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Start Up Loans provides over £10 millions to Welsh microbusinesses

  • Government-backed Start Up Loans Company has provided £10,000,000 to new businesses in Wales since 2012

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The Start Up Loans Company (SULCo) has reached a significant landmark after lending a total of £10,000,000 to help kick-start local start ups in Wales.

Since launching in 2012, the Government-backed scheme has helped support more than 40,000 business ideas across the UK, and the programme has helped over 17,000 people who were formerly unemployed or economically inactive.

In total, £250million has been provided by Start Up Loans to support new business ventures. The Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, formerly the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills, formed the company in 2012, which provides loans of up to £25,000 at a fixed rate of 6% per annum, in addition to offering a free mentoring service to each business it supports.

Cardiff-based hair salon, Goji Hair, was launched by Victoria Griffin and Greg James in May 2015 after receiving a £7,400 loan from the government-backed Start Up Loans Company. Victoria previously worked in the retail industry, and started the business with creative director, Greg, after spotting a gap in the market for an all-natural salon. The business, based in Pontcanna, Cardiff, only uses organic products.

Goji Hair salon, Cardiff

In the last twelve months the salon has exceeded its targets, with its yearly turnover 100 per cent up on forecasts. In line with this growth, Victoria and Greg have increased their workforce to support the expansion of the business. Earlier this year in April, Goji Hair beat stiff competition to win ‘Best Hair Salon’ at the Cardiff Life Awards.

Victoria Griffin, managing director at Goji Hair, said:

“After spotting a lack of organic treatments within the hairdressing industry in the Cardiff area, we wanted to create a business that focused solely on the benefits of using all-natural ingredients. To us, it was counterproductive to visit a hairdressers that uses chemical products that can often damage hair.

The Start Up Loans Company was instrumental in kick-starting Goji Hair, and the mentoring support provided us with fantastic financial insight to ensure our accounts were in order from day one.

I’d encourage aspiring Welsh business owners to explore all funding options, and to make the most of the financial and mentoring support available when it comes to getting a budding business idea off the ground.”

Tim Sawyer CBE, CEO at the Start Up Loans Company, said:

“Small Businesses are often referred to as the lifeblood of the economy, and start-ups play an instrumental role in this. That’s why it’s great to see such a demand for funding from potential business owners up and down the country.

Achieving £10 million of lending in Wales is a key milestone for the Start Up Loans Company and we are keen to help many more business ideas come to fruition. Since 2012, our funding and comprehensive package of free business support has helped to create jobs and launch many great business ideas. As a result, the scheme has delivered more than £3 of value to the economy for every £1 invested. The next six months is set to be another busy period for microbusinesses in Wales and we are proud to support this growth.”