Start Up Loans celebrates £45 million of loans to small businesses in Wales

Press release 03 July 2023

Since launching in 2012, Start Up Loans has delivered more than 4,500 loans worth over £45 million to small businesses in Wales, with an average loan value of £10,062.

Start Up Loans, part of the British Business Bank, today announces that it has provided over £45 million worth of funding to small businesses in Wales, equating to over 4,500 loans, since the scheme launched in 2012.

Of all local authorities in Wales, Swansea has received the highest value of loans (over £5.8 million), followed by Cardiff (over £5.4 million) and Newport (over £2.9 million).

As well as receiving the highest value of loans, Swansea received the most loans of any local authority with 572 individual loans received to date.

Elsewhere in the country, Carmarthenshire tops the loan value table for west Wales (£2.8 million) and Wrexham received the highest loan value across north Wales (£1.6 million).

Of the loans distributed, 37% have gone to female business owners and more than 7% to business owners from Black, Asian and Other Ethnic Minority backgrounds.

The average loan amount is reported to be highest in the Vale of Glamorgan at more than £11,500.

Case study: Porthcawl Gin

Chris Leyshon and Glenn Loosemore, both 31, received two Start Up Loans to a combined value of £25,000 earlier this year to establish their Bridgend based gin distillery, Porthcawl Gin, which began trading this month.

The pair, who have been friends since childhood, started the venture together with the aim of part-donating funds to a local charity, Sandville Self Help Foundation, which supports people with life limiting and life changing conditions.

Distilling their first, hand crafted batch of gin, they have just completed their first batch of orders for 100 bottles.

Our Start Up Loan has provided us with the opportunity of getting the distillery fully operational as well as knowing we have a comfortable financial buffer to help us through the early stages of the business, which is always the highest risk time.

The loan has also enabled us to spend time speaking with specialists within the gin industry and undertake research into the distilling process to further our knowledge. Wales has a great small business community and it’s inspiring to see that Start Up Loans has been able to support so many of us.

Chris Leyshon

Start Up Loans is proud to have provided £45 million worth of funding to business owners across Wales since 2012. Welsh entrepreneurialism has seen us support some wonderful businesses, including Porthcawl Gin.

We hope that entrepreneurs across Wales are inspired by the stories of successful businesses that have launched across the Nation, thanks to the funding available via the programme. We’re excited to see what the next generation of Welsh founders brings.

Louise McCoy Commercial Managing Director, Small Business Lending, Start Up Loans

See below for a full breakdown of loans to the top 10 local authorities in Wales since 2012, including amount lent, volume and average amount.

Top entrepreneurial local authorities in Wales

Local AuthorityAmount Lent (£)Loans MadeAverage Loan Amount (£)
Neath Port Talbot2,594,85225710,097
Rhondda Cynon Taf2,480,8972599,579
Vale of Glamorgan2,361,75720411,57

Notes to editors

About Start Up Loans

The Start Up Loans programme provides personal loans for business purposes of up to £25,000 at a 6% fixed interest rate per annum and offers free dedicated mentoring and support to each business.

The primary aim of the Start Up Loans programme is to ensure that viable start-ups and early-stage businesses have access to the finance and support they need in order to thrive. A network of Business Support Partner organisations supports applicants in all regions and industries throughout the UK. The Start Up Loans programme is not designed to generate a commercial profit. Capital payments together with the interest are recycled to help meet borrowers’ increasing demands for finance.

Free guides on a range of subjects related to starting a business and recent media press releases are available on the Start Up Loans website.

The funding for the Start Up Loans programme is provided by the Department for Business and Trade (DBT). A development bank wholly government-owned by DBT, the British Business Bank plc is not authorised or regulated by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) or the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The British Business Bank and its subsidiary entities are not banking institutions and do not operate as such.

The British Business Bank makes finance markets for smaller businesses work better, helping the sector to prosper, to grow and to build economic activity.

Key Statistics

  • Since its inception in 2012, the Start Up Loans scheme has delivered over 100,000 loans, providing more than £960m of funding.
  • In the financial year 2022/23, the scheme provided 9,549 loans with a total value of approximately £120m.
  • The economic benefits of the Start Up Loans programme are almost six (5.7) times its economic costs.
  • At Spending Review 2021, the Chancellor announced resources to provide 33,000 Start Up Loans over next three years.

Aside from the return-on-investment numbers these statistics are gross estimates and based on Start Up Loans CRM along with externally commissioned research undertaken by SQW Ltd, with support from BMG Research.