The UK needs to do more to celebrate successful women entrepreneurs, according to the founder of one of the country’s leading natural haircare brands.

Photo of Rose Ovensehi

Rose Ovensehi, 25, founded Birmingham-based Flora & Curl Haircare as part of her quest to find a solution for her own haircare issues.

What started as a YouTube channel soon progressed into an interesting side hustle before a flourishing international business.

And after receiving a Start Up Loan from Virgin StartUp, Rose is calling for more women to follow their dreams and set up their own businesses.

“Representation – to be more visible - helps others see that they can do it too,” she says. “We should see more women in the media running successful businesses in different industries, and it can be helped by having more women on boards and panels that are typically male-dominated.

“Women need to see other women at the forefront of business and see that they can do it too, especially if it is in an industry they wish to enter, but they see little to no role models for them.”

Rose also wants more to be said about the hard work that goes in to running a business.

She added: “We very often see the glamorous side about being an entrepreneur – but I think it’s equally as important to talk about the hard work required to run and make a business.''

Just two years after launching, Rose’s haircare products – British-made, including botanical and herbal ingredients, with a focus on hydration and healthy hair – are on sale across Europe and have recently been launched in the US with ULTA Beauty.  The success across the pond has also led to her setting up distribution in the US, with a warehouse in Florida.

Her journey started in 2011 when she decided to stop chemically treating her hair. With no suitable products on the market, she decided to create her own – and record herself blending DIY haircare and skincare recipes. A YouTube channel and blog followed, and things started to snowball.

Rose said: “I began to receive a lot of comments saying that they loved my creations, but people didn’t want to do it themselves in their kitchen. They wanted to go out and buy it.

“If you’d have told me ten years ago that I’d be working in the haircare industry, I wouldn’t have believed you. I studied geography at King’s College London and then worked in transport planning. I took some time off after a year to concentrate on the business but went back part-time to save up some money to launch Flora & Curl Haircare.

“But sometimes it felt as though I had two full-time jobs and it was at that point I knew that the time was right to commit to the business.

“The loan helped me secure larger orders from my suppliers, which means I can meet customer demand. Now people can see Flora & Curl as a viable, serious business and I can build on this.”

Find out more about how a Start Up Loan can help you today.