The government-backed Start Up Loans Company joins forces with Natwest to Fund Great British Businesses

  • The NatWest Capital Connections scheme offers business customers access to the best sources of alternative finance
  • The Start Up Loans Company joins six leading alternative finance companies and is the only government-backed provider in the innovative partnership with NatWest
  • Line-up now includes The Start Up Loans Company, Seedrs, Funding Circle, Assetz Capital, iwoca, Together and NatWest Social & Community Capital

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The Start Up Loans Company will join a handful of leading alternative finance firms in an exclusive partnership with a NatWest scheme, designed to help businesses access alternative sources of finance.

Capital Connections helps SMEs access alternative sources of capital after being unable to secure traditional financial backing with no commission paid as a result of any referrals.

The Start Up Loans Company is the first government-backed finance provider to join Capital Connections. Since launching in 2012, the Start Up Loans Company has lent £318million to help more than 48,000 individuals fund their early-stage businesses, creating more than 56,000 jobs.

Dalston’s, a hand-crafted drinks brand based in East London, was started in 2012 by former chef Duncan O’Brien with the support of a £5,000 Government-backed Start Up Loan, after he noticed the growing consumer demand for high-quality, natural soft-drink refreshment options.

The business first started selling drinks in popular nightspot, Passing Clouds, a nightclub based in Dalston, in London’s East and has since seen incremental growth. Last year, Dalston’s secured its first supermarket listing and launched into 150 Waitrose stores across the country. In line with this growth, Duncan built a factory in London’s Mile End to accommodate its growing sales.

Alison Rose, CEO of Commercial and Private Banking at NatWest, said: “We are excited to announce that The Start Up Loans Company will be joining our Capital Connections programme. We are the biggest supporter of British businesses and in 2016 we lent almost £9bn to commercial companies and £1.6bn SMEs, an increase of 43% from the previous year.

“But it won’t always be possible for us to support all our customers with our own capital and it’s important that in these instances we do the right thing by helping them access other finance options. That’s why our Capital Connections programme is so important to supporting British businesses, enhancing their access to the borrowing which is essential for jobs and economic growth.”

Joanna Hill, Interim CEO of The Start Up Loans Company, said:Start-ups often bring something fresh and innovative to an existing market, but they are often left at the back of the queue when it comes to accessing finance. By partnering with NatWest, we hope the Capital Connections programme gives budding business owners a second chance when they are unable to access traditional forms of finance.

“Since 2012, we’ve provided more than £318million to early-stage businesses across UK, with funding helping 48,000 business owners bring their start-up ideas to life. We’re looking forward to partnering with the NatWest to give people a second opportunity to achieve their business goals.”

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