• New British Business Bank campaign encourages people thinking about their career options to start their own business and become their own boss via the Start Up Loans scheme
  • Since 2012, Start Up Loans has delivered over 1,140 loans to unemployed people in the North East worth over £6.5m
  • Between 01 March 2020 and 31 March 2021 Start Up Loans delivered more than £730k of loans to unemployed applicants in the North East
  • The majority of unemployed people (54%) who have become entrepreneurs through Start Up Loans since 2012 are millennials

Start Up Loans, part of the British Business Bank, today sets out its commitment to unlocking the talent of thousands of more people across the UK by helping them to start their own business.

The disruptive impact of Coronavirus on the UK’s economy and traditional working patterns has catalysed many to reconsider their careers, whether because of additional time to reflect during lockdown, furlough or a change in employment status.

Since 2012, Start Up Loans has delivered over 1,140 loans to unemployed people in the North East, worth over £6.5m. Since 2012, 24% of people to have received Government-backed funding in the region were unemployed.

Of the 80,000+ Start Up Loans recipients across the UK since 2012, a third (31%) were unemployed at the time of application. Start Up Loans data also indicates that the scheme is particularly effective in enabling young entrepreneurs to start up a business, with millennials representing more than half (54%) of all previously unemployed loan recipients since 2012.

The Start Up Loans scheme has also seen this trend continue with the youngest generation of entrepreneurs, with double the number of Gen Z (18-24-year-old) applicants using the scheme as a route out of unemployment in 2020 compared to 2019.

The Start Up Loans scheme was initially set up as the UK economy was recovering from the 2008 credit crisis, with a mission to make business ownership a viable career for individuals who would struggle to raise finance. Building on a nine-year track record of success, the scheme is set to play a vital role as our economy starts to rebuild after the impact of Covid-19, providing both funding and wider support for people starting up their own business for the first time.

Richard Bearman, Managing Director, Start Up Loans said: “Start Up Loans is uniquely positioned to drive the nation’s investment in creative, entrepreneurial talent of any age, thanks to our extensive network of delivery partners and support services. As well as a loan, we support individuals with the practical steps they need to take to begin their own enterprise from writing business plans, accounting and marketing, as well as access to learning with partners such as The Open University. 

“It is paramount that we do everything to empower the next generation of young working talent, who have an important part to play in unlocking the UK’s economic recovery, by giving them every chance to succeed, whatever their circumstances. Unemployment can have a catastrophic impact on an individual’s financial security, self-confidence and ability to apply for finance from lenders, and the support provided by Start Up Loans can be of particular use to younger, less experienced business owners.”

Small Business Minister Paul Scully said: “This Government’s Start Up Loans programme has a phenomenal track record of backing budding entrepreneurs, having helped more than 4,710 in the North East to get off the ground. 

“I would encourage aspiring entrepreneurs in the North East, whether they’re young people just getting started, or experienced pros looking for a fresh start, to explore the fantastic support available from the British Business Bank.”

Newcastle business owner Jane Crane, Founder of Your Tribe, said: “My advice for anyone thinking about starting their own business is to go for it! There are some great government initiatives to support you financially whilst you take those first few steps, and Start Up Loans also offers guidance on business planning. It might take a little while to start to get things moving, but if you apply yourself to your business idea like you would to a job, things will begin to come to life before your eyes. 

“I would recommend making a note of your aspirations and where you want to be in five years, and then every day you can take steps to get you closer to it. Some days will feel like huge leaps, and some will feel like teeny little moves, but if you commit to it and stay on track, you can make it happen.

“I love the freedom and flexibility that comes with being my own boss. I don’t get told off for working until 2am anymore and I can take a duvet day if I want to. I’m a single mum so flexibility is everything to me, and having control over my diary is incredibly important. I can manage my time so that some days I am meeting my friend for a walk on the beach at 10:30am and starting work at 4pm. Other days I start work at 4:30am – it all just depends on how I’m feeling and when I can be most productive.”

Andy Fishburn, Managing Director of Start Up Loans Delivery Partner, Virgin StartUp said: “Virgin StartUp exists to help founders in the UK to start and scale early-stage businesses. We’re proud to be working with the British Business Bank to deliver the Start Up Loans scheme to ensure that applicants receive the right combination of funding and support to start up and survive and thrive. Small businesses have such a vitally important role to play as we look to rebuild communities, the economy and the world more broadly.  We look forward to continuing to work with future founders, in our shared mission to inspire entrepreneurs around the UK.”

The Start Up Loans programme provides finance and support for businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs who struggle to access other forms of finance, working with a national network of Delivery Partners based across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

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