Government's Start Up Loans scheme provides £100m in funding for young entrepreneurs

Government's Start Up Loans scheme provides £100m in funding for young entrepreneurs
Dan Martin
Dan MartinDan Martin Content & Events

Posted: Fri 16th Feb 2024

The UK government's flagship funding initiative for small businesses has now provided £100m to young entrepreneurs aged 18-24.

Launched in 2012 following an idea by former business and trade secretary Lord Young, Start Up Loans has given 15,000 loans to Generation Z founders.

A third of recipients aged 18-24 were unemployed before accessing the funding to start a business, while 39% of loans have gone to female business owners and 24% to entrepreneurs from ethnic minority backgrounds.

Among young entrepreneurs receiving the finance, the most popular industries include retail (£8.5m), hospitality (£5.8m) and arts and entertainment (£2.5m).

Small business minister Kevin Hollinrake said:

"Every large firm started off as a small business and today's aspiring young entrepreneurs could be the next success story. I urge them to explore how a Start Up Loan could launch their ambitions today."

Cory Hibbin, aged 20, took out a £14,500 loan to launch Techie Services, which provides security solutions for residential clients, estates and corporate buildings. He said:

"I'm not the sort of person who can take on learning from behind a desk so I left school at 16 to do an apprenticeship with a local IT consultancy company. While working there, I was working on the side in the evenings and at the weekends.

"Having been there for four years, I felt like I had gained enough experience to start my own company, which is when Techie Services began. I started with one large client, who quickly recommended me to other businesses and individuals, so I took on five new clients in our first six weeks.

"The money from Start Up Loans was invaluable in the success of the business. I used it to buy tools for installations as well as supplies for the office.

"While it might seem a big leap of faith to some people, you can't let the fear of failure stop you from trying in the first place. I urge anyone 18 or above to look into the finance options available to them if they need a hand getting off the ground."

Last September, Start Up Loans said it has lent more than £1bn in total.

By the time of the announcement, funding had been provided to 105,109 businesses, at an average of £9,547 per loan.

Calling young people in Buckinghamshire: Do you have the ambition to become an entrepreneur? Join the Next Generation programme to access free start-up training and be in with the chance of winning a £2,500 business grant! Find out more.

Relevant funding resources

Download The StartUp Kit for tips on starting a business

Access advice via Enterprise Nation's StartUp UK campaign

Book a free call with a finance expert

How to choose the right type of funding for you

Dan Martin
Dan MartinDan Martin Content & Events
I'm a freelance journalist and event host who helps small businesses and the organisations that support them. I'm also Enterprise Nation's news reporter and Bristol Local Leader. I have 20 years of experience as a small business journalist having interviewed hundreds of entrepreneurs from famous names like Sir Richard Branson and Deborah Meaden to the founders behind brand new start-ups. I've worked for a range of leading small business publications and support groups, most recently as head of content at Enterprise Nation where I was responsible for the prolific output of content on the company's blog and social media. I now freelance for Enterprise Nation as the website's news reporter and as the host of the Small Business sessions podcast. I'm based in Bristol where I run and host regular events with the local small business community in my role as Enterprise Nation's Local Leader for Bristol. I also have strong connections with other major business organisations in the south west region. In total, I've hosted over 100 events including conferences with an audience of hundreds for international brands like Xero and Facebook and live web chats from inside 10 Downing Street. With my partner, I co-run Lifestyle District, a lifestyle blog focused on culture, art, theatre and photography.

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