British Business Bank-supported Start Up Loans reach £250m milestone

Press release 31 August 2016

£250 million of Start Up Loans have been made available to entrepreneurs, Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark announced today.

Since 2012, Start Up Loans worth a quarter of a billion pounds have been agreed with start-up businesses to support them in getting up and running with finance and support.

Funded by Government through the British Business Bank, Start Up Loans generate a return on investment to the economy of £3 for every £1 spent. Businesses up and down the country from digital start-ups to recreational centres have benefited from the Government scheme.

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. Greg Clark Business and Energy Secretary
Small businesses play a vital role in local communities, bringing them together and giving millions of people good jobs and livelihoods. With one in five Start Up Loans going to deprived areas in the UK, they are one of the many tools we have to build an economy that works for all. Margot James Small Business Minister

At the start of 2016, there were a record 5.4 million small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the UK, creating more than 15 million jobs and contributing £1.8 trillion to our economy.

Start Up Loans have plugged an essential gap for new businesses looking for funds. We’ve heard from hundreds of start-ups who not only benefit from the money, but also the mentoring that comes with it. The UK continues to witness record start-up rates and the StartUp Loans Company has been a key enabler of this; helping people across the UK to take an idea and give self-employment a go. We look forward to continuing to support these new found businesses to grow! Emma Jones Enterprise Nation founder

Half of all Start Up Loans for people aged 18-24 go to those formerly not in employment, education or training (NEET) and one in five Start Up Loans go to deprived areas in the UK.

SMEs drive our economy, and the role start-ups play in this shouldn’t be over-looked. Seeing such a great demand for finance from Britain’s would-be micro-business owners is a great indication of the appetite for growth in this sector. Hitting our £250 million lending milestone is a significant landmark for Start Up Loans Company. Since the launch almost four years ago our loans have helped create more than 45,100 jobs and for every pound invested we have returned £3 to the economy overall. 2016 has proven to be another busy year for microbusinesses, and we’re proud to be able to support this growth. Tim Sawyer CEO of Start Up Loans Company

The Start Up Loans Company not only offers fixed rate loans of up to £25,000 but also provides access to free business support for people starting out for the first time in business.

Further Information

Case studies

PocketHighStreet, London, Digital High Street app – Alex Schlagman

  • PocketHighStreet makes it simple to find and discover things for sale in high street shops, making everything available for click and collect or delivery within 30 minutes.
  • Starting with almost £10,000 from SULCo and then raising hundreds of thousands through angel investment, PocketHighStreet has now moved into new offices near Oxford Circus and is recruiting across a number of positions.
  • They are currently helping Londoners find and buy anything they want in local shops nearby and plan to expand across the UK to reinvent and revive high streets nationwide.

Braw Scotland, Edinburgh, UK ethically made Scottish home accessories – Gabrielle Schoenberger

  • After studying fashion at university and living in Scotland, Gabrielle designed her own range of UK ethically made home accessories with a £3,750 loan.
  • The Braw Scotland range takes its name from the Scottish word ‘Braw’ meaning beautiful or fine.
  • It includes tea towels, aprons and cushion covers that reflect the Scottish identity and are all made from natural fibres.
  • The range is sold in shops across Scotland, online and at high profile craft events. With support from her mentor and the success of the Braw Scotland range, Gabrielle has moved into larger new premises.

The Palm Caye, Carmarthen, Gelateria and Dessert House – George Eltom

  • Having spent time in the Caribbean country of Belize, George created a piece of tropical paradise for the people of Carmarthen.
  • Using a £25,000 loan to help with the cost of specialist ice cream making machinery from Italy, Palm Caye was launched.
  • It makes artisan gelato on site as well as waffles, crepes, milkshakes and sundaes using local dairy products and employs local staff.
  • Business has been so strong George has extended his menu, premises and opening hours.

Plant & Play Wildlife Garden, Bangor Northern Ireland, outdoor educational space – Vicky Bustard

  • Plant & Play Wildlife Garden is a unique, educational space where families, school groups and special educational needs groups can learn and have fun.
  • Vicky was keen to teach children in a fun and creative garden environment and her £2,700 loan helped secure the perfect site.
  • It has gone from strength to strength bringing in extra staff to allow outreach work and also developing road shows around Northern Ireland.
  • It won 2015’s Northern Ireland’s best tourist location in the small children category.

*All figures are estimates and based upon Start Up Loans historical data and externally commissioned research

Notes to editors

  • The British Business Bank advises Government on the design of the Start Up Loan programme and provides operational and financial oversight. In March the British Business Bank published its first year evaluation of the Start Up Loan programme, which found that the programme has had a positive effect on the start-rate of beneficiary businesses.
  • Established in November 2014, British Business Bank programmes are already supporting almost £3.1 billion of finance to more than 48,000 smaller businesses and are participating in a further £4.4 billion of finance to small mid-cap businesses.