Raising Finance

James Caan-led Start Up Loans scheme helps 25,000th company

2 min read

19 January 2015

Former editor

The Start Up Loans scheme has now now lent approximately £130m to new businesses in the UK since launching in 2012.

Receiving the 25,000th commitment was Nicola Weeks and her Bedford-based wedding business George James Bridal.

Commenting on the landmark, prime minister David Cameron said: “Small businesses are the lifeblood of our economy and supporting them to get off the ground and create jobs and opportunities for hardworking people is a key part of our long-term economic plan.

“That’s what our Start Up Loans are all about – it’s great news that 25,000 loans have now been issued, giving people who want to work hard and get on the tools and confidence to turn their entrepreneurial vision into a reality.”

In its entirety, the Start Up Loans initiative is a £310m government-backed scheme that is administered by the British Business Bank, profiled by Real Business earlier in the month. Entrepreneurs across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland are able to apply for the repayable loan, that comes with a business mentor.

Former Dragons’ Den investor James Caan, who also runs his own firm backing growth businesses, serves as the chairman of the Start Up Loans Company, and said: “The creation of 25,000 new businesses is a signifiant achievement and everyone involved – the government, the Start Up Loans Company, and the loan recipients themselves, should be immensely proud.”

Read more about the Start Up Loans scheme:

The 20,000th loan made by the funding system dated back to July 2014, when Melissa Mailer-Yates and Shakespuss & Co secured £6,000 towards developing an animated series introducing Shakespeare to children.

Business secretary Vince Cable, whose British Business Bank is responsible for the Start Up Loans scheme, said that helping companies access funds is “key to the recovery”.

“Through schemes like Start Up Loans the government is supporting serious volumes of lending to small and medium-sized businesses,” he added.