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Start Up Loans celebrates £70 million of loans to businesses in East of England

  • Since launching in 2012, Start Up Loans has delivered more than 7,300 loans worth over £70 million to businesses in East of England, with the average loan value being £9,684
  • Essex is the East of England county that has received the most funding since 2012 at more than £18 million

Start Up Loans, part of the British Business Bank, today announces that it has provided the East of England with over 7,300 loans worth more than £70 million from the programme since 2012. Essex has received the highest volume of loans (1,963), followed by Hertfordshire (1,593) and Norfolk (1,133).

See below for a full breakdown of loans to East of England since 2012, including volume of loans, value and average amount per county.

EoE CountyLoans MadeAmount Lent (£)Average Loan Amount (£)

Of the total 7,308 loans in East of England counties, 40% have been to women and 14% to people from Black, Asian and Other Ethnic Minority backgrounds (not including White Minorities).

Louise McCoy, Commercial Managing Director, Small Business Lending at the British Business Bank said:

“Whenever we hit a lending milestone, we want to celebrate the exciting businesses who have used Start Up Loans to fund their enterprises. We’re also proud of the fact that 40 per cent of loans in the East of England since 2012 have gone to women, but feel we can continue to build on this. Over time we would like to see it rise to 50 percent.

With inspirational founders like our East of England ambassador Alice Wu representing Start Up Loans, I hope that other women in the region will see that they too can turn business ideas into a reality and contribute to the region’s flourishing start up community.”

Alice Wu, founder of Peace and Pure, Cambridge, East of England said:

“The East of England has a great small business community and it’s wonderful to see that Start Up Loans has been able to support so many of its members. Living in Cambridge, I have been able to meet a number of like-minded female entrepreneurs through Cambridge Judge Business School’s accelerator programme where we share ideas and support one another to grow and develop as leaders.

Having quick and easy access to London has also played a major part in our success because our advisors and investors, as well as a larger talent pool and key trade events, are based there. I’ve no doubt our region will continue to go from strength to strength and uphold its reputation as a hub for new ideas and exciting enterprise over 2023 and beyond.”

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 our customers’ 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 (DBaT). A development bank wholly government-owned by DBaT, 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. Since 2012, 5% of loans went to people formerly unemployed or economically inactive. Some 40% of loan recipients were women and 21% were from ethnic minority groups (not including white minorities).