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Start Up Loans provides over £20 million to South West microbusinesses

  • Government-backed Start Up Loans Company has provided £20,000,000 to new businesses in the South West since 2012

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The Start Up Loans Company (SULCo) has reached a significant landmark after lending a total of £20,000,000 to help kick-start local start ups in the South West.

Since launching in 2012, the Government-backed scheme has helped support more than 40,000 business ideas across the country, 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.

Bristol-based couple Lee and Amy Turner started their home-grown laundry service for family and friends, but quickly spotted a business opportunity as their services became increasingly popular. They approached Start Up Loans, who granted £9,800 to help launch Amy’s Laundry. The funding was used to purchase laundry equipment, to cater for a range of individual and commercial clients.

After quadrupling its turnover within the first year of launching, Lee and Amy are looking to establish the business on a national basis by opening a number of franchises across the country, while remaining headquartered in Bristol.

Lee Turner, managing director of Amy’s Laundry, said:

“There are so many inspiring business ideas waiting to be turned into reality but many see access to finance as a stumbling block and aren’t aware of the help available to them.

The Start Up Loans Company was instrumental in kick-starting our business venture, and the mentoring support I received provided us with a solid business plan and the marketing strategy to get Amy’s Laundry off the ground.

I’d encourage aspiring business owners in the South West to explore all options and make the most of the help out there when it comes to both funding and mentoring support.”

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 £20 million of lending in the South West 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 the South West and we are proud to support this growth.”