Start Up Loans scheme exceeds £250m investment

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Start Up Loans scheme exceeds £250m investment (image credit: iStock/IPGGutenbergUKLtd)

Figures published by the recently-formed Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy have highlighted the growing benefits of the government's Start Up Loans scheme, which was launched last year.

Funded through the British Business Bank, the initiative offers loans of between £500 and £25,000 to UK start-ups that area available for repayment over a period of one to five years.

The scheme has proven extremely popular among the nation's entrepreneurs and since its launch has now awarded more than £250 million in loans to new businesses, with the government estimating a return on its investment of £3 for every £1 loaned out.

Businesses ranging from tech start-ups to recreational centres have benefited from the initiative so far, with half of all Start Up Loans going to individuals in the 18 to 24 age range to date.

At the start of the year, the government estimates there were approximately 5.4 million small businesses in operation across the UK, employing upwards of 15 million people and contributing £1.8 billion to the national economy.

Business and energy secretary Greg Clark said: "Whether you live in England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland, and whatever your age, everyone should have the chance to turn a great business idea into a reality.

"British entrepreneurs and small businesses are the backbone of our economy. This government will build on the success of Start Up Loans to give entrepreneurs the support and opportunities they need to start a business, grow it in Britain and turn it into a global success story."

The success of the scheme to date has garnered positive support from a range of sources, including Emma Jones, founder of Enterprise Nation, who argued Start Up Loans have helped to plug a gap in funding for new businesses since their inception.

Ms Jones added that it is not simply the additional funding that has helped to make the scheme such a success to date, but also the mentoring that comes hand in hand with these awards.

A number of recipients of Start Up Loans have also been quick to offer their praise for the initiative, including Vicky Bustard of outdoor educational space provider Plant & Play Wildlife Gardens, who secured a £2,700 loan to purchase the perfect site for her new venture earlier this year.

Alex Schlagman, founder of digital high street app PocketHighStreet, also revealed the benefits that a £10,000 Start Up Loan had for his business, with the money providing the means to get his idea off the ground.