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Royal Hairstyles Training Academy and Salon

Two Jozi entrepreneurs maximise an opportunity that many have identified but few have been able to exploit.

Juliet Pitman

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Royal-Hairstyles

In forming Royal Hairstyles Training Academy and Salon, Sean Walker and Kenneth Mokgosi are offering black hairstylists a nationally-recognised and accredited qualification in what is a burgeoning but still relatively informal industry.

“While there are many skilled operators in the ethnic hair market, very few have any kind of formal qualification. The market is still relatively informal, but there is a market for people who want a qualification and a career path in salons that recognise the value of having trained stylists,” says Walker.

He was drawn to the South African hairdressing industry almost immediately after arriving in South Africa from his native United States in 2009. “I wondered if the size and considerable buying power of the black middle class South Africa wouldn’t offer a good opportunity to provide a high quality training programme to stylists in the market,” he explains.

Mokgosi is one of the continent’s premier ethnic hairdressers, having trained professionally in the US, Europe and South Africa. With more than 20 years’ experience, he’s passionate about entrenching a deep level of professionalism in the local industry.

When the pair met they started developing a curriculum that would meet the needs of the South African market. “The course work and subsequent learnership that students undergo is SETA-accredited and they take a SETA trade test,” Mokgosi explains.

One of the business’s key offerings is its ability to secure internships for students under qualified stylists and employment after graduation.

The business also offers a by-appointment salon. “We provide a free consultation and diagnosis to all of our customers and create a hair regimen for them to follow,” Mokgosi concludes.

Vital stats

Company: Royal Hairstyles Training Academy and Salon

Players: Kenneth Mokgosi and Sean Walker

Est: 2011

Contact: +27 (0)84 228 4318

www.royalhairstyles.com

Juliet Pitman is a features writer at Entrepreneur Magazine.

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