Young Entrepreneur Is a Cut above the Rest

Goldilocks Salon

24 year old Essex entrepreneur, Lucy Dawson, found an interest in hairdressing following her decision to start her own business due to bullying at school. With the support of her family, Lucy trained at a salon from the age of 14 via a training programme to get a head start in preparing herself for the world of work. It wasn’t until a couple of years ago that an opportunity arose that Lucy couldn’t afford to miss out on, and following the retirement of the salon owner, Lucy bought the business to become a full time business owner.

Not only did Lucy have to prepare herself for becoming self-employed, she also rebranded and renovated the salon to keep up with the growing trends of the industry whilst maintaining and building her client base.


Support from Essex County Council and Partners

Before taking over the business, Lucy visited her local bank business manager who advised her to contact The Princes Trust regarding a business course. After doing so, she attended a very in-depth 'Enterprise Programme' Course, learning plenty of new skills whilst refreshing and expanding on old skills ranging from book keeping, marketing, cash flow forecasting and more. It was through this connection with the Princes’ Trust that Lucy was introduced to the Essex Innovation Programme at Essex County Council, who was able to provide further support and a £1,000 grant towards developing her business, in particular marketing materials.




“I was given some great advice when dealing with solicitors and landlords at the time of buying the new lease, because none of which was straight forward, especially considering the lease is a full repairing lease and the landlord tried to raise the yearly rent by quite a substantial amount.” – Lucy Dawson


Growing Success


As a result of the support between Essex County Council and business support providers, Lucy reports that there is never a quiet day in Goldilocks Salon, which is just how she likes it. Within the first year of owning the salon, Lucy made a good profit even after the refurbishment and set up costs and following her second year in trading, was able to start drawing a wage, thus creating a successful and sustainable business within 2 years.


 “I could not be happier with life now and cannot imagine what I would be doing if I didn’t have the salon. I would without a doubt recommend Essex County Council to anyone looking to further their career or to start a new one. I cannot fault the help and support I have received from all partners and I am extremely grateful.” – Lucy Dawson


Through the support and investment of Essex County Council, Lucy has been able to apply the advice gained and invest in advertising and marketing her, which as a result, has provided a constant flow of new clients joining along with her loyal regulars.


Not only has Lucy been successful in growing her new business, she has recently been accepted onto The Princes Trust Young Ambassador programme, and was nominated for the Princes Trust 'Celebrate Success Award', accreditations which reflect her hard work and success as well as giving her business further exposure.


Support for New Businesses


Essex County Council are seeking new innovative young entrepreneurs who would like support in launching their business.


If you are aged between 16-30 years old from Essex (excluding Southend and Thurrock) with an innovative idea for your new business then you could get involved. We need you to show commitment, passion and a drive to succeed for a chance to be awarded a place on our programme. You can benefit from our mentoring, business advice and finance scheme which could offer you various options such as grants, loans and investor capital from £500-£5,000. These funds could help you to launch your new innovative venture.


The Essex Young Entrepreneurs Network (EYEN) provides young entrepreneurs, with an opportunity to launch their own innovative business. EYEN offers an alternative to the direct employment route by inspiring young individuals to use their talents for enterprise.


If you would like to apply, please visit 


Or you can email us at

Danielle Putt
Danielle Putt

Innovation & Sector Development Officer

07880 092887


I work within the Enterprise Team to support, coordinate and manage the delivery of a range of activities to deliver the above, including; providing businesses with access to first class innovation support, supporting and developing the delivery of vibrant sector networks, anticipating challenges affecting businesses' competitiveness and plans for growth, and developing and delivering specific and generic solutions.