need."

Jackie Frost, chief Executive of RYE, added: "Robert is a great example of what can be achieved with hard work and determination. We are happy to have helped Robert in the grant application process and look forward to providing further support as his hair salon grows."

Six60 Facebook page
UK Steel Enterprise website

Images: UK Steel Enterprise

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