Meet Orlando Burns
"I don't believe in luck"
up Orlando Burns watched his parents work for many years for other
people, with little flexibility in their hours. At age 12, he decided
that he would be his own boss one day. His goal became clearer as he
finished barber school. The curriculum at the barber school was more
challenging than what he originally thought, but he persevered. He
continued his training by working at a hair salon in Hyde Park while
studying finance at a university.
college, he enjoyed considerable success as a technology consultant,
but the pull of owning his own business was too great. He had the idea
to open a barbershop but when it came time for financing, he was turned
down from many banks because of his lack of collateral. His former boss
at the hair salon told Orlando about Accion Chicago. After presenting
his business plan, he was approved for a $2,500 loan, which he used to
buy barbershop supplies. Orlando's Barber Studio, Inc. was officially
opened on April 1, 2006.
business grew so fast within the following year that Orlando approached
Accion Chicago again for a larger loan so that he could get his own
location. He found a site in the city's bustling Hyde Park neighborhood
and used his second Accion loan of $8,000 to continue expansion at the
says that since his involvement with Accion Chicago, he is more
aware of the available resources for small businesses. He advises
upcoming entrepreneurs to "Do your research, network with those people
who have successfully operated their own businesses and see what made
them successful." Orlando has heeded his own advice. "I don't believe
in luck, I believe in preparation and I believe in planning." After
all, he had been planning and preparing for this since he was in the
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