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Start Up Loans are available to businesses yet to launch or those that have been trading for up to 12 months, although in certain circumstances this may be extended to 24 months. The scheme provides free business planning prior to taking any monies ensuring applicants are in the best possible position to receive funding. Once an individual receives their repayable loan they will also be given access to an expert mentor, free training course and business offers.
Lord Young, Godfather of the scheme, identified that if entrepreneurialism was as entrenched into the British mentality as it is in the United States, we would potentially have 900,000 more jobs across our country. With the job market still tough, self-employment is being seriously considered as a viable career path.
With this logic in mind, The Start Up Loans programme was created within The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, which is headed up by The Secretary of State Vince Cable. It was designed to go some way to help solve the problem of supporting people who have a feasible business idea but no access to finance. With a view to providing a robust SME sector of tomorrow, The Start Up Loans programme aims to equip enterprising individuals with the tools needed to make their businesses a success.
In May 2012, Lord Young approached James Caan to take on the role of Chairman of The Start Up Loans Company.
Since then, we have grown to a team of over 50 full-time employees, managing everything from strategic decisions to financial management, through to communications and everything in between. Meet the team.
We do not work alone. The Start Up Loans Company operates through a network of Delivery Partners across the country, who support our loan recipients in all industries and sectors. We also receive support from commercial organisations, who offer business benefits to our loan recipients.
So far our success speaks for itself. By the end of the pilot period in March 2013, The Start Up Loans Company had exceeded all expectations, finishing under budget yet over target. Securing further funding from Government indicated both the appetite for being self-employed and the feasibility of the scheme.