Case Studies

Just Enterprise – Hair Dreams CIC

We caught up with Ivy MacNeill, founder of Hair Dreams CIC, about how Just Enterprise supported the organisation to get started.

What does your social enterprise focus on?

Our social enterprise primarily focuses on addressing the challenges faced in afro and bi-racial haircare for women and children. We aim to tackle issues related to accessing quality haircare services, training, and career opportunities within this sector. Our goal is to foster inclusivity, empower individuals from diverse backgrounds.

Why did you choose to become a social enterprise?

Becoming a social enterprise was a natural choice because it perfectly aligns with my core values of community and making people feel seen. After working in the hair industry for numerous years, I observed a significant gap in inclusive and community-focused resources, training, and opportunities for black and mixed-race individuals.

Through Hair Dreams, a women and ethnic-minority led business, I am addressing this unmet need and am creating inclusive and empowering opportunities by providing employment solutions.

When did you access business support from us and what questions did you have for your business advisor? 

As an established business owner, I was familiar with most aspects of running a business. However, my shortfall, was my lack of understanding around social enterprise governance and community businesses. There were also details around securing funding, the business layout, and communicating what we were doing to stakeholders and funders that I wanted to explore.

Emma Ives was my business advisor, some of the questions I had for her were:

  • What are the specific legal requirements and considerations for setting up a Community Interest Company (CIC)?
  • What are the best practices for setting up a board of directors and ensuring their roles and responsibilities align with our mission?
  • How can we identify and secure the necessary funding to support our operations and growth?

How did start-up support help you in your journey to becoming a social enterprise?

The support we received from Emma, played a pivotal role in our journey to becoming a social enterprise. Her guidance and expertise helped us secure funding, establish proper governance, refine our business model, and effectively communicate our mission. As a result, we have been able to make significant strides towards achieving our goals and creating a positive impact in our community. This support also prepared us to successfully apply for Start It and Build It funding to grow our business.

Do you have any advice for someone who is considering reaching out for start-up support through Just Enterprise?

If you are considering whether to reach out for start-up support through Just Enterprise, my advice would be to go for it! Working with them can be instrumental in setting up a successful social enterprise. With the right support, you can achieve anything.

Remember to maintain regular communication with your advisor. They have access to a wealth of guidance and expertise that can greatly benefit your venture, and they are there to help you every step of the way.

What is next on the horizon for Hair Dreams CIC?

We have a series of exciting initiatives to further our mission. These include:

  • Reaching more people with our training programmes, enrolling more volunteers and equipping them with essential skills in afro and bi-racial haircare
  • Seeking more funding to expand our recruitment, growing our business
  • Securing larger premises
  • Enhancing community engagement through online and in-person events and outreach programmes
  • Continue focusing on sustainability while measuring our impact
  • Achieve our financial targets to grow our social enterprise and enable us to amplify our community impact and contribute to the betterment of the haircare industry.

These initiatives represent our commitment to creating a more inclusive and equitable haircare industry, providing valuable career opportunities, and fostering a positive impact in our community. We are excited about the journey ahead and the opportunities to make a meaningful difference.

Find out more about Hair Dreams CIC on their website and by following them on Facebook or on Instagram.