Start-up loans exceed expectations as 2,000 young entrepreneurs get business dreams backed

The Start-Up Loans Company, which administers the scheme and is chaired by Dragon’s Den entrepreneur James Caan, has helped to start 1,000 new businesses in the last month alone.

The success of the Start-Up loan scheme, which helps young people get their business ideas off the ground with a loan of typically around £4,500 and mentoring support, demonstrates the strong demand amongst 18-30 year olds for self-employment. The scheme has already reached its £10m pilot spend following high demand, and an immediate £5.5m injection of funding was approved yesterday in Parliament to fulfil its pipeline of young businesses until the end of the month. The Government has made £117.5m available to fund the Start-Up Loans scheme up to 2015.

Prime Minister David Cameron said: “Start-Up loans are now helping thousands of aspiring young entrepreneurs get the finance and support to strike out on their own and launch their own business. The success of this scheme shows that young people have got the ideas, the ambition and sheer commitment to get ahead – and it is by backing them, and backing their aspirations that we will be able to compete and thrive in the global race.”

Budding entrepreneur and mother of two, Alissa Koopal, 26 from Liverpool has used her loan to help launch her company, Izzy Melody, which produces innovative, eco-friendly baby products manufactured in the UK.

“After making the difficult decision to take the plunge and make my business concept a reality, my loan application was rejected by the bank so didn’t think I’d ever be able to establish Izzy Melody.”

Alissa was introduced to the Start-Up Loans scheme by her Delivery Partner, Merseyside Investment Fund. “Within six days of applying for a Start-Up Loan, I was granted the £2,500 I really needed to launch my business and assigned a mentor who has provided me with vital guidance and support”.

Start-Up Loans is not just proving to be popular with budding entrepreneurs. His Royal Highness, the Duke of York, has demonstrated his support for the scheme by hosting an event at Buckingham Palace in February to launch the schemes Student Ambassador Programme. Renowned entrepreneur, Elle McPherson has also backed the scheme and described Start-Up Loans as “an inspiring initiative to support up and coming business men and women” and has encouraged people to embrace their entrepreneurial spirit.

Business Minister Michael Fallon said: “Start-up Loans are firing up thousands of aspiring young entrepreneurs business ideas. This scheme is really motoring and its high demand and popularity shows no sign of abating. This is about encouraging and unlocking the great entrepreneurial spirit we have in the UK.”