A finalist in a competition to find young entrepreneurs in Blackpool has taken the next step and launched his business.
Alistair Taylor, 23, has opened his bespoke hair salon at Abingdon Street Market just months after being a runner-up in the Oracle Young Enterprise Challenge.
The former Blackpool and The Fylde College student said the help he got from the Dragon’s Den style contest and from the Blackpool Council Get Started programme was invaluable in him setting up.
He said: “It was slightly easier than I thought. The course gave me the foundations of my businesses, help with tax and VAT, a key stage in my development.
“Before studying barbering and hairdressing level three at college I was doing a video games designer course and that methodical way of working helped when it came to putting together the business plan and finances.
“I thought long and hard about this. The aim is to build up the business and then get a bigger stall next May then a shop, then eventually to franchise.”
As the name of the business suggests Alistair’s His and Hers Barbers is a unisex salon and customers are split equally between the sexes.
Alistair, from Cleveleys, has a second stylist to help out, Michelle Watson, who was on the same course and gets customers ranging from tourists to Fylde residents and regulars from the market itself.
Alistair added: “It has only been a month but we have had 150 different clients so far, much better than I thought we would at this stage.”
Taking control of their own career future
The Oracle Young Enterprise Challenge was run by The Oracle youth centre and Blackpool Council’s Get Started scheme earlier this year.
It attracted dozens of young people who were not in work but interested in being their own boss and potentially becoming the Alan Sugars of the future.
Coun Chris Maughan, cabinet member for youth employment said: “It’s great to see real success from the finalists of the Oracle Enterprise Challenge.
“Almost all of the young people have gone on to set up their own business and are doing well. This is exactly what the challenge was about, giving young people the tools and support to stand on their on two feet .”