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Start Up Loans passes 75,000th loan milestone marking more than £623m invested in British start ups

  • The Start Up Loans programme delivers its 75,000th loan since 2012
  • Almost one in five (20%) loan recipients come from BAME backgrounds
  • Two in five (40%) loan recipients are women
  • One in three (33%) were unemployed when they applied for a loan
  • The North West has the highest number of loans outside of London

 The British Business Bank’s Start Up Loans (SUL) programme today announces it has issued its 75,000th loan, marking more than £623 million invested in small businesses since its launch in 2012.

Start Up Loans saw a significant rise in loans issued since the start of the pandemic in the UK. May to July 2020 saw a total of £31.9 million of funding drawn down, compared to £22.9 million in the same period the previous year, an increase of more than 39%.  July 2020 has been the record month for drawdowns since 2014, as restrictions eased and businesses started to re-open their doors to customers.

Of the people who received a loan since 2012, two fifths (40%) were women and nearly one in five (20%) came from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities (BAME). Of these, 10% were delivered to black ethnic groups, 3% to Asian ethnic and 5% to mixed ethnic groups. One third (33%) were unemployed when they applied for the loan, reflecting the diversity of the UK start up community.

Start Up Loans has lent money and provided mentoring support to aspiring business owners in every region of the United Kingdom and its impact has been particularly noticeable in areas of deprivation.

When split regionally, the North West received the highest number of loans outside of London with a volume of 7,691 (12%) worth £58 million. The South East received 5,570 loans (9%) worth £46 million, followed by the West Midlands where a total of 5,331 loans (8%) were provided for a value of £40 million.

The 75,000th Start Up Loans recipient was Helen Conway, from Cardiff, Wales. Helen took out a loan of £25,000 this month (August) to pay for the equipment and premises to open a new bakery.

In March 2020 as the UK went into lockdown, Helen alongside her daughter, Angharad, and son-in-law Lance, launched an online bakery delivery service, Ty Melin (Mill House).

Between April and August 2020, the trio has generated a turnover of over £30,000, despite having to limit the number of items baked per day due to lack of space.

Helen Conway, co-founder of Ty Melin, said:

“The three of us have been discussing the possibility of starting a family venture for several years and we drafted our initial business plan over two and a half years ago.

Lockdown gave us the perfect opportunity to launch, as the nation became increasingly reliant on delivery services to help make their time at home more bearable.

When our online shop opens at 9am we usually sell out by 10am. We also introduced national delivery for one of our most popular products, the Croissant Bomb, and they sold out within 90 seconds.

We are delighted to have taken out our loan and the advice and guidance we received from Start Up Loans, through our loan provider, Business In Focus, was spot on.”

Richard Bearman, Managing Director of Start Up Loans, said:

“Start Up Loans’ 75,000th draw down represents a major milestone for our operations, meeting a key policy objective from when we launched in 2012. Government backed finance for people looking to start their own businesses has never been more important than it is currently. As well as being key to economic growth over the long term, Government support for small businesses around the UK continues to drive investment into the regions.”

As well as finance, every loan recipient is offered a support package, including access to a free expert business mentor for 12 months to help them with every aspect of setting up a business.

Breakdown of loans by region

UK RegionLoans MadeAmount Lent (£)Average Loan Amount (£)
East Midlands4,12531,993,9707,756
East of England4,98841,066,8758,233
Isle of Man210,0005,000
North East4,29535,344,4188,229
North West9,21974,692,3278,102
Northern Ireland1,1578,900,4267,693
South East6,75260,396,6688,945
South West6,21450,827,3708,179
West Midlands6,19850,087,0798,081
Yorkshire and The Humber6,33254,868,9898,665
Region not obtained8019,606,46311,993
Grand Total74,737623,756,9998,346


Figures in this release are drawn from data on delivery of loans up to the end of July 31st 2020.