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Start Up Loans provides £25 million to microbusinesses in Yorkshire and the Humber

Government-backed scheme has provided more than 3,500 loans to start ups in the region since 2012.

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The Start Up Loans Company (SULCo) has reached a significant landmark after lending a total of £25 million to help launch start-ups across Yorkshire and the Humber.

Since its creation in 2012, the Government-backed scheme has provided loans to more than 3,500 recipients in the region and 46,000 in total across the UK.

Leeds is the most entrepreneurial city in the region, with more than 600 loans granted to new businesses, providing £3.9 million in funding. Sheffield is just behind, with start-ups receiving £3 million since the launch of the scheme.

Anne Marie Gordon and Koreen Clements launched Hot Yoga Sheffield in 2014, after securing £10,000 of funding from the Government-backed Start Up Loans Company. Previously they worked as independent yoga instructors renting studio space in the city, but the funding allowed them to build their own studio suitable for hot yoga.

With a turnover of over £150,000, Hot Yoga Sheffield wanted to expand to a second premises. The business opened a new studio this month on Edgedale Road, Sheffield and is hoping to provide an extra 20 classes a week – it now runs a total of 70 classes each week across the two premises.

As well as Hot Vinyasa, Hot Hatha, and Hot Yin classes, the studio will offer massage treatments, yoga trapeze, private yoga classes and charity sessions.

Anne Marie Gordon, founder of Hot Yoga Sheffield, said: “We were really keen to kick-start our business, but finding funding was more difficult than I thought. We knew from teaching yoga already that there was high demand in Sheffield for hot yoga classes and a better choice of classes overall. Fortunately, funding and mentoring from the Start Up Loans Company helped me to launch the business and build a new studio. Our classes have been so popular; we’ve now had to expand.

“Opening a second studio means we can offer a wider variety of classes. Now it’s a case of settling in, and helping more people across Sheffield transform their lives from chaos to calm.”

The Department of Business, Innovation and Skills, now known as the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, formed the scheme in 2012. The Start Up Loans Company provides loans of up to £25,000 at 6% fixed rate per annum, in addition to offering a mentoring service to each business it supports.

Joanna Hill, Chief Commercial Officer at The Start Up Loans Company, said: “Hot Yoga Sheffield has been incredibly successful and it’s great to see the business taking its next growth step. Anne Marie had all the right ingredients ready to build a start-up, she just needed a permanent studio of her own to hold classes in. Now, with a second premises opening, the business can provide more classes for Sheffield’s residents and offer something for everyone.

“It’s fantastic that microbusinesses across Yorkshire and the Humber have received £25 million in funding, to help them launch. Often, we see start-ups pushed to the back of the queue when it comes to traditional funding sources but with responsible funding and mentoring support, business ideas can be realised.  We’re looking forward to helping more people in the region take the leap into self-employment.”