Entrepreneurs in the Hair Industry

Around 30 years ago, we began to see the first chain salons open. There was a general concern amongst salon owners at the time, that this would mark the end of the independent salon…Fast-forward to today and both chain salons and independents co-exist within our industry. Chains may have taken up to 50% of what was once all independent salons, but the industry will never completely change to corporate run salons. That is because our industry is filled with entrepreneurs. And speaking as one myself, we don’t work well for others.

I may take some flak for this but I believe the true strength of the hairstyling industry is not in the artistry (although that is our tagline). The true strength is the entrepreneurism…our ability to create a business and a life that is satisfying both financially as well as artistically.

For the past 20 years at MC College, we have surveyed our graduates. Asking them “Why” they chose a career in hairdressing. The top 2 answers were always “creative and artistic freedom” AND “the ability to be self-employed” . The largest demographic of students at MC College right now are the 18-25 year olds, also know as the Millenials. This group is often characterized as the generation most likely to set up their own business than work for large companies.

This is all good news. Not just for the Hairdressing industry but also the economy. Small businesses are the backbone of any nation’s economy, they keep people working, money changing hands and taxes flowing.

It is for these reasons that MC College in Edmonton has partnered with MacEwan University to create a Salon/Spa Entrepreneurship program. For the past 2 years we have been offering all Hairstyling students enrolled in the Edmonton campus 40 hours of instruction at MacEwan University. This 5 day program provides students with instruction from a MacEwan Business Professor on the specific needs to open and run a salon and the students leave with a draft business plan. But what the program really does is provide potential entrepreneurs and future salon owners with a roadmap to success.

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