An enterprising barber has taken the plunge into self-employment and invested in a new barber shop in a bid to provide a new male grooming service for North Tyneside.

Launched with support from the New Enterprise Allowance (NEA) scheme and TEDCO Business Support, Ian Eland (51) from Wallsend is now the proud new owner of Barber Crew located on a prime spot on Wallsend High Street.

Ian, who has worked as a barber in the area for over 30 years decided that the time was right to set up on his own following three decades spent cutting the hair of men in and around North Tyneside. The barber shop has been financed privately with friends and family pitching in to help with decorating and kitting out the new business in time for opening.

Ian comments: “Wallsend High Street is still a popular area for shoppers and having lived and worked in the area most of my life, I know what people in the area are looking for in terms of everyday services.

“I’m a very experienced barber and wanted to run my own business in a way that offered a higher standard of quality and care in the service I deliver. That can cover just about anything from the final cut and finish to the range of services I offer my customers but also just being a place for people to drop in and have a chat. We try to cover a wide array of male grooming options including cut throat shaves and beard shaping alongside more traditional cuts.

“Reaction to the business has been really positive so far and we are already looking to expand our staff with the potential to take on two more employees in the coming weeks now that we are up and running.”

Ian worked with Nicky Gray, business advisor from TEDCO Business Support to look at ways to launch his new barber business in the location he wanted. Nicky suggested the New Enterprise Allowance Scheme (NEA) could help to support Ian whilst he developed his business and grew the customer base.

Ian continues: “Nicky has been more than just a sounding board for business ideas. She has extensive knowledge of setting up and running a new business having run and sold successful businesses herself. She was able to get me on the right programme to meet my initial needs for self-employment and moreover help me really understand the pros and cons of opening up on my own. She’s been a great help and picking her brain on everything form accounting to business rates has helped me get the business going on a positive note from the word go.”

TEDCO Business Support delivers the New Enterprise Allowance scheme and provides help to eligible candidates aged 18 and over considering self-employment.
Nicky Gray, TEDCO Business Support advisor comments: “Ian is very experienced and skilled as a barber and already is quite well known in the area for the service he provides. Opening up his own barbers was a natural next step to ensure that he could continue to offer services in the way he wanted by focusing on quality and care for all customers. Male grooming is a real growth area in the economy currently and his location offers the perfect mix of footfall and free parking. I wish him every success in his new venture.”

For further information on the NEA scheme or any of the business start-up programmes offered by TEDCO Business Support, please visit

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What we offer

TEDCO offers one-on-one support provided by a dedicated team of business advisors and a range of pre start seminars available to clients who are taking the first steps into self-employment. This could be looking at an initial idea and developing it further, looking at how to start a business plan, business competitors, business marketing.

Are you eligible?

Business owners must be at least 18 years old

Business owners must have a developed, clear business idea

Businesses must be UK based

Business owners must be UK residents

Businesses must have been trading for less than 2 years

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