March 15, 2013
The Start-Up Loan scheme has now helped 2,000 young entrepreneurs to get their businesses off the ground — exceeding expectations.
The Start-Up Loans Company, which administers the scheme and is chaired by Dragon's Den entrepreneur James Caan, helped to start 1,000 new businesses in the past month. And, said Caan, 40 new businesses a day are now being launched thanks to its funding and support.
The Start-Up Loan scheme helps young people start businesses with mentoring support and a loan of around £4,500. Following high demand, the scheme has already reached its £10m pilot spend, and an immediate £5.5m injection of funding was approved this week in Parliament. Altogether, the Government has made £117.5m available to fund the Start-Up Loans scheme up to 2015.
Prime minister David Cameron said: "The success of this scheme shows that young people have got the ideas, the ambition and sheer commitment to get ahead — and it is by backing them, and backing their aspirations that we will be able to compete and thrive in the global race."
Entrepreneur Alissa Koopal, from Liverpool, has used her loan to help launch her company Izzy Melody, which produces innovative, eco-friendly baby products made in the UK.
Koopal said: "After making the difficult decision to take the plunge and make my business concept a reality, my loan application was rejected by the bank. Within six days of applying for a Start-Up Loan, I was granted the £2,500 I really needed to launch my business and assigned a mentor who has provided me with vital guidance and support."
Chairman James Caan said: "Whilst we are well ahead of our target numbers, I believe that we are only scratching the surface. 2,000 young, ambitious and highly motivated people have taken their future into their own hands. At the moment 40 people a day are choosing to start their own business thanks to Start-Up Loans."