Start Up Loans provides £3million to Ealing microbusinesses

The government-backed scheme has provided £3million worth of loans to start ups and new businesses in Ealing since 2012.

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The Start Up Loans Company (SULCo) has reached a significant landmark after lending a total of £3million to help kick-start new businesses in Ealing.

Since launching in 2012, the government-backed scheme has provided low-interest funding to more than 350 loan recipients across the borough. In total, more than £375million has been provided by The Start Up Loans Company to over 50,000 loan recipients across the country.

Ealing is one of the more entrepreneurial boroughs in London, ranking above average for receiving funding in the capital.

First-time business owner Lucy Do, 36, launched The Dodo Micropub in January 2017 with the help of a £25,000 loan from The Start Up Loans Company. The business, based on Boston Road, Hanwell, is a community focussed independent pub offering craft beers, ciders, wine and prosecco.

Prior to starting her own business, Lucy worked in marketing but always dreamt of using this experience to start a business of her own. Inspired by a love for drinks, Lucy noticed a growing trend for craft beer and wanted to bring a taste of independent beverages to Ealing.

She approached The Start Up Loans Company and successfully secured a £25,000 low-interest loan, which she combined with personal savings to launch The Dodo Micropub.

Since opening in January last year, the business has exceeded sales targets and grown by an average of 8% year-on-year. The fast-growth of the business can be attributed to a wider demand for craft beer, with the number of breweries growing by 64% in the past five years.[1]

A champion of local breweries, Lucy has recently collaborated with Weird Beard Brew Co to stock limited edition cask specials, including flavours such as recycled bread pale ale and a cacao nib imperial stout.

Lucy Do, founder of The Dodo Micropub, said: “Although I have always had my sights set on becoming my own boss, I was waiting for the right opportunity. As an avid beer lover, I wanted to provide a fresh range of beverages in Ealing and share my passion for craft beer, community and conversation with others.

“While I had a sum of savings in the bank, it wasn’t enough to turn my start-up dreams into a reality. I knew I needed to secure an additional injection of capital, and approached The Start Up Loans Company for a loan to cover the rest. My assigned mentor shared plenty of insight into the hospitality sector, involving lots of practical suggestions, which helped to inform my business plan. I’m really fortunate to have benefited from first-hand industry knowledge.”

Joanna Hill, interim CEO at The Start Up Loans Company, said: “Lucy has made brilliant progress since starting The Dodo Micropub, and exceeding monthly sales targets reflects this. What’s particularly impressive is how Lucy spotted a growing demand for craft beer and used this insight to inform her business idea.

“Reaching £3million of funding to new business owners across Ealing is a real achievement, and is testament to the entrepreneurial spirit of budding business owners like Lucy. We look forward to seeing what’s in store for The Dodo Micropub and other local start-ups in the next year and beyond.”

[1] https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/oct/23/craft-beer-boom-pushes-number-of-uk-breweries-past-2000

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