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Start Up Loans Passes £90 Million Funding Milestone in South East England

  • Since launching in 2012, Start Up Loans has delivered more than 9,000 loans worth £90 million, to businesses in the South East with the average loan being just over £10,000
  • Chloe Bruce, stunt double turned entrepreneur, is one of the many business owners Start Up Loans has supported. She founded Chloe Bruce Academy in October 2021 after taking out a loan of £12,500

Start Up Loans, part of the British Business Bank, today announces that the programme has delivered over 9,000 loans worth £90 million to start ups in the South East of England. The figures point to the spirit of entrepreneurship in the region, with the average loan being just over £10,000. The Start Up Loans programme was established in 2012 to reduce regional imbalances by helping people – wherever they are in the UK and whatever their background – to achieve their ambitions of starting their own business. One such loan recipient is Chloe Bruce, founder of Chloe Bruce Academy, a business offering virtual martial arts classes and tutorials for people across the globe. The academy, which offers on-demand and live classes, has taught hundreds of thousands of people, ranging from beginners to professionals, including actors and actresses learning new skills for action roles. Before launching her business, Chloe was a stunt double for some of Hollywood’s leading actors such as Zoe Saldana in Guardians of the Galaxy and Daisy Ridley in Star Wars. However, after having had her fair share of being thrown around on wires and fighting some of Hollywood’s biggest baddies, she decided to take on a new type of challenge – launching her own business. As a mum of two juggling work and childcare, having an online business has been essential in ensuring she maintains a work-life balance. Her dream was always to launch a virtual platform and when Covid-19 meant that people were forced to stay at home, it felt like the right time to formally launch to the public, after years of planning. Below she shares the challenges she faced on her entrepreneurship journey and offers tips for others who might be considering starting a business of their own.

Chloe Bruce, founder of Chloe Bruce Academy, said:“One of the scariest things I have done in life is invest in my business. I put my whole heart and every last penny into it. I was so anxious that no one would sign up, but I had 64 people sign up within the first two days of going live. I was so inspired to give back to the sport of martial arts, and empowered to grow and work harder than ever before!“I think the hardest part about being an entrepreneur and the face of your own business, is learning to market it as a serious venture and really sell yourself. I never used to like talking about myself, but that’s all I seem to do these days! I implore any women considering starting their own business to just go for it.”

Richard Bearman, Managing Director of Start-Up Loans, said: “Start Up Loans was established to help people across the UK achieve their ambition of becoming their own boss and I am very proud to say that since its inception, Start Up Loans has now delivered more than 9,000 loans worth over £90 million to businesses in the South East alone. “The experiences of our Start Up Loans business owners suggests that no matter where you are from, one of the keys to starting a business is having the encouragement and support to do so.”

Loan amounts for South East Counties

Figures correct up to 31 May 2022

Notes to editors

About Start Up Loans

The Start-Up Loans Company, part of the British Business Bank, was formed in June 2012. 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 for 12 months and support to each borrower.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 Delivery Partner organisations support 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 start-ups’ increasing demand for finance.Free guides on a range of subjects related to starting a business are available on the Start Up Loans website: You can find recent media coverage and press releases in the Start Up Loans Media Centre here: The funding for the Start Up Loans programme is provided by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). The Start-Up Loans Company is a subsidiary of the British Business Bank plc. The bank is a development bank wholly owned by HM Government which is not authorised or regulated by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) or the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). British Business Bank plc 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, enabling the sector to prosper, grow and build economic activity.

Start Up Loans – impact

  • Since 2012, the Start Up Loans programme has delivered more than 94,000 loans, providing over £870 million of funding.
  • In the financial year 2021/22, the programme provided 12,433 loans with a total value of approximately £152 million.
  • Since 2012, 30% of loans went to people formerly unemployed or economically inactive. 40% were women and 20% of our loan recipients were from ethnic minority groups, excluding white minorities.
  • 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.

For more information about Start Up Loans, please visit:

UK CountyLoans MadeAmounts Lent (£)Average Loan Amount (£)
East Sussex1280107201708375
Isle of Wight (UA)23515164306453
West Sussex90488140919750