Government adopt Young’s plans for business boost & scrap Startup Loan age cap

The recommendations set to be introduced include lifting the contraversial cap on Start Up Loans so that over 30s who aspire to set up their own business will be able to access funds and get on in life. It will also be made easier for these people – and other small businesses owners – to access the right advice and support to succeed in the global race.

Caroline Bennett received the landmark loan of £7,000 to help get her online dating ideas business, Great Date London, off the ground. She was joined by a range of small firms and business groups at the event in the Downing Street garden with the Prime Minister and ministers from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).

The event was part of the government’s GREAT campaign and celebrated the important contribution that small businesses make to the UK economy – with small firms accounting for 99.9 per cent of all businesses in the UK.

The recommendations from Lord Young’s report will also inform the work BIS is leading with the small business community to refresh the 2011 small and medium sized business strategy ‘Bigger, Better Business’. The publication, expected in the autumn, will look at making it easier for small and medium sized businesses to access the right support, and to improve the way government communicates with firms.

Business Secretary Vince Cable said: “Half of all jobs in this country come from small and medium sized business. So if we’re to get our economy going again, we must do all we can to support them.”

“Many of the measures we’ve focused on so far such as better access to finance, mentoring and scrapping red tape have already helped. There is a record number 4.8 million small businesses in the UK, and the figures have suggested record numbers of start-ups. 5,000 of them are now being backed by our Start Up Loans scheme, which is rolling out rapidly.”

Business and Enterprise Minister Michael Fallon said: “We all want faster growth. As Britain recovers, small firms are leading the generation of ideas, creating new jobs and driving enterprise. Whether by encouraging more firms to export or opening up procurement opportunities, government is backing ambitious businesses by giving them the support they need to grow.”

“It’s important we listen to what small firms want so we make Britain the best place to start, grow and finance a business. This government is on the side of small business and will always back hard-working people who want to get on in life.”

Start Up Loan recipient Caroline Bennett said: “The loan has given my business the boost it needed to get off the ground, although there is more risk attached to entrepreneurship, I haven’t regretted it for a moment; I actually wake up in the morning looking forward to starting work.”