A dog-loving duo which have helped South Yorkshire’s canines star in some of Britain’s best loved programmes have pioneered a new training school, complete with dog friendly café after securing support from alternative lending provider, Finance For Enterprise.

Husband and wife team Neil and Claire Losanda have provided the vital training for a number of dogs, transforming pampered pooches into stars of the screen where they have featured in a range of hit shows including Peaky Blinders, Emmerdale, and Coronation Street.

Qualified police dog trainer Neil first started offering obedience classes for dogs in Barnsley, as a way of helping animal owners understand their pets better. After seeing demand for Neil’s services grow, Claire saw the potential in Neil’s ideas and together they began exploring a way of bringing their unique business, complete with a dog friendly café to the steel city.

After spotting their dream location, located on the somewhat ironically named Catley Road. Neil and Claire realised their business needed to secure the vital funds to transform the former warehouse into their dream training arena and called upon Finance For Enterprise for help.

Working with investment manager Gillian Pickard, Neil and Claire were able to secure two £15,500 Start Up Loans which have been used to develop the arena and create Claire’s dream café.

Featuring a range of doggy delights including home-made treats and even giving owners the chance to treat their pets to a puppachino, the café overlooks the main training arena, enabling owners to watch other animal lovers bond with their furry friends with a coffee in hand.

Since opening, the café and training sessions have proven top dog, securing more than 300 bookings each month. However, keen not to rest on their laurels, Claire and Neil also use their newly created café as a base for raising funds on behalf of the Support Dogs charity which provides essential training for lifelong furry friends.

Claire Losanda, founder, Coffee Kennel Café said:

“The support provided by Finance for Enterprise has been vital and has helped turn a dream of mine into reality. Every month seems to be better the previous one, and we hope our café continues to grow and flourish so Neil and I can carry on providing our services and doing what we love.

“Our job is to educate humans about dogs. Neil worked as a dog handler with the police for more than 20 years, and until relatively recently, he offered a small number of training classes but I felt there was a golden opportunity to encourage responsible dog ownership.

“The training arena offers a place for likeminded people to meet up and explore walks around Tinsley. . Some customers come for a coffee and a puppuccino and find it enjoyable just sitting and dog watching, others come to educate themselves about how to be a responsible dog owner which is also very important.”

Gillian Pickard, Investment Manager at Finance For Enterprise, said:

“Claire and Neil are the epitome of a perfect partnership. They complement each other’s business skills and overall aspirations. When starting a new business, securing the funds to transform an idea into a reality can be challenging, particularly when it comes to investing in new equipment and renovating property.

“The business offers an unusual take on the traditional coffee shop, and backed with a solid business plan which demonstrated their strong USP, we were able to offer two start-up loans, enabling Claire and Neil to put their ideas into practice.

“Start-ups often find it very difficult to borrow money via traditional high street lenders. Finance For Enterprise is here to combat this issue by providing vital funds to enable entrepreneurs to bring their business ideas into reality. These investments can have fantastic results for the entrepreneurs themselves and the local economy.”

Finance For Enterprise is a delivery partner of Start Up Loans UK, an initiative backed by the British Business Bank and designed to help new entrepreneurs with limited trading history with the ability to secure finance, throwing a metaphoric bone to companies like The Coffee Kennel Café that would otherwise be unable to secure lending.

Neil’s passion for pooches originates from his previous role as a dog handler in the police force for 20 years.

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