‘My community needed it’: New American opens hair supply business

Growing up in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Frank Dunia says he was born with a love for hair care that he has honed throughout his life.

“You’re born with something,” said Dunia, who sports a well-groomed beard and clean-shaved head. “You love something and then you tend to develop it by yourself.”

Years later in a new country, he opened his own hair salon in Concord with the help of a business loan directed towards New Americans to continue his passion for hair style and care.

Dunia Beauty and Hair opened on Loudon Road in 2020, with the support of the Regional Economic Development Center.

“It took me almost one year before they approved me,” said Dunia. “I couldn’t have done it without them.”

Since 2018, the Regional Economic Development Center has provided 32 loans totaling $1.28 million to first-generation immigrants opening their own businesses. In addition to funding, the development center offers training in bookkeeping, marketing and other technical expertise, like webpage design, to support new businesses.