Medway entrepreneur benefits from council loan
THE FUTURE looks bright for Medway entrepreneur Desiree Nurse and her beauty parlour Cleopatra's Beauty Spot after securing a £9,000 business loan from Medway Council.
Cleopatra's offering everything from wigs and hair extensions to fake eyelashes and will soon be expanding to new premises to offer an in store hairdressing salon, with help from a council loan.
With the beauty business booming, thanks to celebrity magazines and programmes like The Only Way is Essex inspiring new trends, Desiree, 38, has created a successful business inspired by her late grandmother, Cleopatra.
"My grandmother always made everyone feel so beautiful and that's exactly what I want to do", said Ms. Nurse.
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The mum of 2, who used to be a manager in London, set up the beauty business in the Trafalgar Centre, Chatham, in 2007 after moving to the area and seeing a gap in the market for Afro Caribbean hair products. Having started with £3,000 on a credit card, Cleopatra's now turns over the best part of £100,000 a year and is growing.
"We get all sorts of customers, from young girls trying out new styles they've seen on TV or celebrities, to people who have had chemotherapy and are after advice with wigs", she said.
The Partners for Growth scheme offers interest free loans and start up grants to small and medium sized businesses in Medway. Medway Council's Portfolio Holder for Strategic Development and Economic Growth, Cllr Jane Chitty, said: "We are one of the only authorities in the south east that offers these sort of loans and grants to businesses and the scheme has continued to grow.
"It's fantastic to see such a mix of businesses benefiting from the scheme, and I'm delighted that, thanks to our investment, jobs are secured, new roles are being created and we have firms investing in Medway."
Ms. Nurse will use the loan to help cover the cost of equipment in the salon and the move to new premises, also in Chatham High Street.
She plans to take on one more full time member of staff, as well as an apprentice who will work with her.
"Everyone wants to look like a supermodel or celebrity but they don't want to have to pay those sort of prices. My business is about making people look and feel beautiful at an affordable price.
"I want to be able to offer the everyday woman a place where you can drop the children off at school, come to Cleopatra's and walk out feeling like Kate Moss."
To find out more about Medway council's business support services, call 01634 338138 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.