Start Up Loans Partner procurement

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Procurement of pre-loan and post-loan support services for The Start-Up Loans Company, part of the British Business Bank.

The Start-Up Loans Company provides personal fixed-interest loans and support to aspiring and early-stage business owners from across the UK who might be struggling to access other forms of finance. The programme supports employment, enables economic growth and has a transformational impact on the lives of thousands of people. The Start-Up Loans Company is tasked with delivering support to an additional 33,000 Borrowers between April 2022 – March 2025. Click on the link to learn more about The Start-Up Loans Company.

The Start Up Loans Delivery Model

All Start Up Loans applicants receive pre-loan support, and those who successfully draw down loans are offered post loan support. Under the current model, both pre- and post-loan support are delivered via a network of ‘Delivery Partners’. You can find out about the current Delivery Partners here.

Through this procurement, our delivery model is changing; pre-loan support will be delivered by a network of National, Regional and Specialist “Business Support Partners”, and post loan support will be offered by a single, UK-wide “Post Loan Support Partner” *.

What are Business Support Partners?

Business Support Partners’ responsibilities will include:

  • Generating interest in the scheme in the location(s) or specialisms awarded
  • Supporting applicants with the preparation of their business plan, cash flow forecast and personal survival budget
  • Assessing loan applicants’ credit worthiness, personal affordability, and business viability
  • Acting as a credit broker to the Finance Provider (formerly called the Finance Partner)

Under the new model, Business Support Partners will operate on National or Regional basis or focus on a Specialism:

  • National Business Support Partners deliver high volumes of loans on a national scale. They support cross cutting themes, such as female entrepreneurs, ethnic minorities and Environmental, Social and Governance initiatives. There will be two National Business Support Partners, each operating across the whole of the UK. This is in addition to The Start-Up Loan Company’s internal Business Support Partner, called ‘The Hub’.
  • Regional Business Support Partners deliver within a specific region. They have an advanced understanding of their regional market and a strong regional presence. There will be 12 Regions across the UK with a single Business Support Partner focussed on each Region. The Regional split includes Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, with each having a dedicated Business Support Partner.
  • Specialist Business Support Partners have a strong understanding of specific specialisms and deliver bespoke services that are relevant for the specific specialism. Under this procurement, there will be two Specialist Business Support Partners, one covering “Military” and one covering “Young People” furthest from finance; both operating across the whole of the UK.

Key minimum requirements for National, Regional and Specialist Business Support Partners include:

  • FCA authorisation for Credit Broking Services, or able to demonstrate qualification for regulatory exemption. Further details will be included in the tender.
  • Ability to deliver up to a four-year contract
  • Ability to support a minimum number of loan drawdowns; information per Lot will be provided in the Invitation to Tender.
  • Demonstrable experience of delivering credit broking services in the location(s) and/or for the specialisms

What is a Post Loan Support Partner?

The Post Loan Support Partner will deliver a range of post loan services to support Start Up Loan Borrowers for the 12 months following their draw down of the loan. Services will include:

  • Online platform which includes features such as live seminars, educational content, and sign-posting to other support and relevant information
  • 1:1 mentoring support

Key minimum requirements for the Post Loan Support Partner include:

  • Ability to deliver up to a five-year contract
  • Ability to deliver Post Loan support to Borrowers (c. 6,000 Borrowers per year)
  • Ability to integrate with The Start-Up Loans Company via an API to securely transfer Borrower data (connecting to Salesforce platform).

*Please note that Specialist Business Support Partners will deliver their own post-loan support (Borrowers supported by a Specialist Business Support Partner will not utilise the centralised Post Loan Support Partner service). This is because Specialist Business Support Partners will be suitably experienced and hold expertise to offer bespoke, value-add post loan support to their customers.

What is The Start-Up Loans Company procuring?

The Start-Up Loans Company is conducting two procurements; the Business Support Partner procurement, and the Post Loan Support Partner procurement.

  1. Business Support Partner procurement (with multiple Lots)
  • 12x Regional Business Support Partner Contracts (including a dedicated Business Support Partner for each of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland), separated into 12 Lots;
  • 2x National Business Support Partner Contracts, in a single Lot;
  • 2x Specialist Business Support Partner Contracts (Military & Young, at UK wide coverage), split into 2 Lots

There will be no limit to the number of Lots a supplier may bid for under the Business Support Partner procurement, however the number of Business Support Partner contracts that a supplier may be awarded will be limited to a maximum of two. The two National Business Support Partner Contracts will be awarded to different suppliers.

The Start-Up Loans Company will conduct pilots for further specialisms throughout the lifetime of the scheme (the categories of which are yet to be defined) and are not part of this procurement. Further details on this will be shared in due course.

2. Post Loan Support Partner Procurement:

  • 1 Post Loan Support Provider Contract (UK wide coverage)

A tenderer can bid for and be awarded the Post Loan Support Partner contract in addition to any Contracts awarded as part of the Business Support Partner procurement.

Further details on timelines and detailed requirements will be shared in due course, although we anticipate launching the procurements later in Q1 / early Q2 FY2022-23. If you would like to find out further information about these procurement opportunities, please contact our procurement team via email at:

PLEASE NOTE: The above information is based on current working assumptions and is subject to change. Full and complete details of The Start-Up Loans Company’s requirements for these services will be included in the Invitation to Tender.

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