A former MG Rover worker from Birmingham is looking to bounce back from redundancy by setting up a business specialising in high-grade stainless steel hairdressing and barber's scissors.
Arshid Mohammed, who worked as a financial business planning manager at the car manufacturer, has set up Vanse, which imports and distributes a range of scissors and beauty tools from Pakistan.
The company was founded with support from the 'Fast-Start' programme backed by Mustard.uk.com and Advantage West Midlands and delivered by the University of Warwick Science Park and CQM Nascent Ventures.
Mr Mohammed, who is managing director of the Sparkhill-based business, said it had started through a contact.
"I studied business administration at Coventry University and, while I was there, I met a friend from Pakistan whose family was in manufacturing.
"During the ten years I worked for Rover, I toyed with the idea of setting up my own business. When I was made redundant, it seemed a perfect opportunity to give it a go.
"The scissors are distinctive because they're made with steel that has been engineered to be particularly strong and the fact that they're manufactured in Pakistan means that they're much more cost effective than British alternatives.
"We've managed to find a gap in the market where these products fit perfectly."
Things are moving along quickly for Vanse, with ten local retailers already signed up to the new products in just four weeks. Future plans now include increasing sales to retailers, as well as targeting wholesalers and even hair-dressing colleges.
Mr Mohammed said: "We're also looking to introduce new models of scissors and expand the range to feature manicure items in the next few months. Market research is showing the latter will be a great addition to our product base."
Kim Usher, consultant at CQM Nascent Ventures, said she was delighted with the company's progress.
"Arshid already possessed excellent business planning experience and we've been able to compliment this with our marketing and business research expertise to help boost the areas where he didn't have as much knowledge," she said.
"After only one month of trading, Vanse is already starting to employ new staff and, with the new range of products coming on board, the future looks very bright."
The 'FastStart' initiative provided 20 former MG Rover employees with a combination of business mentoring and developmental workshops, giving them the skills needed to launch high growth potential companies.
Last month the initiative re-launched, widening its advice to all those made redundant from automotive manufacturers and supply chain businesses.