Entrepreneur Benefits from Micro-Loan

A young entrepreneur from Tynedale in Northumberland has taken her first steps into running her own cleaning business thanks to a loan funded by her landlord. Charlotte Dunn, 27, already had some experience in the cleaning industry but wanted to be her own boss. She needed a small amount of capital upfront to afford a small stock of cleaning products, a uniform – and the cost of marketing her new business.

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So Charlotte approached Isos Housing, which has been working with community lender Five Lamps to help those with a business idea to get started. Her business is starting out on a part time basis initially, with Charlotte’s working hours centred around her young family.She has some experience of how a small business functions, having helped her self- employed husband with his books and accounting records.

So Vince Rogers from Five Lamps helped Charlotte to complete a professional Business Plan. Vince said: “Although Charlotte had not been self-employed previously, she had a good understanding of her market from her previous employment experience. “She is well organised and worked really enthusiastically on her Business Plan, and I could see she’d done a good amount of research and had secured some expressions of interest from potential clients. After we’d discussed her pricing structure, we drew up a realistic cash flow, based around a sensible number of hours worked per week.”

Now, after gaining approval for her loan from the Five Lamps ‘loan panel’ Charlotte has now got the funds she needs to start her business. She said: “I found the loan process very quick and easy and communications were great. Vince always responded quickly, so I could get the support I needed, and now the loan has allowed me to get on with growing my business.”

Richard Mitchell, community investment manager for Isos Housing, said: “Regular employment and a reliable income are crucial priorities for all our residents. “Whether it’s getting a job, or setting up in business like Charlotte, it’s a crucial step to building a successful life and achieving your dreams.”