Former borrower and successful business owner becomes charity’s first-ever patron. 

Barrie Stephen, one of Leicestershire’s most renowned business owners, has become the first-ever patron of The Sir Thomas White Loan Charity. 

23-years-ago the charity provided one of its interest-free business loans to help Barrie establish his first salon.  

Barrie Stephen Hair, now based at Friars Mill in Leicester city centre has established itself as a household name across the UK.

The Leicester native, who owns five award-winning salons across Leicestershire alongside other brands is now recognised as one of the leading hair designers with a plethora of industry accolades, including Leicestershire Businessman of the Year. 

The Sir Thomas White Loan Charity, which provides interest-free loans to developing businesses around Leicester and Rutland, has helped thousands of young entrepreneurs realise their dreams, with Barrie Stephen Hair being the most recognised business to have benefited. 

In 1996, Barrie applied to the charity for a loan to help transform a butcher’s shop in Anstey into a sophisticated boutique salon, with services that rival established London Salons.

Now a patron of the charity, Barrie is keen to help spread awareness to young people through attending events and speaking about his experience of working with The Sir Thomas White Loan Charity. 

Barrie Stephen said: “I was honoured to be asked to become the first patron of The Sir Thomas White Loan Charity.  

“I didn’t need to think twice and the role is a perfect fit for me because without the charity, I wouldn’t be in the position that I am today.  

“I hope I can serve as an example of what is possible.” 

David Howard, chair of trustees at The Sir Thomas White Loan Charity, added: “The charity is delighted to have Barrie become our first patron.  

“His story is one that many people across Leicestershire are aware of, and The Sir Thomas White Loan Charity is proud to have played a small part in Barrie’s success, which showcases to current and prospective borrowers what is possible with drive, passion and the desire to succeed. 

“Alongside our Sir Thomas White Loan Charity ambassadors, we look forward to having Barrie help us spread the word of the interest-free loans available to entrepreneurs across the county.”