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£80 million start-up loans for new businesses

18–24 yr olds to gain access to StartUp loans and expert, personal support to help develop business plans and access training.

An £82.5 million StartUp Loan scheme is to be launched yesterday that will give our next generation of entrepreneurs the finance and support to potentially start over 30 thousand new businesses, in a move to boost enterprise and economic growth.

Any young people aged 18–24 accessing the StartUp Loans can expect to receive expert and personal support to help develop a business plan and access training. Where the business plan is robust and approved, they will be able to access financial support in the form of a loan typically in the order of £2,500 with a repayment period of up to five years.

It comes on the day that Lord Young’s report on enterprise is published which shows that if we had the same rates of entrepreneurship as the US than we would have 900,000 more businesses in the UK. Lord Young sets out the strength, diversity and growth of small businesses in recent years, a clear contrast to the Bolton Report of 1971 which predicted small businesses were in long-term decline. 

That with the internet and the support available from the government and private sector, it is now easier than it has ever been to start a business, quicker to grow and possible to sell globally from your front room.

Prime Minister David Cameron said:

“I want this to be the year where people can think yes, I can do it, that we can get as many viable businesses as possible off the ground, that people can have a go, and that we see a whole new wave of entrepreneurs who start small but think big.

StartUp loans are a fantastic opportunity for young people, not only to get the financial support they need, but also to give them the confidence to believe they can do it, that they can turn that of an idea into the next global brand.

I would like to thank Lord Young for his thorough report into the SME sector. His enthusiasm, drive and tenacity to make sure we are doing everything we can to support business and promote enterprise is a credit to us all. There can be no better inspiration of the ‘can do’ spirit that is needed in business than Lord Young; and his report is a must read for anyone thinking of starting up.”

Lord Young said:

“Thirty years ago small businesses were in decline, now we have record numbers, with many tens of thousands starting each year, they are the engine room of our economy and critical to future economic growth.

But we cannot be complacent, now more than ever we have got to get behind our small businesses and encourage even more people to seize the opportunities and support that there is to start up on their own.

Many young people already have the drive and ambition to create a business, yet don’t know how to put this into action. My report will connect them to the support they need and the new StartUp Loan will mean that thousands of young people can now get access to advice and funding.

StartUp Loans will transform the enterprise potential of a new generation, just as the Enterprise Allowance Scheme transformed a generation in the 1980s.”

Business and Enterprise Minister Mark Prisk said:

“It is great news that we have so many young people in the UK looking to get into business and start their own enterprise. Giving young entrepreneurs the tools they need to start and grow a business is an essential part of boosting the UK economy.

By investing in young people now, we have a great chance of creating the entrepreneurs who can become tomorrow’s success stories. However, it is not just about money. It is about creating the whole package for young entrepreneurs, training, mentoring, business planning and help to access finance. StartUp Loans will help young people achieve all of these goals and give them an early and exciting chance to realise their personal and business potential.”

StartUp loans

StartUp loans will be administered by a range of organisations that have experience in working with young people, including the Prince’s Trust and Manchester-based Economic Solutions Group. These delivery partners will be responsible for providing start-up support, for assessing the business plan, for making the loan and for managing repayment.

James Caan, one of the UK’s best known entrepreneurs, has agreed to chair a new body to oversee the allocation of funds and to work with delivery partners to ensure the young people gain the maximum benefit from the support and finance on offer.

James Caan, Entrepreneur and Chairman for a new body responsible for StartUp Loans, said:

“The StartUp Loans initiative provides guidance, access to expertise, and finance. These are the three vital ingredients for starting your own business. Armed with all of these, young people are already on the way to shaping their own future.”

From today young people looking for support and finance through the StartUp loans can register at www.startuploans.co.uk or http://businessinyou.bis.gov.uk/  where they will receive regular updates and information, including on new delivery partners.

StartUp Britain will be working with a range of partners throughout the summer to raise awareness of this support, including a UK bus tour with business mentors on board, and events in towns and cities around the country.

Lord Young’s report

Lord Young’s report on enterprise sets out the enterprise landscape, and the considerable changes in the structure of business there has been over the last few decades. With the trend starting in the eighties with the break up of large firms and the growth of small firms, it has now been transformed by the internet. That this shift in the dynamic of how business is conducted is still evolving and that the influence of social media will become even more important in the world of business. 

The report sets out why it is a great time to start a business, with a wide variety of support, advice and encouragement available from the public and private sectors. It includes a Guide aimed at people of all ages and background to offer them confidence and encouragement, including guidance on where to go to get help to make a sound business idea happen. This includes:

  • A new Home Business Guide which provides clear guidance on setting up a business from home and tackling the myths on what rules are needed to be met. In 2010, almost 6 in 10 self employed people, approximately 2.3 million, said they were based at home. And 55 per cent of the newly self-employed  said they worked from home;
  • A guide on the variety of ways to access finance including microfinance, StartUp Loans, crowdfunding and business angels including through, Finance Finder and a Finance Explained tool tounderstand and locate funding options by region, sector or purpose;
  • Details on the public sector contracts that are available to SMEs through opportunities at www.contractsfinder.businesslink.gov.uk
  • A new online search tool to locate incubation space and facilities at www.startupbritain.org/spaces and,
  • A single source of guidance for firms looking to recruit staff www.businesslink.gov.uk/employ

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