Cutting-edge skills: How Joana Hesse is training the next generation

FSB Member Story 26 Sep 2022

Manchester-based FSB member Joana Hesse is passionate about helping youngsters into the hairdressing industry. Hear Joana’s story and her advice for business owners looking to offer apprenticeships and work experience opportunities.

Joana Hesse is the owner of Joana’s Hair Elite, an award-winning multicultural hair salon, and Enhance My Hair, which offers a wide range of hair loss treatments. Having worked in the hairdressing industry for over 30 years, Joana has a wealth of experience in all hair types.  Joana is a Certified Lecturer/Trainer and an Assessor with a D32/33 and takes up training seminars at various colleges. She is a State Registered Senior Hairdresser and a Senior Hair Loss Consultant for a Hair Loss Clinic in Birmingham. 

Why are you passionate about training and developing skills? 

When I first started hairdressing, I was so passionate about training. I started doing private hairdressing training myself. I've done two teaching qualifications. I used to work in the college and that opened my eyes.  

When I first started my business, I was able to train in one of the big hairdressing colleges in Manchester to qualify in African-Caribbean hairdressing. That really inspired me, and I thought, I really need to help other young people to get into the industry. So, I just started with the colleges and organisations taking on apprentices. I also work with schools in the North West. 

If anybody comes through my door and they are from a disadvantage background, I don't turn them away, I take them in. I've had people that have learning difficulties and mental health issues, but I treat them all just as equal and I try to do my best to help them to have the confidence that they can go out there and get themselves a job. That is another part of my business that I'm so passionate about. 

What advice do you have for business owners looking to hire an apprentice? 

Every small business owner should look into training. They should look into bringing in young people. Apprentices bring a lot of skills to your business. They're vibrant and they bring fun to the place. I advise everybody to try to take on young people. I would really like to ask the government to try to help small businesses so that we'll be able to take on more apprentices because it is not easy financially taking on apprentices. 

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