Government-backed Start Up Loan Scheme has provided over £100 million in support to the upcoming generation of business leaders.

The UK government announces the successful delivery of 15,000 Start Up Loans, valued at over £100 million, to support small business owners aged 18-24 since 2012. This initiative is a cornerstone of the Help to Grow Scheme, reflecting the government’s commitment to positioning the UK as the premier destination for starting and scaling small businesses.

The Start Up Loan Scheme, backed by the government and delivered through the British Business Bank, has proven to be a lifeline for young entrepreneurs seeking to establish small businesses. The scheme not only provides access to essential finance but also offers invaluable advice, serving as a vital pathway into employment. Remarkably, almost a third of recipients aged 18-24 have successfully transitioned from unemployment to entrepreneurship, highlighting the scheme’s significant socio-economic impact.

The inclusivity of the initiative is evident in the distribution of loans, with 39% supporting female business owners and 24% aiding entrepreneurs from ethnic minority backgrounds. Geographically, the North West has emerged as a focal point, receiving the highest volume of loans (1,992), followed by the West Midlands (1,591) and the South East (1,291). London remains a prominent hub, having received a total of 3,099 loans since 2012.

Top sectors benefitting from these loans include retail (£8.5 million), hospitality (£5.8 million), and arts and entertainment (£2.5 million), underlining the scheme’s versatility in supporting ventures across various industries.

The government’s commitment extends beyond financial assistance. The recently refreshed Help to Grow Campaign, functioning as a one-stop shop for SMEs, provides streamlined access to finance and essential information. A significant addition to the campaign is the first-of-its-kind step-by-step guide on the Help to Grow website, designed to demystify the process of setting up and growing a business in the UK. This user-friendly guide aims to alleviate the challenges faced by young entrepreneurs embarking on their business journey for the first time.


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