CDFIs join expanded Start-Up Loans scheme to create the next generation of entrepreneurs

David Cameron last week announced an additional £30million for the Start-Up Loans programme, boosting the total pot for Start-Up loans to over £110 million over the next three years, potentially helping to start tens of thousands of new businesses. The Prime Minister also announced that due to demand from those who had just missed out on the scheme, and the challenges faced to secure loans to start a business, the age limit for application will now be extended from 24 to 30 years old.

With an average loan size of £2,500, it is anticipated that members of the CDFA’s consortium will help over 500 young people set up a business in the schemes’ pilot stage, which ends in March 2013. The community development finance institutions (CDFIs) that will be delivering this latest tranche of funding are:

· In the north east: Entrust, Five Lamps , Northern Pine Trees

· In the north west: Lancashire Community Finance and Merseyside Special Investment Fund

· In London: HBV Enterprise

· In the midlands, south west, south east and London: Fredericks Foundation

· In Yorkshire: Business Enterprise Fund

The Start-Up Loans initiative was created by Lord Young of Graffham, the Enterprise Advisor to David Cameron. With over a million young people unemployed, Start-Up Loans promotes enterprise as a career option, and provides a boost to economic growth through supporting the development of new businesses.

But the Start-Up Loans programme isn’t just about loans. As well as affordable finance on clear terms, young people receive pre-application support to develop their ideas and business plan, help with developing a loan application, on-going mentoring and support, and access to useful product and service offers that would not normally be available to new businesses.

Sean Dennis, Head of Business Development at the CDFA, commented “CDFIs are ideally placed to help young people get into business. They are rooted in their communities and spend time getting to know their clients, providing advice and support to meet their needs. The members of the consortium have vast experience of providing fair and affordable loans to people and businesses that can’t access bank finance. Funding from the Start-Up Loans Company will enable our members to give a boost to the lives of young people in some of England’s most disadvantaged communities.”