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Ealing is Thriving as a Hub for Entrepreneurship

Government-backed programme has provided more than 400 loans to start-ups and early stage businesses since 2012

Ealing is fast becoming a hub for entrepreneurship, as thousands of people turn away from their 9-5 job to set up their own business.

New figures from the Start Up Loans Company shows that its scheme has lent over £3 million to small businesses in Ealing since the government-backed scheme launched seven years ago.

A total of 402 business in Ealing – and over 60,000 across the UK – have received low-interest loans with the average loan size in Ealing totalling £8,900.

Miles and Mia is one of 402 start-ups which has received a proportion of the Start Up Loans funding in Ealing.

Born out of a love of stories, Michaela Alexander launched Miles & Mia in 2016 after she noticed a lack of ethnic diversity in children’s story books. She received a £10,000 loan from the Start Up Loans Company scheme to kick-start her business.

Miles & Mia A to Z is an educational, picture book that teaches children different letters of the alphabet in a fun way – featuring rhyming text and colourful original illustrations.

Her children Miles & Mia are the inspiration for the Miles & Mia collective of tales, based on their adventures of growing up in London. Miles is a smart six-year-old who loves nothing more than playing football and being outdoors, his partner-in-adventure is four-year-old Mia who enjoys ballet, singing and drawing.

At the end of last year, Miles & Mia handpicked as one of the Start Up Loans Ambassadors, highlighting the success stories and inspiring businesses across the UK.

The Start Up Loans Company forms part of The British Business Bank’s UK-wide drive to encourage entrepreneurship, increase the rate of business creation and improve the survival prospects of early-stage businesses.

Michaela Alexander, founder of Miles and Mia, said: “I’ve always had a passion for storytelling, and after I noticed a lack of ethical diversity in children’s books, I saw an opportunity to start something new.

“Since starting my business three years ago, I haven’t looked back – it’s been hard work at times, particularly in the early stages of starting up, but there’s no better feeling than becoming my own boss. My children have inspired my story ideas, so it’s extremely rewarding to be able to share these stories with other families across the UK.”

A spokesperson for The Start Up Loans Company said: “It’s fantastic to hear of success stories like Michaela’s who has transitioned into self-employment through the help of our Start Up Loans scheme.

“Achieving £3 million of lending to start-ups in Ealing highlights the entrepreneurial spirit of budding business owners in the country. We wish Michaela every success in her new business journey.”