100,000 British small businesses benefit from government-backed Start Up Loans

  • Start Up Loans programme reaches landmark 100,000 milestone, with more than £941 million in support given out to small businesses
  • Business Minister Kevin Hollinrake visits 100,000th recipient, St Albans based noodle shop Ramen Electra
  • Women, young people, and Black, Asian, and other ethnic minority business people among key groups supported by the scheme

The government’s Start Up Loans scheme has achieved another landmark milestone as the 100,000th business loan is granted, bringing the total support given to firms to more than £941 million, it has been announced today (Thursday 2 February).

The scheme, administered by the British Business Bank, offers financial support, guidance, and advice to entrepreneurs looking to start their own business.

Business Minister Kevin Hollinrake visited the 100,000th recipient, a thriving St Albans based noodle shop Ramen Electra, run by James Fraser, to hear about how crucial the firm’s Start Up Loan was in getting the successful business off the ground and to mark the important milestone.

Business Minister Kevin Hollinrake said:

We know how important small businesses are to our communities, creating jobs, growth, and opportunities, and that is why we are backing them all the way to not only start up, but to scale up.

As a former business owner, I know how difficult it can be to get your business off the ground, which is why I’m incredibly proud that Government-backed Start Up Loans have helped 100,000 aspiring entrepreneurs, from Shetland to Shoreditch, to make their dreams a reality.

Of the total of more than 100,000 loans, 40 percent have gone to women and one-in-five to people from Black, Asian, and other ethnic minority backgrounds.

Meanwhile, young people (aged between 18-24 years old) have received 14 percent of loans since the scheme was established in 2012.

The success of the Start Up Loans scheme has been felt nationwide, with new and exciting businesses across the country using them to establish and grow.

The top five local authorities by loan volume and value are Birmingham, Leeds, Cornwall, Hackney in East London and Manchester, demonstrating the impact of Start Up Loans across the UK. 

With 12,382 loans in the North-West, 7,117 in the East of England, 5,616 in the East Midlands and 15,39 in Northern Ireland, as well as many more across all parts of the United Kingdom, the Start Up Loans scheme has seen the entire UK benefit, with total economic activity estimated to be around £5.3 billion.

Richard Bearman, Managing Director, Start Up Loans said:

Start Up Loans supports people across the UK who are looking to start their own businesses and passing our one hundred thousand loan milestone is an amazing achievement that has been ten years in the making. We could not have achieved this without the dedicated support of our network of UK delivery partners and in-house team, and I’d like to take this chance to thank them for everything they do to make our work possible.

The government is not only supporting businesses to start up, but to scale up too. The Start Up Loans scheme was recently expanded to provide finance to eligible businesses operating for up to 5 years to support their expansion. The Business Secretary Grant Shapps also recently announced a ‘Scale-up Summit’ to bring together key technology, development and finance figures who have accelerated businesses from start-ups to scale-ups.

The Start Up Loans programme provides personal loans of up to £25,000 to aspiring businesses while also providing dedicated mentoring and support to each recipient. The goal of the scheme is to make sure that viable start-ups and early-stage businesses have the finance and support they need to thrive.

Funding for the programme comes from the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and is administered by the British Business Bank.

Notes to editors

The regional breakdown of Start Up Loans can be seen below:

UK region Loans made Amount lent (£) Average loan amount (£)
East Midlands 5,616 £51,633,229 £9,194
East of England 7,117 £68,269,520 £9,607
Isle of Man 4 £16,500 £4,125
London 20,937 £192,700,147 £9,204
North East 5,435 £49,743,110 £9,152
North West 12,382 £113,156,743 £9,139
Northern Ireland 1,539 £13,329,445 £8,661
Scotland 6,521 £58,378,802 £8,952
South East 9,997 £101,757,203 £10,179
South West 8,602 £79,218,286 £9,209
Wales 4,461 £44,664,355 £10,012
West Midlands 8,278 £76,668,091 £9,262
Yorkshire and The Humber 8,782 £84,539,388 £9,626
Region not obtained 557 £6,889,873 £12,370
Total 100,228 £941,064,690 £9,389

Businesses in the North West, North East and Yorkshire and Humberside have received more Start Up Loans on average when compared to the number of businesses in the region, than businesses in the South East and London. See table below:

Region All UK businesses Start Up Loans backed businesses
East Midlands 6.60% 6%
East of England 10% 7%
London 19% 21%
North East 2.70% 5%
North West 9.40% 12%
South East 15.60% 10%
South West 9.40% 9%
West Midlands 8.10% 8%
Yorkshire and The Humber 7.10% 9%
Scotland 6.20% 7%
Wales 3.50% 4%

Link: 100,000 British small businesses benefit from government-backed Start Up Loans
Source: Assent Information Services