Britain’s got talent: more government loans for young entrepreneurs

Posted on 3 Jan 2013

The age limit for people eligible for the Government’s Start-Up Loans scheme has increased from 24 to 30 as Britain hands more financial tools to entrepreneurs.

The Prime Minister David Cameron pledged an extra £30m to inspire a generation of entrepreneurs the finance and support to start their own business.

Mr Cameron declared he’s on a “mission to back aspiration and all the young people who want to work hard and get on in life” and the Start-Up Loans schemes will support that.

The Prime Minister is looking to boost the private sector and said that the UK’s economy can only grow by “backing our entrepreneurs and championing small business that we can drive forward.”

The additional money will boost the total pot for Start-Up loans to over £110m over the next three years, potentially helping to start tens of thousands of new businesses.

Last year’s £10m pilot scheme will now quadruple to over £40m in 2013 and to over £60m in 2014, giving new businesses access to a low interest loan of around £2,500 with a repayment period of up to five years.

Over £1.5m worth of loans have been approved in the three months that the scheme has been live, helping over 460 new businesses get off the ground.

The scheme has largely been dominated by ideas in the South East and London, accounting for 53% of the loans already approved. The north east of England had the fewest entrepreneurs using the scheme, making up just 3% of the total users.

James Caan (left) and the other investors on Dragons' Den.
James Caan (left) and the other investors on Dragons' Den.

James Caan, Dragons’ Den investor and chair of the Start-Up Loans Company cited more young people looking to set up their own business with the public now viewing business and entrepreneurs “as creative and exciting role models.”

Around 100 new businesses a week are expected to reach approval stage in January, with thousands more in the months ahead.

“It is only with this renewed focus on youth entrepreneurship, that we will create more jobs and wealth and see the economy flourish once again,” added Mr Caan.

Start-Up loans are delivered by over 25 service providers around the country, including The Prince’s Trust. This will rise to over 40 by the end of the financial year to drive the expansion of the programme.