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Salon founder takes short cut to success as start-up loans ambassador

Shortcuts is one of six start-ups success stories that will be showcased to inspire other businesses. The business was honoured at the launch of the SULC Ambassador Programme, at the Houses of Parliament.

Founder David O’Neal set up Shortcuts in 2014 with the help of a £15,000 start-up loan. The firm now runs three salons, including one in London, that aim to make a trip to the hairdressers a fun experience for children, with entertainment, toys and a ‘Hollywood Room’ for makeover parties.

Shortcuts employs a total 14 staff and last year passed the £250,000 turnover mark.

Mr O’Neal said: “Support from the Start Up Loans Company was fundamental in the launch of Shortcuts. It is a real honour to be recognised as a stand-out business by an initiative that helps so many innovative and hardworking people turn their dreams into reality.

“Through my role as Ambassador I’ll be working with would-be business owners to encourage them to find out more about the range of funding and mentoring options out there to support them at every stage of their growth journey.”

He is pictured with SULC chief executive Tim Sawyer (left) and Bedford MP Richard Fuller, a member of the Parliamentary Business Committee.

Mr Sawyer said: “The launch of our Ambassador Programme is an opportunity to pay tribute to those entrepreneurial individuals who have taken the steps to launch their own businesses. Starting out on your own is no mean feat but businesses like Shortcuts are proof that it can be done.”

The Start Up Loans Company provides loans of up to £25,000, as well as offering dedicated mentoring to each business it supports.     

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