Government supports over 100,000 small firms
A government backed loan scheme created to help entrepreneurs start and scale up their business has now provided over £1 billion of funding to over 100,000 businesses.
From an activewear firm in Northern Ireland, to a drum manufacturer in Wales, a whisky firm in Scotland to a climbing centre in the southwest of England – every nation and region across the UK has benefitted from these loans, supporting entrepreneurs from all walks of life.
Delivered through the state-owned British Business Bank, the Start Up Loan scheme was developed and launched by the government in 2012 to help new and early-stage UK businesses without sufficient personal funds or support from friends and family to access affordable finance and mentoring support.
Through this combined access to finance and expert advice, more small businesses can develop and reach their potential, delivering economic growth and a boost to local communities.
Small Business Minister Kevin Hollinrake said: “We’re delivering on the Prime Minister’s priority to grow the economy and make the UK the best place in the world to start and scale up a business.
“Across all four nations and every region of the UK, we’ve supported exciting entrepreneurs through one billion pounds of government backed loans, and I want to see even more innovators reach their potential.”
The scheme has been particularly successful in supporting entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds, creating a level playing field for all who wish to run their own small business in the UK.
Last year, the scheme was expanded to provide finance to eligible businesses operating for up to five years to support their growth.
Liang Zhang, Co-Founder of Liverpool based jewellers Robin Valley, said: “The Start Up Loan saved us from a tricky period this summer, arriving just in time for us to be able fulfil important orders and pay staff. Thanks to the loan, we are now a profitable business again”.
Of the £1 billion, £371 million (40%) has been lent to female business owners and £201 million (20%) has been lent to people from Black, Asian, and Other Ethnic Minority backgrounds.
The scheme has also been successful at championing young entrepreneurship, with young people between 18–24 years old having received £106 million (11%) of loans since the programme began.
Start Up Loans have been issued to businesses in every UK parliamentary constituency. The majority of loans have also been issued to businesses outside of London and the South East, ensuring that businesses across the UK are able to scale up and grow. Outside of these regions, the North West and Yorkshire and Humber have received the largest shares of the loans, receiving £121,619,51 and £89,997,598 respectively.